Building Your Swing off the Tee

Written by VersusThu Aug 18 2022
Building Your Swing off the Tee

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Quality over quantity is what matters when developing your routine

Albert Pujols is one of the greatest hitters the game of baseball has ever seen. Yes, he had natural abilities, but how was he able to consistently produce year after year for 20+ years at the major league level?

His answer: tee work.

Despite those who say that tee work isn’t effective, according to “The Machine” developing a good routine off of a batting tee is important for hitters of all ages to properly develop the right swing mechanics to hit any pitch in the zone. Tee drills help you improve your bat to ball skills and allow you to work on hitting the ball in different locations on the plate. It also helps you develop better rhythm and balance.

How can you learn to develop a tee routine that produces results? Let’s dive into a 6x Silver Slugger’s tee work routine and give you some insights on how Albert Pujols goes to work everyday.

“Get in a good stance, good strong position and focus on line drives to right-field.” ~Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols’ Tee Routine

Round One - Outside:

  • Start with the tee on the outside corner
  • Take 10-15 swings
  • Focus on line drives to right-field (for a right-handed hitter, left-field for a left-handed hitter).

Round Two - Middle:

  • Move the tee in the middle of the plate
  • Take 10-15 swings
  • Focus on line drives up the middle (gap-to-gap).

Round Three - Inside:

  • Move the tee in the inside of the plate
  • Take 5-6 swings
  • Focus on line drives pull-side

PRO TIP: Take less swings on the inside of the plate since this spot puts a lot of stress on the lower back.

Keeping the ball fair on the inside part of the plate - the only way to keep it fair is staying inside the baseball and really releasing the bat head after you make contact with the ball.

Round Four - Outside Again:

  • Move the tee back to the outside of the plate
  • Take 10-15 swings
  • Focus on line drives to the opposite side of the field

Round Five (Lower Tee):

  • Move the tee back to the outside of the plate
  • Take 10-15 swings
  • Focus on line drives to the opposite side of the field

PRO TIP: Lower tee - work your lower half. Staying in your legs, back knee down helps you elevate the pitch down in the zone.

Why are Tee Drills Important

Baseball tee drills are a great way to improve hand-eye coordination, barrel control, and consistent/repeatable bat-to-ball skills. Tee drills are one of the only ways you can deliberately change your swing.

Additionally, they allow you to practice your swing in a more relaxed setting, which can help you when you are in a game situation. Remember: mental preparation is just as important as muscle memory in high-pressure situations. Tee drills are also an easy way to warm up before a game.

The Benefits of Hitting off a Tee

  • Improve hand-eye coordination, timing, and rhythm
  • Barrel Control - Develop consistent & repeatable bat path to the ball
  • Work on different contact points (away, middle, in, up and down)
  • Keep focused on one element of your swing at a time
  • Warm up before games

Quality over quantity wins every time

Focus on making great swings. If you make a couple of bad swings, it’s fine to step out and reset - just like you would in a game. Take a few deep breaths and remember why you’re doing tee work in the first place: to repeat your swing and learn muscle memory. So don’t rush. Take your time and focus on quality over quantity.

Now it’s your turn to dial-in your swing. Always challenge yourself and compete against yourself on making good swings everyday.

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