Chicago, IL (PressExposure) June 04, 2009 -- Mike Scioscia was a first round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1976, won two World Series with the team in a 13-year major league career and has led the Los Angeles Angels to a World Series title and developed the reputation as being one of the game's best managers. Still, the former catcher was like most fathers who found it challenging to teach their sons the art of hitting a baseball.
Recognizing the difficulty of teaching a young player how to hit, Scioscia embraced the opportunity to write the foreword to Jack Perconte's recently released book, "The Making of a Hitter: A Proven and Practical Step-by-Step Baseball Guide." Scioscia, who played with Perconte in the Dodgers minor league system when Perconte had brief stints with the major league team in 1980 and 1981, calls his former teammate's book "the best I've seen to help coaches (and dads like me) understand the swing and teach proper mechanics to help a young hitter reach his potential."
"Hitting is the toughest task to teach and perform," Scioscia said. "It can be hard to understand, but Jack's book helps you implement the right drills to develop a consistent hitter."
There are many books that discuss how to hit, but Perconte felt there was a need for one that details how parents can teach hitting to children of all ages, and coaches can teach it to their young players. After 12 years of professional baseball - including seven in the majors for the Dodgers, Indians, Mariners and White Sox - Perconte retired as a player and opened a baseball training academy in Naperville, Ill. The hitting drills, mental training and coaching tips found in "The Making of a Hitter" (www.themakingofahitter.com) were culled from the 60,000 hitting lessons Perconte estimates he gave while operating the academy.
Perconte believes that the best way to help young players learn the correct way to hit a baseball is through educating coaches and parents. "The Making of a Hitter" instructs readers how to teach the fundamentals of hitting, incorporate advanced hitting drills, learn the strike zone, solve hitting problems and help players with the mental side of hitting.
Scioscia thinks the book is invaluable because it breaks down complex topics into easily understandable descriptions that parents and coaches can implement for their players. Scioscia's 20-year-old son, Matthew, is a first baseman for the University of Notre Dame.
"Every good hitter has an understanding of what makes his swing work and how to correct it when it is out of sync," Scioscia explained. "One thing is certain. A hitter must keep it simple in preparation and maintenance to have a chance to be consistent.
"Jack's book has concepts and drills that make it a must read for any coach, hitting instructor or baseball dad," he added. "Every hitter struggles at some point. Jack has a great grasp of what teaching hitting is all about."