You may spend all day knocking balls off a batting tee, but if
you are not swinging properly, it's a waste of time. Unless, of
course, you are practicing with Instructo-Swing. This device,
which is manufactured by Did You Sports and uses patented "good
habit bars," is part batting tee, part hitting coach. Made of
steel tubing, with a weighted base for stability, it looks a bit
like a section of a jungle gym. The batter takes a stance and
swings at a ball that rests on a batting tee, which is
positioned at the open end of a U-shaped arm designed to
restrict a batter's swing. By not allowing clean contact with
the ball unless the bat moves along the proper swing plane,
Instructo-Swing singles out a variety of sins. For instance,
your bat will clank into one of the bars if you drop your hands
and swing in an uppercut or if you don't properly rotate your
hips. But Instructo-Swing does not tell you what mistakes you
are making. You have to figure that out yourself. Repetition
allows you to groove your swing.

Instructo-Swing can be used by righties and lefties, Little
Leaguers and grown-ups (the height is adjustable), baseball
players and softball players. Ken Griffey Jr. and Dot Richardson
both use it. Instructo-Swing may become popular with high school
and college programs, but it's light (30 pounds) and affordable
enough ($199) to appeal to individuals. Batter up!

--Mark Bechtel

COLOR PHOTO: RIC FOGEL/SPORTFOLIO
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)