Tee for One, With a
Side of Wiffle Balls
By Tony Gwynn
All-Star Outfielder, San Diego Padres
When most parents talk to their kids about hitting, it's in the backyard with someone throwing something and someone swinging something. However, for me the most effective way to start is to go out and buy a tee and a bag of Wiffle balls. It will cost you $25. Tee it up and start taking hacks.
The sooner you can hit a Wiffle ball cleanly off of a tee, the sooner you will become a better hitter. When you hit a Wiffle ball off of a tee correctly it acts like a knuckleball. You can hear the air going through the ball and you see immediately what you are doing right and wrong. When you don't hit it correctly, you create spin on the ball and the ball goes all over the place. When the spin is there, there are problems to be corrected.
Even after 18 years in the big leagues, every winter I go home and break out the tee and Wiffle balls. When the ball jumps off the bat as a knuckleball, I know that I am doing things right. When there is spin, I have to make adjustments.
So for 25 bucks you can go into your garage, not break any windows and really work on your craft. It is not the most exciting thing, so you have to get creative. I put my headphones on and listen to my favorite music and concentrate on my skills as a hitter and take my hacks. It's a combination between the right equipment and a work ethic.