All aspiring baseball players one day dream of playing the game professionally. However in order to achieve that dream, young players must master the fundamentals of the game. Kids especially need to practice the fundamentals in order to have a chance at the show. In order to better them in practice, it can help to hear the advice of a professional athlete who plays the game for a living.
In the first installment of our “How To” series, I sat down with Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs for tips on how youth players can become better hitters.
I first asked Wade what his approach was to hitting. As a five time batting champion, Wade can really provide valuable insight on hitting that most people cannot. Wade explained that he always tried to “inside out the baseball”. He was a big believer in the Willie Keller philosophy of hitting the baseball where the defense didn’t expect it. Because of this approach, Wade would generally hit the ball to left field instead of pulling it to right field.
Wade told me that for kids to get better in youth baseball, they need to “practice, practice, and practice”. Wade coaches a High School Baseball team in Florida and told me he has his team “doing soft toss drills so the hitters can get used to the grip of the bat.” He then told me that consistent batting practice was another crucial part to the development of young hitter. Wade Boggs believes that the more hitters practice, the better they become.
No one knows the art of hitting better than Wade Boggs. In his 18 year big league career, Boggs had a career .328 average. He won five batting titles in the 1980’s and batted over .300 an astounding 15 times. Boggs won the 1996 World Series as a member of the New York Yankees and is a member of the 3000 hit club. There is no better player in the history of the game to teach hitting than Wade Boggs.
However despite the success, Boggs also knows that sometimes baseball players fail in obtaining their goals. He explained that “disappointments are a part of any athletics and that player need to learn how to lose before they can win.” Wade also made it clear to me that players really need to come together as a team. He said “There are nine individuals that make up a team and each player needs to pull their own weight. Anything positive things players do are important in order to help the team win.”
Wade Boggs is a competitive “team first” type of a player. He said the greatest moment of his career was “winning the 1996 World Series.” This is coming from a man who won almost every batting award in Major League history. This is what made Wade Boggs one of the best players in history; He had a will and desire to win that exceeded any love for awards or prizes. The only prize that he cared about was the World Series title.
If you want to improve your skills as a player, then learning from the best of the best is just the way to do it. I implore all young baseball players to take the advice of Wade Boggs and to work hard and have fun in improving their hitting skills. New Jersey Baseball Magazine thanks Mr. Boggs for his time and advice for the future baseball players of the world!