One of the most perplexing (and potentially dangerous) challenges with coaching children’s baseball is writing the Batting Lineup. Children are bombarded with information which wrongly programs them to believe that the best is number one. They all want to be number 1 on the Lineup Card. The further down the order they are, the worse they feel about themselves. Unfortunately, so does their dad (and their mom and any assorted grandparents as well). Most experienced managers know that a Batting Lineup creates itself. Each team’s talent, ability and chemistry dictates the order of the batters. The manager must balance power, contact and speed as well as lefty-righty matchups. But, no matter what you do, the kid batting eighth will probably feel badly and you’ll most likely hear it from his/her parents.
So, I have revolutionized the Batting Order. For years I explained to players and parents that a Batting Order was really a circle once the game started. If you kept hitting, and didn’t make outs, you could bat around forever - it’s really quite spiritual. One day, I sat down and wrote out a Batting Lineup in a circle with the players’ names all around the outside. They were in the order that I wanted them but nobody could tell who was first, fourth or ninth. I put a little mark beside one player’s name to start the game and the CIRCLE OF HITS was born. An example of the CIRCLE OF HITS and how it works, may be found inside.
-- Rocket Norton