Make no mistake, hitting a fastpitch softball which can be thrown at speeds topping 75 mph is not an easy feat. Having the right softball bat is an important first step. Next, fine-tuning a player's softball swing to make contact in the sweet spot requires drills and lots of practice, like these:
One of the most important ways to improve your swing is to enhance your ability to track the ball coming toward you. Try having a pitcher stand about 15 feet away and throw either a Frisbee or the lid of a can towards you. Because objects like Frisbees will change direction as they fly, this drill helps you learn eye-hand coordination in tracking an object coming toward your bat.
Hit and Run!
An important part of hitting well is running when you make contact. You want to move smoothly from your swing into a run, so don't forget to do some drills where you drop your softball bat and run toward first base.
Do you have to wait your turn in practice? Use that time to train mentally. Here's how:
- Get into a batter's stance with your bat.
- Visualize the pitch coming towards you.
- Take a swing and picture solid contact.
- Try hitting the ball in different directions.
- Use this technique to imagine a ball being pitched to different places (inside low, outside low, inside high, outside high, etc.)
You can use visualizing drills at home or any place you have a few minutes to practice.
One Handed Swinging
Learning how to do a compact swing is important but a regular aluminum or composite bat is too heavy, so use a plastic bat and whiffle balls to try this drill:
- Isolate arm movement by kneeling on one knee.
- Swing the bat using only your front arm.
- Keep the barrel of the bat back as a whiffle ball is tossed softly about 6 inches from home plate.
- Swing just as the ball comes over the plate.
- Repeat using just the back arm.
- Finish by doing both hands together.
- Focus on keeping the barrel back until arms are almost extended and then make a powerful whip of the barrel through the ball.
While batting cages and hitting drills are helpful, they don't resemble a real-life situation. When you step up to the plate with your favorite Demarini bat at a game, you won't be rushing through 100 or more swings. Instead, you will:
- Take a good swing
- Get out of your stance
- Relax then get ready again
- Take another swing
Make sure that some of your practice time imitates a real game to help you not only get the perfect swing but also be able to do that swing outside of practice.
Have the Best Bat for You