Harold Reynolds’ Tip of the Month:
Don’t be deceived. You can know your swing without even hitting a baseball. When I was a youngster, growing up in Oregon, I would swing the bat as often as I could. I even put myself on a swing program. Three times each week I would take 100 swings, without using a baseball.
Here is the routine I used; it’s the same one you can use right in your own home.
I stood in front of the largest mirror I could find. I would take 25 swings with both hands on the bat – using my normal swing. Then I would take 25 swings using only the bottom hand on the bat. Then I would take 25 swings using only the top hand on the bat. I finished the routine with 25 more swings using both hands again. Each time, I would watch my swing carefully in the mirror.
From this routine I learned what my swing arc looked like. Often as I would swing, I would imagine myself hitting different types of pitches – first a high fastball, then a low fastball, then a fastball low and away, and then another up and in.
This routine did two important things for me. First, it built arm strength – particularly in my wrists and forearms. Second, it taught me to really know my swing and what it felt like – the balance, control, weight-shift – all those things that come with a sound fundamental swing.
So in the winter, it doesn’t matter if you have three feet of snow, 75
degree sunshine, or tons of rain like I grew up seeing, you can still improve your swing! All you need is a bat, a mirror and the time to take 100 swings. Keep swinging!
Harold Reynolds, a former Major League All-Star,
analyst for ESPN's
Baseball Tonight as well as for the Little League
Baseball World Series. His instructional DVD series Harold Reynolds Presents Baseball is now available through Little League
International. To get information on how you can order, go to