Baseball Swing Trainers
Perfecting one's baseball swing is an endeavor that never ends, whether you're just starting to learn the game or you've been a pro for years. It takes practice to master the right hitting mechanics, but a pitcher isn't always around to throw. Fortunately, swing trainers are available for hitting drills and other batting training.
Benefits of Baseball Swing Trainers
Swing trainers are a piece of training gear that helps baseball players of all skill levels learn how to hit a baseball and work on their swing. Stance, grip, hand speed, and follow-through are all part of the basic hitting mechanics of a swing. Swing trainers help beginners learn hitting mechanics and build muscle memory while also helping maintain and finetune the skills of players who are already proficient. From pros to little leaguers, just about every baseball player in the world works some sort of swing trainer into their hitting drills and warmups.
Swing trainers come in many forms, some simple and inexpensive like a standard baseball tee, while others have more advanced mechanisms like sensors to help finetune your swing. Some trainers like the hitting stick require a partner, while others like the power bag or hit-a-round station can be utilized alone.
Things To Consider
When looking for swing trainers, you'll want to consider the following:
- What type of swing trainer are you looking for?
- How much do you want to spend on a swing trainer?
- What level of baseball do you play?
What are you looking for in baseball swing trainers?
- Youth use
- Adult use
- Easy storage
Swing trainers come in various forms to help athletes focus on skills like power, accuracy, and timing. Some of the most common types include power bags, hitting sticks, tees, and hit-a-round stations.
Power bags are firmly anchored bags made of plastic and foam that batters use to focus on swing speed and power. They're especially helpful for teaching players how to properly use their wrists and hands to drive through the ball when swinging, although they don't focus as much on accuracy and timing.
- Builds swing power and speed
- No partner required
- Durable and long-lasting
- More expensive to purchase and install
- Requires more space and installation
- Does not help develop accuracy or timing
A hitting stick is a training device that allows a hitter to practice swing accuracy for different types of pitches. It consists of a flexible pole with a ball on one end for the batter to swing at and a handle for the coach/partner to hold onto on the other end. This piece of equipment requires a second person to hold the stick, making it less useful for anyone looking to acquire a swing trainer that allows them to practice on their own.
- Can be used to mimic different types of pitches
- Great for warmups
- Portable, easy to store
- Does not mimic the speed of a live pitch for timing
- Requires a partner to train with
A hit-a-round is a baseball tethered to an anchored pole that is used for batting practice. Batters swing the ball around the pole, which comes back at them with twist-back mechanics to simulate a live pitch. The chords are adjustable to different heights and distances from the plate, recreating high balls, low balls, and outside or inside pitches.
- Mimics live pitch's speed for better timing
- Does not require a partner
- No need to fetch balls
- Rewinds itself with twist-back mechanics
- Great for warmups
- Repetition helps build muscle memory
- Requires setup
- Missing a swing means rewinding the ball for twist-back
- Less portable and takes up more storage space
- Harder to practice swing accuracy
A baseball tee is an anchored pole with a rubber mantle that holds the ball in place for a batter to swing at. Learning to swing at a stationary ball is great for building basic hitting mechanics, making it one of the most familiar and popular pieces of swing training equipment for beginners.
- Great to introduce youth players or beginners to basic hitting mechanics
- Inexpensive and easy to find
- Simple to use, easy to set up
- Does not require a partner
- Great for warmups
- Less efficient for training more experienced players
- Clean up and ball retrieval required
- Does not help practice timing or hitting different types of pitches
Swing training equipment is a staple in baseball, with most sporting brands offering a few variations.
The SKLZ brand carries a good variety of upper-end training equipment, but it's best known for originating the hit-a-round training device. The hit-a-round trainer is especially popular for its years-long durability and ability to simulate live pitches with no partner required. SKLZ equipment is suited to players of all ages, though the hit-a-round is useful for young players especially.
SWINGRAIL has moderate to affordably priced swing training equipment that includes netting, baseball tees, and gear for both softball and baseball. Its arm strap is popular for correcting swinging form and building proper muscle memory for those who cast their arms out when they hit. It's a great option for those looking for basic gear at a good value price.
PRIMED has affordable and widely available basic training equipment for baseball. It's best known and most popular for its netting used in batting practice, which is useful for learning targeted hits or to pair with a baseball tee especially. Its rebound trainer allows players to aim for a target as they hit while conveniently catching the ball.
What swing trainer is best for beginners?
A standard baseball tee is a great, inexpensive choice for beginners of all ages. It's the trainer that most people start on, allowing players to practice the basics of their swing, stance, and overall hitting mechanics. Hit-a-round stations also help build muscle memory for how to swing since it allows you to hit repeatedly, rewinding itself with twist-back mechanics. Hitting sticks are also a great choice for more targeted practice, assuming you have the help of a coach or partner.
How much do swing trainers cost?
Swing trainers come in affordable and luxury options, with many forms to choose from. A simple plastic spring-away batting tee can cost around $20 to $30, while higher quality metal ones with a soft rubber mantle can cost around $100. Hitting sticks are also affordable at around $40. A full hit-a-round station costs about $180. Power bags are generally the most expensive, with a youth size costing around $200 and an adult size around $500 to $800.
What skills do swing trainers help you practice?
Swing trainers help work on your accuracy, timing, and overall hitting mechanics. They build muscle memory for how to hit the ball and allow you to practice the proper stance, grip, and follow through. The type of trainer you choose helps build more targeted skills. The power bag, for example, trains for speed and power, while the hit-a-round helps build muscle memory of how to swing especially well.