You work and work and work.
It feels like you’ve taken thousands of baseball swings… in the batting cage, in the garage, or during batting practice.
You feel really good about your swing.
But come game time…
…things just aren’t clicking.
Maybe your timing is off.
Maybe you feel like a little bit late on most pitches, or too many times you “just missed” hitting it on the sweet spot.
Or maybe you don’t have the power in your bat that you feel should be there.
And whatever you do, don’t go trying to make a bunch of mechanical changes in a hurry.
Please trust me on this, because (A) it’s not possible make mechanical changes to your swing “in a hurry” and expect them to translate into games, and (B) it’s really not necessary.
Why is it so difficult to turn your off season work into an effective, dangerous, ready-to-go GAME swing?
If you have struggled with this, you’re not alone.
Trust me, I’VE BEEN THERE. I know how frustrating that is.
That’s why I’d like to share one of the best batting tee drills that helped me with that exact problem back in 2009, when I showed up to spring training with the Yankees.
It was 6:30 am in batting cage number 1 (of 7) at the Yankees spring training complex.
The sun rise was adding some light to the day as we were finishing our coffee in our batting gloves and sweatshirts. I was with 2 other players that were getting some extra swings in before our 8:00 meeting.
Each player that filters in and out of the cage has a unique routine that has been put together based on their own needs and with the help from others.
This is where I saw it for the first time… the Net Drill.
Kevin Long who was the Yankees hitting coach at the time liked using this drill with his hitters (I saw some using it with the batting tee and others using it with straight on front toss).
I gave it a try partly because I saw multiple All Stars using it… (such as Robinson Cano)
…but also because I like finding the “feel of my swing” instead of being overly mechanical.
Right away I noticed the difference.
It helped me tighten up my “offseason swing” that had developed over the last few months, because I took a lot of swings vs slow velocity.
(Remember, you’re not alone. It always takes some time getting your swing game ready.
Think of it like this. If you’re getting ready to punch a heavy bag… That bag isn’t moving, so you can really take your time and do nice big, slow wind up before you throw that punch.
Now imagine you’re in a boxing ring.
What’s going to happen if you do the same thing and take your time doing an extra big wind up before you throw that punch?
Exactly… you’re going to get clobbered by your opponent before you get a punch off.
It’s the same thing when you move from drills and batting practice and start to face real, live, hard-thrown game pitching. You have to tighten things up and get rid of the unnecessary excess that’s slowing you down.
Usually live, in-game at bats help take out some of the swing length you build up over the off season, but as a non-roster invitee to Major League camp, I don’t have 20 at bats to throw away, I need to be ready to rock the first time I step into the batters box.
This drill made me short to the ball, while still keeping my barrel in the zone longer, and became the bridge from offseason training to a useable in-game swing.
There is nothing more frustrating after spending 4 months working on your swing in the offseason, then when you show up and face live pitching for the first time, and you feel this revamped swing you spent so much time refining isn’t going to cut it vs upper level pitching.
Even though it’s tough to replicate the decision making, the timing, the late movement of his pitches, the deception, the mental clutter, and the adrenaline spike when you get in the batters box…
…the net drill got my swing dialed in as quickly as any drill possible.
It gave me a chance to COMPETE, and thats all you can ask for in this crazy, humbling, amazing, can’t-get-enough game.
So if you are struggling with a swing that feels a bit off, and you want to tighten it up to be game-ready…
…ready to do damage against real, hard pitching…
…check out “The Net Drill” inside my easy-reference tee drill library – Baseball Hitting Drills for a Batting Tee
If you’re already a member, it’s Drill #5. (Click here to login: https://academy.probaseballinsider.com/ )