Parent Hack: Ball-on-a-Rope batting aid

Hudson’s going to play Little League for the first time this spring, so the other day we took him over to Grandpa’s house for a little practice. My dad brought out the ol’ ball-on-a-rope.

Dad used to coach softball when he was in college, and he came up with a genius little trick to stop chasing after balls when he was teaching how to hit…

He drilled a hole through a ball and ran a strong rope through it.

If you were using whiffle balls, you would even need a drill! Just take care that the ball can’t fly off the rope.

You can do underhand pitches, or stand several feet away and swing the rope around (like a cowboy at the rodeo) and have them time their swing by keeping their eye on the ball. Alternatively you can tie it from a tree branch and let it dangle so they can practice on their own.

A little sleuthing online revealed a few other styles of this option: A line-driving practice rope, and a swing trainer (works a bit like a tether ball!)

It was pretty cute to watch. I’m looking forward to spring training.

Any clever tricks you’ve come up with for sports practice? Favorite purchases?

P.S. More parenting hacks.

[Little League Photo from The Chicago Tribune, 1952]

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