Developing a better Swing
Tedwilliams

Every generation can tell you at least 10 hitters with good swings, yet only a few with "great swings." Ted Williams had one of the most beautiful swings of all-time. It was an incrediblle swing.

So how does one develop a swing like this? Practice. Lot's of practice. 

When I was a kid I remeber watching the popular (at that time) "This Week in Baseball" -- hosted by Mel Allen. It was a great show, especially back then when Baseball was more of a true Sport, and not as much of a Business as it seems like these days. Anyways, I digress. On one of the episodes I remember watching Wade Boggs, who had been one of the best hitters of that generation. He seemed to always have a Batting Average of .320+, although that may have been more perception than reality. Regardless, he was a very good hitter at one time.

On this episode I recall Boggs stating that he swung a bat every day, at least 100 times, even during the off-season, even on game days. It didn't make much sense to me at the time, but my father had explained that this was for repetition. Learning how to swing smoother took time and a lot of repetition.

So I decided that I was going to swing a bat 200 times per day, since I was a switch hitter. Actually, I have always felt more natural batting left handed, although I was a power hitter as a righty. But my dad wouldn't let me bat left handed for nearly 2 years after I started hitting left handed in practice. After approximately 8 straight months of swinging a bat 200 times (100 each way) per day, I finally got my shot. Everyone started seeing how much more natural my left handed swing was getting, and how much more smooth I was swinging both ways.

On my first Summer ball game I picked up a slightly larger than normal bat and walked up to the plate, left handed. I looked back at my dad and saw this nervousness on his face. I could tell he didn't want me swinging left handed, but I felt ready and this time he wasn't my coach. But even my coach yelled "What are you doing!?" ... too late, the pitcher was ready. On the very first pitched I knocked the ball about 50 feet over the right field wall. I saw my parents faces and they were excited. The next time at the plate, I hit another home run. This time it was over the right-center field wall. The 3rd time I hit the ball towards center, and as I started walking around for the third time, I noticed that the ball had bounced BACK into play and the umpire said it hit the top of the fence. Oh well, 2 for 3 with 2 home runs was quite an outing for my first time batting left handed!

Each day I continued to practice my swing. Some days I watched my swing in the reflection of the window, just to see how it looked. I would often correct my swing when I did this, and practice a bit more often. 

So on top of those 100 swings, I still went to practice or played in a game, as well as practiced with mini wiffle balls, which is something we'll get into in another article.

If you have access to a coach or someone who can see you and correct you, ask them to critique your swing for you so that you can practice swinging in slow motion and then use that to perfect your swing during the repetition practice. 

Using a tee for practicing your swing is another great way to develop a smooth swing. I spent many springs doing this. Moving the tee around and practicing hitting inside, outside, high and low zones will help you develop hand eye coordination as well.

I hope that you use these tips and practice them daily. I promise you that everything in life is all about repetition. If you can repeat your swing every day, even on game days or practice, you will definitely develop a much smoother swing, as well as build strength in the muscles used for swinging.



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