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Whether you have been playing softball for a little while or are just starting, it's important to get your batting down. This includes footing, follow-through on the swing, and body positioning. You may also be wondering if you should step when you hit. Don't worry. We've done the research on how to hit a softball for you, and the answer may surprise you.
You should not step when hitting a softball. You should plant your feet shoulder-width apart and shift your footing when you swing. Stepping during your swing will throw off your center of balance and decrease the power and precision of your hit.
What is the proper way to hit a softball? How do you hit the ball further in softball? How do you hit a slow-pitch softball harder? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more.
Don't step during your swing.
You shouldn't step when hitting a softball because it hinders the power behind your strike and makes it more difficult to track the ball. When you change your footing during a swing, you can throw off your center of balance and impact the quality of your hit. Instead of stepping during a swing, you should shift your feet and use the back foot to push off the ground and gain more power when you hit the ball.
What is the proper way to hit a softball?
There are some simple steps to follow to hit a softball properly. These are the basic movements you should make for maximum power, better batting average, and a higher probability of hitting the ball where you want.
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
You should begin your stance next to the plate with your feet shoulder-width apart. Any wider will disrupt your balance and make it difficult to follow through with your swing. You should also bend your knees slightly. This helps balance and will make your swing smoother.
2. Measure your distance from the base
You don't want to be too close or too far from the base. This will make it more difficult to contact the ball in the correct place and put you in danger of being hit with the softball. To measure the correct distance, you should tap the opposite corner of the base with your bat.
3. Adjust your grip
The correct grip on the bat can mean the difference between a strike and a home run. You want to wrap both hands around the bottom of the base, your dominant hand above your non-dominant hand. Instead of holding the bat in the palms of your hands, you want to hold it with the middle joints in your fingers.
4. Prepare to swing
You should angle your dominant-hand shoulder down toward the umpire and hold the bat ready to swing. This is a ready-position. As you track the ball and get ready to swing, your ready-position will help you get the correct timing.
5. Angle your bat
Like your shoulder, you want to angle your bat down and swing upward. This ensures a positive swing or a swing that sends the ball forward rather than backward.
Check out this YouTube video on how to hit a baseball.
How do you hit the ball further in softball?
Everything you do when you hit a softball—your grip, stance, and swing—determine how much power and control you have when you hit the softball. Here are five ways you can increase your power when hitting a softball:
1. Adjust your grip
Not only do you want to position your hands correctly on the bat, but you want to hold it with your fingers, not your palm. You also want to have a firm but flexible grip. If your hands are as close to the knob as possible, you'll have a longer space of the bat to swing, and you'll be able to get more power when you hit.
2. Perfect your stance
Your stance, or how you position your body when you're preparing to swing, can make a big difference when it comes to the amount of power you have. You want to have your feet shoulder-width apart because this position provides good balance and helps your swing to be more powerful.
3. Practice your swing
A softball player can never have perfect swings all the time, but the more practice you get, the better your batting average will be. A good swing comes not only from the arms but from the rest of the body. Because your leg on your non-dominant side is in front of your leg on your dominant side, you use this balance to create more power. When you swing, you want to twist your hips and push off on the ball of your back foot. This will increase your stability and give you more power on your swing.
4. Predict the ball
One of the biggest components of becoming a great softball hitter is the moment of contact between the ball and your bat. You want to be tracking the ball as it comes toward you and prepare to swing to meet it. Depending on the type of pitch and the angle it's coming at you, you want to adjust the angle of your swing accordingly.
For grounders, you want to start swinging at a 10° angle. You want to start at a 30° angle for fly balls, and pop-ups should start at a 50° angle. These are general guidelines to follow, but you should adjust them according to what works for you.
5. Work on your follow-through
Once you've hit the ball, your job as a hitter isn't over. You should follow the swing through and end with your arms tucked into your other side. If you don't follow through, then the power of your swing is decreased.
How do you hit a slow-pitch softball harder?
Slow-pitch softball has pitches with slower speeds and a higher arc in the throw. These are generally easier to hit than fast-pitch softballs, but it requires an adjusted technique. You'll need to adjust your tracking and start swinging a little later than you would with a fast-pitch softball. Here are three quick steps to hitting a slow-pitch softball with power.
Use your hips
As you swing, you should rotate your hips and follow through into the swing. This utilizes the power in your hips and legs and makes your swing more powerful.
Bend your knees
If your knees are locked, it will reduce your motion and power. You should bend your knees for added flexibility. This stance also enhances your balance.
Improve your reaction speed
You want your bat to meet the ball in front of you, in the center of the ball. The sooner you make contact, the more power your swing will have, and the farther your ball will go.
Watch this YouTube video on how to hit a slow-pitch softball.
Items to improve your game
Not only does knowing the techniques for hitting a softball increase your power and performance, but additional items, such as gloves or the right bat, can really determine how good of a player you become. Here are some items that could help your game:
Before you practice with a pitcher, you might want to master your swing with a stand to hold your softball in place. This helps you practice the steps to swing properly and creates muscle memory you will utilize in a game.
Batting gloves are commonly used for hitting because it helps you get a better grip on the bat. They also help absorb the shock of impact and protect your hands while you swing.
Swing trainers strap on to your torso and your arm to ensure correct motion when you swing by preventing incorrect movement of your non-dominant arm. It helps build muscle memory so you can swing properly in a game.
Hitting a softball involves a lot more than just hitting the ball with the bat. You should use your whole body and do not step when hitting. With plenty of practice, you can get your swing down and become an amazing softball hitter.