This is part a series of articles where TCU Sports Now's Aundre Dean will try his hand at different sports around campus. In this installment, Dean learns the finer aspects of baseball:
As a child, I played football. Never before have I caught a baseball, run bases or swung a bat. This past week, I got a chance to hit the batting cage for the first time with a fish out of water experience with TCU's baseball team.
Initially, I thought hitting looked easy. I'm a big guy, so I expected every swing to be a homerun. However, no matter how fast or hard I swung the bat, I had one major setback – I still had to connect with the ball.
After frivolously trying by myself for about ten minutes, I called in for some assistance. TCU outfielder Dylan Fitzgerald and shortstop Keaton Jones came to my help and gave me a few tips.
The first thing I learned was the importance of positioning and body placement. Before swinging away, I found that I had to set my feet and find a comfortable stance. After Keaton adjusted my stance, I felt like I was ready to go.
Dylan pointed out some more tips, however. During the swing, he taught me to pivot the back foot and swing through the ball, as opposed to trying to slap the ball with the bat.
The boys gave me a bit more insight before I started hacking away. After being used to catching footballs and reading defense, they taught me how to adjust my hand and eye coordination to the ball.
I was told to look the ball all the way in, use my legs for power, find a rhythm at the plate and maintain concentration throughout the swing.
As I quickly found out, it only takes one second to lose focus and the ball.
Not long after that, I felt like I was smashing the ball out of the park. I guess I just had to “hit the ball” as Keaton would say.
I enjoyed my baseball experience, but I think I'll leave the ball-playing to the ball players and try my luck in the NFL draft.