Lefty asks daily to go out and take some batting practice. But sometimes there is just not enough time in the day and the rusty arm is REALLY rusty. I know hitting off a tee is not the most fun drill for a 10-year-old to do, but I encourage him to do it daily. It doesn’t require a lot of space or time or even another person. Lefty takes the tee into the garage and uses wiffle balls. I don’t think young hitters do this enough. Albert Pujols does.
He works out on the tee virtually every day. “When I’m hitting off a tee I’m getting loose,” he says, “but I’m also thinking: put that perfect swing on it and repeat it.”
Working out in a standard batting cage, Albert tries to hit the ball toward the right side of the back net into an area about three feet in diameter, 3 to 4 feet off the ground (roughly the same height as a thrown strike). If he were on a baseball field, the balls would be lined through the infield between second base and the second baseman.
When he does it right (which is nearly every time) the results are awesome. “See that? See how about half way to the screen it’s like the ball starts to take off. That’s backspin. How do I create backspin?” he asks. The answer may surprise some. “Everything comes from the bottom hand… pulling the bottom hand through the baseball. Every time you see the perfect swing, the top hand almost looks like it’s underneath your bat at contact. It’s the bottom hand. All the time. Get your hands inside the ball and let your hands do the work.”