The Importance of Practicing Dry Swings From a Stopped Position in Golf and Baseball
Dry cuts, or taking swings without hitting a ball, are a great way to practice. In fact, it’s probably my favorite way. By taking the ball away, you give your brain an opportunity to focus more internally, as opposed to when you are hitting a ball and your focus is more on producing external results. Also, dry cuts are a very low maintenance way of practicing, meaning you don’t need to rely on anyone else or anything else other than your bat or club and enough space to take a swing. Therefore, it can be done anytime and anywhere. Going to the zoo with the family? Bring your bat or club with you.
It’s important, when practicing with dry swings (not hitting a ball), that you mostly take swings starting from a stopped position – your stance in baseball and your address position in golf. I see too many people just swing back and forth continuously. This can be somewhat useful, and I will do it sometimes, but shouldn’t be done very often because it doesn’t help you develop the rhythm and feel of a real, competitive swing.
The start of the swing matters. Many golf instructors have claimed that the secret to the swing is the first foot that the clubhead goes back. I wouldn’t go that far, but the start of the swing is certainly an important component to the swing. Why? Before you hit the ball, the bat or club will have changed directions at least twice in your swing. How you change directions (and the start of the swing is a change of direction) will determine in large part how effective your swing is.
Think of it like this: the bat or club bends through the swing. If you are not in sync with this bending – for example, you change directions too fast or too slow and not in accordance with the bending of the bat or club – then your swing is going to be awkward and clunky, and even worse, it’s not going to have optimal power and consistency. Dry cuts are a great way to feel this bending of the bat or club, and training your body to flow with it, but only if you start from a stopped position.
Look, if you want to become a master hitter or ballstriker, you must know your swing inside and out. You must become obsessed with perfecting your swing. The hard work thing is a thing of the past. Yes you have to work hard, but working hard is not enough anymore. You have to work smart too. Dry cuts are a smart way to practice and must be a staple of your swing pracitce, plain and simple. They can be done anywhere and anytime. They give you the opportunity to focus on flowing with the bat or club, which those who don’t take dry cuts never get a chance to practice. But do them the right way. Start from a stopped position.