Whaddya know!

The other night I got the all-too-rare opportunity to spend a little time with the older son: lobbing some pitches to him and helping him work on his swing. He's in coach-pitch this year, and he's spent a few games now feeling like he'll never be able to hit the ball. I know, because I've been there.

We spent about the first half-hour working off a tee, practicing good swing mechanics and showing how a good stance can make a big difference in the swing. We kept working on his swing until I thought he looked comfortable and appeared to know what he was doing. Turns out he knew better than I'd given him credit for.

After I started lobbing him some pitches, he asked if he could switch hands. I was a little bit reluctant, since we had spent all that time on the right side, but we had time, and it couldn't hurt.

So I helped him line up with the "plate" and quickly reviewed the stance and mechanics of the swing. He swung the bat a couple times, and we were ready to go. Not only was he suddenly connecting with the ball , but he was now hitting it further after a couple swings on the left side than he had after a month of (admittedly sporadic) practice on the right side!

He said he felt more comfortable on the left, so I told him to go ahead and try that side during the next game. Last night, he had three at-bats.

His first time up, the coach told him to go back to the right side, but at seven years old he didn't have any problem telling the coach he knew what he was doing. He struck out, but he got a surprised compliment from the coach on his form.

Second time up to bat, he actually connected with the ball! It was short, and went foul on the first base side, but he made it to base before letting them send him back. For the third at-bat he managed a foul tip.

I don't know if he'll end up still batting left at the end of the season. But he did get a taste of what it will feel like when he finally gets his first hit. And something tells me, he believes he can do it.