Long-time Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda is a fan of simplicity. “My theory of hitting was just to watch the ball as it came in and hit it,” he said. This mindset must begin at an early age. Most often, the earlier the better. For instance, a beginning tee-ball batter must also practice hitting a thrown ball. Keep the advice to a minimum and have the young batter focus on one thing: hit the ball!
Use an oversize bat or an oversize ball in order to facilitate early success. Rubber bats and balls, available in a plethora of commercial makes and models, are perfect for the rank beginner. Ingrain in the young hitter the certainty that hitting is fun! Accentuate the positive, even if it’s a foul ball. Teach the young batter to swing with aggression, and to swing at anything around the strike zone.
Forego pitching from a regulation distance: use a plastic, rubber or fabric ball and stand several feet away without fear of being struck. Toss the ball in as straight a line as possible toward an appropriate strike zone instead of slowly lobbing the ball high, super slow and overhead. With success, move back and increase the speed of the pitch. When the batter makes consistent contact, alternate stationary tee work and emphasize that the swing remains the same, no matter if using a tee or hitting against a pitcher.
Keep it basic, keep it simple, and keep it successful. In the beginning, and always.