In this instructional, pro slugger Chris Swauger will go through his second round of baseball tee drills and demonstrate the importance of keeping consistant form in the swing to improve your baseball batting average. You will be shown the inside pitch and how to practice for it, keeping the same form, even if the pitch is faster than what you expected, or if the pitch is not what you thought it would be. This is critical to eliminating variables in your swing and to create the confidence and muscle memory to still slug a pitch out of the park or into the gaps no matter what the situation. As a baseball player you know first hand the large amount of situations and variables that are thrown into each circumstance within the play of a game. It is your job to practice and develop your skill set to handle whatever comes your way. Developing this consistency is what separates the pros from the amateurs and it takes practice, practice, practice!
Baseball Video Transcription: My second round, I'll move the tee inside, like this, to the front corner of the plate; basically, tucking the ball right up underneath me. What I'm going to try to do is do the same thing. I'm not going to change my swing per se, but I'm really, really going to work on getting my hands inside the ball and not letting them come out and cast too early. What I mean by that is you have to have really, really, really good, solid, sound mechanics to hit this ball up the middle and kind of into the gap where it's supposed to go. There's a certain way you're supposed to get to this ball. If you come. . .
. . . when I start my swing, if my hands come out too early . . . basically in the swing, your whole body's rotating and then your hands come out last. If my hands come out too early, the only way I can get to this ball is to roll them over and hit like this, and I'm going to end up yanking the ball down the line. If I stay right here, where I'm supposed to be, and my hands stay in the slot that they're supposed, and they stay right here connected as my body's rotating, I can still do the same thing that I was doing on the other pitch, on middle-away, and get the barrel to the ball and shoot it up the middle in the other way.
It's a little bit difficult, and it's one of those rounds that occasionally, if I don't do it right, I'm going to fail at it, and it's a little bit frustrating. In my head, and the way I'm thinking about it, I'm not changing my swing or anything like that, I'm taking the same consistent swing, it's just the ball is in a different location, and it's in a location that . . . this is the hardest ball that I'm ever going to have to hit. An inside fastball that's beaten me, basically. In all reality, I want to make contact with this inside pitch. I want to make contact with it out here, in front of the plate. If I do that, now I can get my hands extended out here and I can drive this ball way out, because I'm out here hitting it where I'm supposed to. All the contact that I really want to make is going to be made out in front of the plate. If I bring this ball back here, this is basically simulating the ball has already gotten on me; like I was surprised. The guy's throwing harder than I thought; he made a really good pitch. It's 2 strikes, I got to be able to get to this pitch without changing my swing, without doing anything out of the ordinary, without making an adjustment swing.
What I'm basically practicing is taking my same swing from here to here, and all that's really happening is my hands are staying tucked in here as my body rotates, so now the barrel can come out, out here, and I can hit the ball. Basically, what I'm trying to do is challenge myself. Obviously, I can hit off the tee and I like the tee, but I would much rather hit flips and hit off a live batter, but the tee definitely severs its purpose. Basically, you can put the tee in different spots and work on your weaknesses. This is the hardest pitch for me to get to, so that's something that I need to work on.
After I finish that, I'll hit about 5 to 10 balls like that. Like I said, it's really kind of fluid with what I do, based on how I'm feeling that day. If I hit the first 5 and I'm inside of it, and my swing feels good, 'bam', move on to the next round. If I'm struggling with it, then I'll stick with it a little bit more, and maybe cut down on my other round.
We're in the second round in my routine, where like I set the ball up inside, but I'm working on a pitch that's difficult to hit, and I'm not adjusting my swing. Basically, want this ball . . . if I were going to hit a ball in the inner half, I'd want to hit it more up here so that I can hit it in the gap and over the fence and all that stuff because I'm making contact. Occasionally, especially with 2 strikes, balls get on you because you're trying to let it get a little bit deeper.
What I want is me to be able to trust myself to get to this pitch without having to force my hands to get there. If I just let my swing go like it normally does, I should be able to get to this pitch fine, and still drive it up the middle and the other way. Occasionally, like I said, it doesn't work out, I get frustrated and whatever, but most of the time, if I do it right, I'll get a ball that goes up the middle, like that, with backspin, which is exactly what I want.
I'm setting up the same way that I always do. Like I said, I try to line this guy . . . I want to line my front foot up with the back of the plate, and I consistently stay in the same spot. I've been doing it for so many years; I really don't even have to touch the plate anymore. I'll dig this foot in first; basically insole to foot gets that up on the plate, just like that. I'm in the same spot every time. Now this pitch is middle-in and it's gotten on me a little bit, but from here, I should be able to hit the ball right back up the middle, like that, from here without doing anything.
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