Slowpitch Softball Batting Tips


Choose the right bat and grip. Bat speed is the most important factor in hitting a ball hard and there are exercises aimed at increasing that speed. As in baseball and fastpitch softball, first study the opposing pitcher and what pitches he is likely to throw in different situations. Because of slowpitch regulations, aiming a hit has gained importance. Common batting problems can be corrected with a little concentration.

Slowpitch Softball Batting Tips
(Maryurys Connolly/Demand Media)

Don't go overboard on bat weight. Most slowpitch hitters do best with a 28-ounce bat. Some studies have shown that heavier bats lose bat speed more quickly when they come in contact with the ball, so a 26-ounce bat may hit a ball harder than a 29-ounce bat swung at the same speed.

Choose a grip that is comfortable. One grip popular with many top players puts the knob of the bat between the ring and pinkie finger. The top hand overlaps the bottom hand by at least one finger. Some batters overlap three fingers, leaving only the thumb and first finger of the top hand in contact with the bat. These grips are designed to increase bat speed.

Exercise to build up strength. Practice with a whiffle ball bat. Some players practice by hitting basketballs to increase strength and bat speed. Tie a tire to a metal pole and hit the side of it, swinging it around the pole. General muscle strengthening exercises will also help.

Watch the opposing pitcher to determine what pitches he throws in different situations. For example, does he always throw a first-pitch strike? What does she throw when she is ahead in the count, and what does she throw when she is behind? What does she throw with two strikes?

Maryurys Connolly/Demand Media

The most common error batters make on a slowpitch softball swing is letting up when the bat contacts the ball. The bat should accelerate through the ball, not slow down on contact.

Keep the hands relaxed and loose around the bat. During the swing, push with the top, or back, hand while pulling with the bottom, or front, hand.

Throw the hands at the ball first so the bat head is the last thing to come into the strike zone. Aim at the bottom of the ball to increase backspin and distance.

During the swing, the batter should shift his weight from the back foot to the front foot to add power.

Let the top hand come off the bat at the end of the swing. It can increase power although it is not initially comfortable for many batters.

New slowpitch rules limiting home runs and requiring hits to all fields put emphasis on aiming the ball to the opposite field. To hit to the opposite field, the batter should move up in the box as far as possible. Wait for the pitch so the bat makes contact when it is slightly behind the batter.

Maryurys Connolly/Demand Media

If the batter is popping the ball up, she is generally dropping her back shoulder. Concentrate on keeping it up during the swing. She may also be dropping her hands--get them up, as well.

If the batter hits straight back to the pitcher, he should throw his hands directly at the pitcher during the swing, which will change the direction of the ball.

Hitting ground balls and lack of power can often be corrected by concentrating on driving forward with the legs during the swing.

Maryurys Connolly/Demand Media

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