Batting with the right technique is at the foundation of any great baseball player. It establishes the foundation of your playing style and helps you progress rapidly as you add speed and practice with different types of pitches.
One of the biggest problems for kids and young adults starting to play baseball is that they don’t focus enough on their batting technique.
A lot of baseball players learn how to bat from their father or first Little League or teeball coach. And once you start swinging the bat (right or wrong) it becomes your playing style.
It’s never too late to take a step back and correct your technique. One way to help is to use a baseball training aid or hitting training aids such as the Swingrail – a popular piece of equipment to instill the correct technique into players.
What is the Swingrail?
A Swingrail is a simple two-piece training apparatus that can assist you in correcting your batting technique and enhance your performance. It comprises an arm-band that straps on your arm and has a loop that hooks on to the rail.
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The second part of the apparatus i.e. the ‘Rail’, is attached to the bat directly above the top hand. When attaching the rail to the bat, you need to ensure that it’s firmly fixed or you can use grip tape.
Caution: An incorrectly fixed swingrail may detach or snap back at you.
To learn how to tie the swingrail properly you can watch this video here:
How does the Swingrail work?
When attached correctly to the bat and your arm, you need to raise the bat to the hitting position with one hand, stretch the loop, and fix it on to the rail.If you are holding the bat correctly, the elastic loop will be stretched by 1-2 inches.
Regulated movement formulated by the swingrail, also fixes the dropping hands flaw. The elastic band of the swingrail keeps your arms at the length of the bat. This makes you aware of the stretching elastic or detached elastic, fixing your dropping hands flaw in the process.
To watch how a swingrail can help you improve your game, check out this video:
The swing created in the restricted/regulated form is the perfect way to swing the bat which leads to a phenomenon called playing inside the ball.
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What does it mean to ‘play inside the ball’?
Playing inside the ball means creating a swing that aligns the sweet spot of your bat with the exact center of the ball. With correct execution, the swing will create enough power to drive the ball to the other side of the field. You can watch this video to learn about playing inside the ball:
To play perfectly inside the ball, there are some things that you need to remember.
Keep your arms inside Your Body
Most of the time when players are told to play inside the ball, they tend to understand the instructions correctly but fail to implement them properly. And this is where the swingrail comes into play.
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When you are trying to stay inside the ball, it crucial to keep your arms close to your body and not stretch them out entirely. Keeping your arms closer to the body will help in creating the right body posture and angle while generating power for hitting the ball out of the park.
Playing inside also involves moving your body. If you keep your body too stiff, you willhave difficulty executing the shot.
Here is how you need to do it: Focus on the ball coming towards you and position your stance accordingly. Your rear shoulder should dip slightly in as your bat goes back towards your shoulder getting ready to hit.
Once you’re ready to swing, swing your bat in a way that your rear shoulder comes in the font and your rear leg from an angle.
Direction of the pitch:
Depending on the type of pitch, the pitch may appear in different areas of the batting box. You may have to face a pitch that may be away from you, aimed at the center or right at you. In order to execute a powerful hit, you will have to adjust your position according to the direction of the ball.
Does the Swingrail Work?
By now, thousands of parents have bought the Swingrail to help their kids improve their batting technique. Among them, there are some mixed reviews.
In our experience, the Swingrail does work but it requires patience.
When you first receive the Swingrail, take about 10 swings and adjust the straps until it’s on correctly. Making sure the Swingrail is installed correctly is key to its effectiveness.
Once it is installed, don’t just immediately start with full speed swings. Start slowly with quarter speed, then half speed, ¾ speed, and work your way up to full speed swings.
You’ll notice a difference after about 2-3 sustained practices using the Swingrail.
Now, for the critical baseball coaches – do you absolutely NEED the Swingrail? Being completely honest, no you really don’t. You can simply place a batting tee inside the batter box and coach your players using that.
Do you need the Swingrail? No. Does the Swingrail help though? Yes.
Ultimately,the Swing Rail is an easy method to teach proper technique to younger batters.
Tips When Using the Swingrail:
Watch and learn:
In order to learn how to play inside the ball, you need to observe the best players when they hit a home run.
Take note of things like the angle andtiming and body posture of the players and try implementing it during practice sessions.
If you want to improve your game try practicing more with the swingrail. The more you swing the faster and better you learn. However, it is not necessary to practice with the swingrail during the entire practice session.
- Swing softly, start with half speed, then move to fullspeed
Using the three swing formula:
After using the swing rail for a while, you may feel a little confident about your swings. This is the perfect time to test your hit.
- Perform a slow swing with the swingrail on just to check the angle and body movement.
- Perform a regular swing while maintaining the body angle with the swingrail on.
- Take off the swing rail and swing at the ball. Try to use the exact same technique that you used when you had the swing rail attached.
For best results, try having a coach or a friend watch you do this. Take turns going back and forth and evaluating each other’s technique. This is a great way to get feedback and rapidly progress.
Swingrail can be a great addition to your practice sessions, it may feel hard at first but with practice, it can work wonders. I hope all of this has helped you learn about Swingrail and its benefits. If you have any comments or questions about the Swingrail, let me know!
My name is David Farnum and I’ve been a Little League Coach in my community for the past 7 years. With 2 boys playing baseball and 1 girl playing softball, most weekends I can be found near a baseball diamond.