Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the world, and has often been known as “America’s Past-time”. Even though I don’t play the sport anymore, I’m still passionate about it, and love to watch it, write about it, and teach people more about it. It’s been a part of me for a long time, and I’m happy to make this video of what I learned to be the “Basic 3-Step Process” to having a good baseball swing. I learned this process at a camp I went to in St. Louis when I was in 6th grade. The camp was hosted by the St. Louis Cardinals, and I got the chance to learn from MLB Coach Don Mattingly, and the players on the Cardinals at that time. In this article, I’ll give you a few more detailed descriptions of each step!
Baseball is a game of finite measurements, so any little offset could end up bad in a big way during a swing! Though the process may seem very simple, if one thing is messed up in a certain way, your swing can be thrown off!
Let’s start the process.
The Three-Step Process: What You Need To Train Your Swing
You don’t need much to be able to put yourself through the learning, and then the practice, of this 3-step process. The only tools that are really essential are:
- A Baseball Bat or Wiffle Ball Bat, Depending on how much space you have
- A Baseball/Softball, and Wiffle Ball, once again, dependent on above
- A stand-up tee to place the ball on, or someone to toss the pitches to you.
*Note, make sure your tosser stands to the side of you, and slightly in front. The chances of them being hit are very low from this position. They can’t be too far, or too near, or risk being hit.
*Note2, make sure if you use a tee, it is about waist-level with you when you stand next to it.
Step 1: Planting Your Front Foot, With a Slight Angle
I have found over time that the easiest way to hold your feet before a pitch comes, to make all the components of your swing run smoothly, is to have your feet lined up with the plate when you start out pre-pitch. A lot of people stand with their swings offset, but this practice is becoming less and less taught as time goes by. However, it doesn’t really matter that much how you stand, so long as when you step, your foot turns only slightly (I’d say about 10-15 degrees) from being aligned with the pitcher. By the time your swing is through, your front foot should be almost pointing at the space between 3rd and 2nd base, where the shortstop will often play. This is the first step to taking your full swing of the three-step swing!
Step 2: The plant, and the turn
Step 2 is when you combine the step, with the harsh turning of the hips. When you put these two things together in succession, it allows you to maximize your power output that you are hitting the ball with, and also make sure your hands come through the strike-zone as fast as possible. Your belly button should end up pointed right at the pitcher. When you go through this, you have the right speed coming through the zone to allow you to send the ball flying.
Step 3: The follow through
The follow through is arguably one of the most important things about a swing, in that it allows you to better direct where the ball is going to go after you hit it. If you follow through with a hit in baseball, it’s the same as changing the direction of a shot in basketball by following through high. You just don’t want to hit your head, as you saw in my video. This is the best way to make sure your hands come through the zone fast, and you get solid contact with the ball!
These steps are pieces of a puzzle in that they don’t work if they are separated. You have to combine these into one, fluid motion in order to be able to hit the ball successfully, hard, and where you want it to go. The practicing has to be done correctly, and you can’t speed through it. Honestly, to me it’s painstakingly slow. But when you do it correctly as I said, you’ll end up with a solid baseball swing. It’s really more intricate than just these three steps, but these are the basics of a good swing! It took me a long time to practice these in order to be a “good” hitter, and it took years of coaching, and lessons to be a college level hitter, eventually getting offers from a few small schools (nothing crazy) like the shirt that I’m wearing in the video!
You can see my whole video here.
You can also view my poorly-drawn storyboard by clicking the picture below to enlarge it!
I hope you enjoyed, and learned a little! Until next time!
In the video, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t only explaining what I think is the best way to improve or practice your baseball swing, but to show it from multiple angles to make sure that the point got across. IT was kinda hard to find enough videos of swinging after I filmed them to make sure I filled up all of the time that I spent talking. My negatives of this project that I made were that the video seemed quite cheesy, as it was semi-supposed to be, and was also really repetitive with watching me swing over and over again. I was hoping that when I changed the angles it would help a little bit, but it didn’t help a great amount.
However, I’m pretty proud of what I ended up with in terms of it being instructional, and I think after watching me swing as many times as I do in the video, people will at least learn something. I hope so, anyway! I had a few editing issues with this project, with the sizes of the things I filmed not coming out great, for some reason. I tried to fix it quite a few times, but to no avail. I don’t know if it was a weird camera setting, or something else. Next time I’ll fix it for sure…. hopefully.
I’m excited for the group project, and think that our progress so far has been really good. I think it’ll be a fun experience to work with Malec and Emily. I’m excited to see what we can come up with!