Improving Your Swing Through Soft Toss
Albert “The Machine” Pujols, runs through how to use the soft toss to prepare for batting practice.
Continuing from his lesson on tee work, MLB veteran Albert “The Machine” Pujols this article explains how to utilize the soft toss in preparation for batting practice. It’s based on our exclusive training video with Pujols, which can be accessed with a subscription to Versus via our website or by downloading the app.
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This article is designed to follow up on what Albert Pujols and Amanda Lorenz said about hitting off the tee, but also can be used as a stand-alone resource.
Now, let’s take a look at the four main takeaways Albert Pujols has for utilizing the soft toss to prepare for batting practice.
Control Your Hitting Direction
A primary goal for Pujols is using soft toss to control his hitting direction. At this stage of his prep for batting practice, Pujols’ aim is for each and every one of his hits to be fair and strong line drives.How does he do this?
By focusing on the key factors that influence hitting direction:
- Stay inside the ball
- Keep shoulders square
- Maintain a strong stance
- Control hip movement
- Stay close and let the hands do the work
Paying close attention to all of these factors will reduce the chances of hitting a foul ball and help you control hitting direction.
Build Up Your Swing
Remember, the purpose of working with the soft toss is to build up your swing for batting practice.
Keep this in mind throughout the entire practice, aiming for quality always.
Make sure to evaluate each hit, paying careful attention to the ball’s flight to see if you need adjustment.
Pujols can tell that his swing is where it needs to be when the ball travels straight as an arrow after impact, barely spinning at all.
Keep it Simple
Pujols makes this same point in his training video on tee work.
When utilizing the soft toss, Pujols keeps it simple and focuses on line drives only.
There’s plenty of time to get more complex in batting practice, but the whole point of tee work and soft toss is to set a good foundational swing for the day.
And the best way to do that is to stick to the basics. In other words, always keep it simple.
Stay 100% - Game time Swing Only
Pujols uses soft toss as a progression from hitting off the tee.
By soft toss, he’s nice and loose and ready to take his ‘A’ swing—or as he puts it, “The one I really want to take in the game.”
Practicing these game time swings is the whole point of hitting off the tee and soft toss. The idea is to get intentional, quality work in at game-level intensity in order to reinforce as “close to perfect” swing mechanics as possible.
You can then carry this perfect swing through batting practice and the game to take your hitting to the next level.
While we’ve translated this training video into text as well as possible, there are some parts of the lesson that come across much better on film.
Do yourself a favor—if you’re serious about improving your hitting—sign up to Versus to watch the rest of the training videos from Albert Pujols, and the other Versus athletes and coaches.
We’ve got tons of content from elite-level softball and baseball players, plus world-class coaches—covering everything from hitting fundamentals, developing into a power hitter, and facing different pitches.
- A Guide to Tee Work
- Dialing in your Tee Work
- Building your Swing off the Tee
- How to Prepare and Dial-in your Focus
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