Just like baseball, softball is also an interesting and competitive sport. It is played by two teams with ten players each.
Softball has its own set of rules and strategies for playing like every other sport.
Different pitching and batting techniques are used by pitchers and batters to outsmart each other.
Softball actually has two different types – fast-pitch softball, and slow-pitch softball.
Slow-pitch softball is easier to hit due to the ball’s slow pace but it also requires extra force to hit it down to a longer distance.
There are various slow-pitch softball hitting techniques that a batter can use to one-up the pitcher. So, let’s learn about those techniques.
6 Tips to Hit a Slow Pitch Softball
In the case of a slow pitch, the ball comes at a slower speed and increased height due to which it requires a larger amount of force to hit it away.
There are various factors that can contribute to generating that force. Here are some tips & lessons for batting in slow-pitch softball.
Having A Better Stance
The batting stance plays an important role in how well and far you can hit the ball. It is the initial stage that creates the momentum required for power hitting.
A perfect stance can help concentrate all of your physical power onto the bat which in return would transfer to the ball and take it to a longer distance.
While batting, you should be leaning forward with your body weight placed entirely on the balls of your feet. Doing so can also help in a faster transition into running.
The shoulders should be squared with the legs placed shoulder-width apart.
Having A Better Grip
You need to learn the correct grip on the bat if you want to learn how to hit a slow pitch further.
The dominant hand should stay at the top maintaining a firm grip while the non-dominant hand acts as the guiding hand below it.
The guiding hand should have a tighter grip than the dominant hand.
The bat should be gripped with the thumb and the pointer grip. This helps you swing the bat more quicker.
Keeping the knuckles of both hands lined up helps with a better grip too. Use a good bat grip if there is a problem with that thing.
Using A Proper Swinging Technique
While the grip and the stance matter a lot, the swing is what ultimately decides how better and how far the ball is hit.
It is important to know the slow-pitch softball swings mechanisms.
The best way to hit a slow-pitch softball is to hit the ball with the part of the bat that is 5 to 7 inches below the top of the bat.
It’s important to perform a full swing of the bat for a powerful hit instead of stopping the bat halfway through.
The bat should travel at an arc of 180°.
You should also try to hit the ball at an upward angle for a better shot.
The timing of the shot can make or break the shot.
A shot played too early can make you mis-hit the ball and get you out.
It’s always advised to take some time before hitting the shot. However, if you play the shot too late, it increases the chance of missing the ball.
The perfect time to hit the ball is when the ball is around 1 foot away from the home plate.
Footwork enhances the momentum and applies the final touch to the swing.
While you swing the bat, you should take a step forward with your non-dominant foot.
You should never step backward while playing a slow pitch.
Last but not the least, the type of bat to plays an important role in slow-pitch softball.
The weight and length of the bat should always be considered before buying one. Slow Pitch bats range in weight from 26 – 30oz and are usually around 34” long.
Another important thing to note that is softball bats are different from baseball bats. They look similar, but they’re not. So, do not go in the field with just any bat and think it won’t affect your batting.
If you want a good bat, then you can read my other article in which I’ve shared some of the best bats for slowpitch softball.
Common Mistakes in Hitting a Slow-Pitch Softball
Slow-pitch hitting requires different techniques and some players usually end up doing some mistakes which makes it even harder.
Here are some of those common mistakes that can keep you from becoming a better slow-pitch softball hitter.
- Having a wrong grip.
- Trying to hit every ball big. Players tend to rush and try to hit every ball from the beginning which ends up getting them out.
- Players sometimes perform a slow swing and also end up stopping it halfway instead of a full swing. The shot, as a result, loses all of its power and momentum.
- A poor body balance can take away all the energy from the swing and ruin the whole shot. It is very important to maintain good posture and body balance.
- A downward swing is a critical mistake that batters can make while playing slow-pitch softball. The swing should always be directed upwards.
Slow Pitch Softball Batting Techniques and Common Mistakes Chart
Here’s a chart outlining some key slow-pitch softball batting techniques and common mistakes:
|Grip||Hold the bat with both hands, with the top hand slightly above the bottom hand. The grip should be firm but not too tight, allowing for maximum control and power.|
|Stance||Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and weight evenly distributed. The body should be facing the pitcher, with the bat resting on the shoulder.|
|Timing||Watch the pitcher’s windup and release the ball, and time the swing accordingly. Be patient and don’t swing too early or too late.|
|Swing||Begin with a slight step forward, then rotate the hips and shoulders to generate power. Keep the head still and eyes on the ball. Follow through with the swing, ending with the bat over the shoulder.|
|Follow Through||After making contact with the ball, continue the swing with a smooth follow-through. This helps generate more power and control.|
|Lunging||When the batter reaches forward with their body, causing them to miss the ball.|
|Pulling the Head||When the batter takes their eyes off the ball during the swing, causing them to miss or make poor contact.|
|Over-Swinging||When the batter swings too hard and loses control of the bat, resulting in poor contact or a miss.|
|Poor Footwork||When the batter has incorrect foot placement during its stance, which can affect the timing and power of the swing.|
Remember, perfecting these techniques and avoiding common mistakes takes practice and patience. Use these tips to improve your slow-pitch softball batting performance.
Sports, like almost everything else, is not easy. Everything takes time and practice. The same is the case with slow-pitch softball batting. To improve your batting, keep doing softball hitting drills, and you’ll see the improvement.
With that being said, these were some slow-pitch hitting tips that you should incorporate into your play in 2023.
Now, you can also check some interesting softball fun facts!
Keep these in mind, keep practicing, and keep playing.