When playing Softball hitting is the most important part of the sport.
Hitting takes skill, so you will need to ensure you have enough skill, so you can get yourself on base more often than not.
The result of not being able to get on base is, inevitably being sat down by your coach because producing runs for your team is the whole point of the game.
Here are five tips to help you with your hitting technique.
Tip 1- Having The Right Grip
The first thing you should keep in mind is that the best way to grip the bag is to apply pressure with your fingers and not your palms.
The bat should be gripped where the calluses are located.
The bottom hand which is the left hand for a right handed batter is used to controls the bat.
The top hand is then used to support the bat loosely.
Then the bottom hand is used to grip the bat in the same way you would grip a hammer or a golf club.
You then position your top hand and place it against the bottom hand with a straight line.
Always avoid crossing your arms. You should grip the bat loosely.
There are hitters that curl the index finger of the top hand which means it only lightly touches the bat.
If you want better bat control the player may choke up on the bat by moving both hands some inches up from the knob.
If you have, a choke grip this will mean a shorter bat and less power.
Tip 2 – Positioning Your Hands
Your hands should start near your body about three or four inches in front of your chest and between the shoulders.
Your shoulders should be down, and kept tension free. Some players are more comfortable with a little movement back and forth with the hands and shoulders to keep them loose.
This position is commonly called the power position, or power alley.
Tip 3 – Swing
A good swing begins in the legs and hips (the hands and shoulders stay back.) The hitter will pushes off and hit the ball off the back foot as the softball approaches the plate.
During the swing the back knee begins to move inwards and the hips also rotate.
While the hips are rotating the hips remain parallel to the ground.
While legs and hips are moving it’s essential that the head and eyes remain level and still.
When the hitter finally starts moving the knob of the bat toward the ball, the hitter has to ensure that the bat head doesn’t fall below the hands.
While this is happening the hands are is in a 90-degree angle throughout . Swinging like this ensures a shorter arc and a more compact swing.
The front shoulder is one of the most important parts of the body.
There is some stress on the front shoulder when hitting the ball. If your front shoulder pulls away from the ball here are some things that might happen:
- Your head will be out of position and your eye contain with the ball will be reduced.
- You back shoulder will drop down, this will mean that your shoulders will be positioned unlevel on the approach to the ball.
- Your hands will drop, this will result in a looping swing.
- Your back leg will collapse and then hinder you from having a good hip action which in turn will hinder your swing.
As the batter you should allow your front shoulder to track the ball a when the pitcher throws it.
When the ball is thrown and on its way to the bat, arms should be bent.
If you extend your arms to early the swing arm is going to be too large and this will effect the speed and power.
Just before contact the hand will rotate, so that eventually when contact is made the palm is facing up.
Your hips should continue to rotate as you approach the contact point with the bat.
Your back leg should continue to drive into a firm front leg, and your back toe begins to turn toward the pitcher.
Tip 4 – Contact
The place where you make contact for a pitch that comes down the middle is located directly opposite the front hip.
As a player when you are receiving a pitch, you would want it to be standing in the contact spot to get maximum blow.
If the pitch is inside, the contact occurs sooner, in front of the body, and that means the hips open earlier.
When taking an inside pitch you should drive your back elbow into your body so you can get your hands out sooner and open the hips more quickly.
When taking an outside pitch the contact spot is located between the center of the body and back hip, so the batter must wait on the ball.
The hips stay closed until contact, and then the back hip drives through. The hands are well ahead of the bat head on an outside pitch.
The batter must be patient and wait for the ball to come to them. By using good rotation of the hips, the hitter can hit just as hard to the opposite field as she does when pulling a pitch.
The player must understand where to make contact with different pitches so that she can hit the ball hard at each location. This is what we mean when we say “Hit the ball where it is pitched.”
At contact, both arms are bent close to the 90 degrees and the bat is driven through the ball on a level plane. After the ball has left the bat, both arms are fully extended.
Both arms are straight, and the hitter should be looking down both arms and the barrel of the bat, and the V between them points directly at the contact spot. As full extension of the arm reached, deceleration occurs and the bat loses speed. The hitter moves their head down at contact and feels their chest go to the ball while maintaining a firm and rigid front side.
The action is like that of a boxer driving his back hand and body into an opponent. Because of the pivot the back foot and knee are pointing at the front leg.
Most of the weight is transferred to the inside of the front foot and leg. The body is in a balanced position with the weight on balls of the feet. The body flows into the ball.
Tip 5 – Follow – Through
The swing doesn’t end when the bat makes contact with the ball – it is important to make sure you swing all the way through.
After contact, the hitter should allow her arms to extend and her wrists to roll over, ending the swing with her hands near the front shoulder and her chin on the back shoulder.
The majority of the player’s weight remains on the firm front leg, and the back shoulder, hip and knee should be aligned.
Hope these 5 tips have helped you. These tips can easily be used when hitting during a baseball game, not just softball.
Obviously you will have to account for the speed of the ball, but the general principles of a hitting a ball will remain the same.
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