Every softball player needs batting drills that can improve her consistency, power and swing mechanics. Whether you're a conventional batting or a slap hitter, a batting routine that makes you better in the cage is critical.
In today’s article, you'll learn a few softball batting drills to use right away.
The Kinetic Chain: What It Is and Why It Matters in the Softball Swing
One thing that separates high-level softball players from everyone else is the ability to use their hips and core in the proper sequence. This “kinetic sequence” in the swing is what produces elite batspeed and power. Learn more about the kinetic sequence here.
Kinetic sequence sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. The term refers to the order in which muscles produce force in a movement. In the softball swing, the kinetic sequence begins with the hips.
Kinetic Sequence in the Softball Swing: How Players Produce More Batspeed
The kinetic sequence in a fastpitch player’s swing goes like this:
- Hips: When the foot touches back down after the stride, the hips are the first body part to produce power and reach full rotational speed.
- Torso: The hips rotate first, which then stretches the torso to load it up with energy before it, too, begins rotating.
- Lead Arm: The lead arm—the left arm for righty hitters, and right arm for lefty hitters—is the next body part to begin accelerating. Then, the lead arm delivers the hand and knob of the bat.
- Hand: The lead hand controls the bat and delivers all of the body’s power to the barrel of the bat. The hand is the last major part of the swing sequence to reach full velocity before the swing is complete.
Good Batting Drills Improve the Kinetic Chain
When we add batting drills to a fastpitch player's practice routine, we should be choosing drills that improve the quality of her kinetic sequence. Many young players don’t quite get their body in sync, and thus lose power when their sequence is a little out of order.
Ever see a small player with a lot of power? When a player produces exceptional batspeed with a small frame, you can bet your bottom dollar that she has an excellent kinetic sequence, tapping into every bit of her strength and explosiveness.
Two Great Softball Batting Drill Videos
In this first video, you'll learn a variety of different drills.
It's important to tinker, try new things and see which tips and drills might fit best into your individual practice plan.
In this second video, former MLB player Matt Antonelli discusses what it means to turn the barrel and how it can help a fastpitch player improve her swing.
What About Slap Hitters?
Slappers, we haven't forgotten about you!
If you head out to the ballpark and watch a D1 softball game, you'll notice that slap hitters have an important role in almost every team's lineup.
Slapping gives a fast player a chance to beat out otherwise routine ground balls and bunts, getting on base to set up big innings.
Slap Batting Drills and Tips
In this first video by former Olympian Natasha Watley, she discusses how to progress through slap hitting drills to improve footwork and bat control.
In this second video, coach Watley shows a long tee drill you can do with your Tanner Tee Pro.
More Softball Batting Resources
For more ways to improve your game, check out the helpful articles below: