In this instructional, Pro Baseball player Chris Swauger allows us to come in to his batting practice session. In this session, he is working on baseball hitting drills with his outside hand only. Hitting off the tee, Chris is focusing on keeping the swing tight to his core by emphasizing the rotation of his hips to bring his swing around and not his upper body. He does this all with one hand. The focus in these drills is quality over quantity of swings. You can take a hundred swings, but if they are not absolutely perfect every single time than they are doing you no good. Especially when comparing to far fewer swings but being technically perfect and consistently accurate.
Baseball Video Transcription: When I get done with my tee work, obviously, take the tee off to the side. This is where you need a coach or somebody else to help you out. You just stand behind the screen right here and you do what we call 'front toss'.
I's really, actually pretty easy; all he has to do is just stand right here and just, he can do a little flip. The good thing about it is you're really close, and obviously, it's a different motion, it's an underhand motion. The ball itself is moving and in motion, and the coach can basically put the ball wherever he wants it. It is not like when you are throwing BP; you can and try to throw, but very few guys can just put the ball where they want it in BP; you just really are trying to throw strikes. In front toss, I can tell him, "Hey. I want the ball away. Hey. I want the ball in. I want it down the middle. I want it up. I want it down," all that stuff. I can tell him different locations, and he can just sit there and flip it into different locations, and it really works out well.
My first round, it's kind of like a combination round. What I am basically doing is I'll either work with a short bat, which is basically like about half the size of this, or I'll just choke up on this bat and use my one hand. Basically, what I do is top-hand bottom drills. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's basically you swing with one hand. This is my bottom hand, this is my top hand on the bat, so I'll choke-up a little bit. I'll get setup in my stance the same way every time, like I said I try to stay consistent with that. I'll get setup, and then I'll take the bat here, and I'll get setup, and then I'll take my hand and put it in the same spot. Basically, what I'm doing is I'm working with a shorter bat in the same spot, and I'll usually take both hands to get setup with my hands, and then I'll just have the coach just flip the ball. I'll tell him to flip the ball down the middle, and when I do, I'll go through my routine. Then I'll start, and let this hand off the bat, so now all I'm swinging with is my bottom hand.
What I'm trying to do is train myself, one hand at a time, to stay . . .because now the bat's a little bit heavier, I am only swinging with one hand . . . to stay and trust my body and my mechanics, and not adjust with my hands. My hands need to just . . . by working them separately, and then putting them together, my hands start to develop that muscle memory of staying in this slot right here, and just letting the barrel come out on its own instead of forcing the barrel out, and then I end up coming around balls like this.
Basically, what I want to happen when I swing with my hands together is to go just like this. I want to be able to load with my hands, then my body to start to rotating, and my hands to stay right here. That's how I stay inside the ball. I don't stay inside the ball by forcing my hands in like this, and then forcing the ball the other way, no. My hands stay right here the whole time as my body's rotating, and when the ball is away, 'boom' my hands release. When the ball's in the middle, I keep rotating, 'boom' my hands release. The ball's in; I keep rotating, 'boom' my hands release right here. That is what I am working with, with the one-hand drills, and I am just trying to train myself to trust myself, basically. Because you have a heavier bat and the tendency is to let your hands come out and force the barrel to come out instead of letting it come out on its own.
I'll take about 5 swings. This first round will be about 15 swings. Like I said, it changes based on how I feel. The first part of it is all with the bottom hand. It is just letting my barrel come out, and trying to stay in that slot, right there. Then after I hit 5 or 6 good ones, sometimes it will be even just 3, 4, or 5; if I just feel really good with it I'll just switch right away. Now I go to my backhand.
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