Developing a perfect swing is difficult for softball players at any level. There are so many moving parts that have to be taken into account and each one of them plays a pivotal role in maximizing contact. The elements of hand-eye coordination, wrist motion, weight distribution, and everything else that goes into a swing is only magnified when you also figure in that the batter can’t ultimately see what he or she is doing; they’re basing the success of their swing based on what the ball does. Here are some drills you can implement to improve batting techniques for the softball player(s) in your life.
As tale as old as time, softball and baseball players have spent countless hours standing in front of a chain-link fence hitting lobbed pitches into it. Have you ever wondered why it’s been around so long? Because it works! It’s a good idea to hang a ribbon or something that is easily visible that can mark where the ball should hit the fence in an ideal swing. This is a solid option that will teach a batter how to keep the bat level, the swing even, and maximize contact without having to have multiple people around to retrieve balls.
If the softball player in your life wants to work on his or her swing when no one else is around, encourage them to do the aforementioned fence drill with a tee. It’s important that the batter be honest in their self-evaluation, but this is another tried and true drill. You may not be around to lob balls in front of the batter but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be constantly working on their swing.
This is the closest you can get to live game simulation but there are things you can do to maximize the benefits. It’s a good idea to let the batter swing at a group of pitches slower than what they’ll see in a real game. This allows them to get into a “groove” with their swing. The next round of pitches comes in at typical game speed with a third-round being pitched at a higher speed than what they’ll typically see. If they can hit the faster pitches, the game will literally seem slower to them.
“Practice makes perfect” is more than an old proverb; it’s an absolute truth to anyone who is willing to put in the work to succeed.