Principles of Softball Batting Drills

There is much in common between baseball and softball.  They each involve nine players in the field.  They're each played on a diamond. But when it comes to softball batting drills, there are a few differences.  But before we examine them, it's important to separate softball into two, very different categories: fast-pitch, and slow-pitch.

Fast Times
While fast-pitch softball pitchers throw slower than their baseball counterparts, it's all about location, location, location. The mound and the plate are much closer, which actually gives most hitters less time to react than in baseball. 

It's important to simplify your stance and shorten up your stride. Do this by keeping your hands back, resting the bat parallel to your shoulder, and keeping a relatively wide distance between your two feet. This way, your front foot must only travel a short distance as you stride toward the ball. Because your lower body has a short reaction time, you have to focus extra hard on rotating your hips and letting your upper body rotate quickly.

Slow Going
For soft-pitch softball, your upper body is even more crucial in generating an effective swing. With each pitch achieving next to no velocity, the distance any ball travels relies completely on you. Start off by establishing a strong, sturdy base with your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Hurry Up &…Wait!
The next key is patience. While baseball requires an immediate reaction to the ball leaving the pitcher's hand, slow-pitch softball dictates that you wait until just before the ball crosses the plate to go into your swing. Do whatever it takes to wait for this: picture yourself on a beach, near a babbling brook, listening to jazz. 

When the ball's in the zone, begin by striding your front foot forward, keeping all of your weight on your back leg. Keep your hips back, and your eye on the ball.  Then, take that bat off your shoulder, and swing hard. Let your lower body serve as the anchor and your arms do the work. Try to hit the ball right in the middle, so you achieve a line drive or long fly ball. Do this, and the next thing you know, you'll be rounding third, trotting into the waiting arms of your teammates to celebrate. Or you'll make an out. Who knows?  Softball's a crazy game.

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