Someone teach me how to be a swinger...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2008 7:56 PM GMT
    ...and effectively swing a softball bat, tennis racquet, golf club, etc.

    (fooled ya with that headline, eh?)

    Anyway, I've played lots of sports in my life where you have to swing something and hit a ball. Golf, tennis, squash, racquetball, softball, and even handball. I've been able to learn enough about these to compete, however I always seem to hit a ceiling. I've never been able to make good consistent contact, which counters my strength advantage.

    My immediate problem is in softball. I cannot seem to make good bat contact with the ball. On the rare times I do make solid contact, I crush it. So I know some potential is there.

    I'm pretty sure my problem is that I pick up my head before making contact, which tends to "top" the ball and of course my eyes are off the ball as well. It's a bad habit that goes all the way back through all the sports listed above.

    Does anyone have some advice? Are there some repetitive drills I can do to break my lifelong habit of taking my eye off the ball and lifting my head up too early? It's not as easy as "just stop doing it". I need some very remedial help here. It is probably even somewhat psychological.

    Thanks in advance guys.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Nov 05, 2008 8:01 PM GMT
    Are there any batting cages nearby?
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Nov 05, 2008 10:50 PM GMT
    Have you tried hitting off a tee? I know this sounds very elementary, but if you can hit off a tee and concentrate on keeping your head down and the eyes on the ball, then your contact should become more consistent. I like Timberoo's suggestion also. I would go to the batting cage and just concentrate on watching the ball come from the mechanical arm and try to follow it until it hits your bat. You will need to keep your head down for that! Good luck, let me know how you did with this approach. PS_ it might be good not to swing too hard either. The harder your swing, the more likely you are going to lift your head. icon_biggrin.gif
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Nov 06, 2008 2:08 AM GMT
    It's simple. Stand facing forward with your feet about 18" apart, knees bent. Baseball bat at shoulders height, with elbow slightly bent.

    Keep your eye on the ball.

    Then close your eyes, grit your teeth, swing, and scream like a girl.

    You can't miss.
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    Nov 06, 2008 2:16 AM GMT
    Timberoo saidAre there any batting cages nearby?


    Yeah but there's only one decent one and it is far away from me. The rest pitch way too wild.
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    Nov 06, 2008 2:18 AM GMT
    RSportsguy saidHave you tried hitting off a tee? I know this sounds very elementary, but if you can hit off a tee and concentrate on keeping your head down and the eyes on the ball, then your contact should become more consistent. I like Timberoo's suggestion also. I would go to the batting cage and just concentrate on watching the ball come from the mechanical arm and try to follow it until it hits your bat. You will need to keep your head down for that! Good luck, let me know how you did with this approach. PS_ it might be good not to swing too hard either. The harder your swing, the more likely you are going to lift your head. icon_biggrin.gif


    I set up a tee and net in my backyard. I thought it might help, but it didn't even though I was practicing exactly what you said. I do swing pretty hard during games though.
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    Nov 06, 2008 2:19 AM GMT
    Even if there was some non-batting exercise I could do to stop lifting my head I think it might help. Is this in the realm of what a sports psychologist might deal with? Hmm.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Nov 06, 2008 2:52 AM GMT
    It's probably just a bad habit you need to train out. I'm having a similar problem in volleyball, timing my jumping and hitting.
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    Nov 06, 2008 3:27 AM GMT
    XRuggerAtx-what were you carrying in the orange duffle bag?

    "On the rare times I do make solid contact, I crush it. So I know some potential is there".

    yes it is.


  • Thirdbeach

    Posts: 1364

    Nov 06, 2008 3:49 AM GMT
    Once you are in the sling, lay back and have the guy hold just the straps, not your hips. You will end up swinging back and forth as he......

    icon_redface.gif.

    Haha.You meant something else didn't you. Nevermind

  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Nov 06, 2008 10:28 AM GMT
    XRuggerATX saidEven if there was some non-batting exercise I could do to stop lifting my head I think it might help. Is this in the realm of what a sports psychologist might deal with? Hmm.


    Sometimes we over think when we do things that should come naturally. My advice to you on this is to keep on hitting on a tee or at a batting cage until this becomes muscle memory. What you want is to have total concentration on the ball. You should get everything out of your kitchen (your head)--sorry, they used a similar line in Bull Durham--- a movie that I loved!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 06, 2008 7:14 PM GMT
    Great stuff, thanks guys.
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    Nov 06, 2008 7:45 PM GMT
    Here's something I got taught during a stunt driving course that's helped me in these "mental clutter" situations that cause problems with hand/eye coordination.

    Before you swing, inhale deeply, then exhale deeply.

    The reason this can help is that often your brain is too busy overthinking something and your breath becomes shallow, which in turn prevents you from relaxing and increases your heart rate (I might have cause and effects there backwards, but you get the idea).

    Breathing in and out, once, deeply, just before you do whatever, can very quickly lower your heart rate and relax your body. After that happens, then your overactive brain can more easily step aside and let your body run the show.
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    Nov 06, 2008 7:56 PM GMT
    fogos saidXRuggerAtx-what were you carrying in the orange duffle bag?

    "On the rare times I do make solid contact, I crush it. So I know some potential is there".

    yes it is.




    Oh in the profile pic? That's my snowboard.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2008 3:05 PM GMT
    I misunderstood what the thread was about. icon_twisted.gif

    You did fool me with the headlineicon_confused.gif