How to Hit a Softball

Learn how to hit a softball with the softball tips from coach Erin Goettlicher in this Howcast video.

Transcript

"I'm Erin Goettlicher, and I'm a professional softball coach. After I played through high school, I went out and played for college level, and then spent a cup of tea at the professional level. I'm self-employed, and own Pro Softball Training. Pro Softball Training offers instruction in all kinds of softball. You name it, we can do it. Today, I will be talking to you about softball.

Hitting a softball is one of the most difficult skills in all of sports. Not only do we have to track a moving ball that is coming at different speeds at different locations, but we have to swing a bat that is only this big, and make contact with that ball. The most important part of hitting is getting lots of practice. It takes lots of swings, good swings to get good at it. And even then, it's a constant work in progress. Even at the professional level, players are constantly working on their swing and fixing struggle points.

The first thing we want to do is make sure we get ourselves in a good stance. Getting in a good stance is going to give us a good base to start from. If we're set up correctly, it's going to help us with the rest of our swing. Typically in our stance, we want to get our feet about shoulder width apart. Some will be a little farther, some will be a little more narrow. We want to avoid too far in either direction. Mostly, we want to be able to be balanced and to be able to feel the weight on the insides of our thighs. Once I have my feet set in my stance, I want to make sure I have a good grip on the bat. It's important that I grip the bat more with my fingers and the pads of my hand, not deep into my palm. I don't want to grip this bat tight, or what we call ""choke it"". I want to have it in those fingers, so that I can have loose, flexible wrists. I need to be able to have good control of this bat. My hands are going to be somewhere near between my ear and my shoulder. I don't want to be too high and I don't want to be too low. So, comfortably right in this area. My next step is to get my load. The load is where we get our weight shifted back slightly. This is what's going to help us create that power and that drive into the ball. After I've loaded, I'm going to do what we call stride. Some people pick their foot up and put it back down. Some people simply shift their weight a little bit towards that front foot. My hands want to do what we say ""stay inside the ball"" or stay close to our body. I want to avoid my hands getting far out here and swinging straight with my arms. I want to keep those hands close to my body, so that I can lead with my elbow, then with my hands and create what we call ""a whipping action"" of the bat through the zone. So, I get in my stance. I'm good and set. Now, I'm ready to go. I get my load, my stride, and now I can swing through the zone. My finish wants to be long. I want to extend as far as I can with my arms through the path of the ball and when I finish I should end up balanced with my weight over my belly button. My feet aren't going to move a whole lot. I'll have a slight turn in my back foot, but my front foot wants to stay strong and firm."

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