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Most Useful Tips on Improving Softball Hitting

Most Useful Tips on Improving Softball Hitting

When playing softball, the most complex roles that every player need to master is softball hitting. Players who cherish playing softball have special connection to it for better mental and physical development. It is one of the games that require the mind and body working together for top results. Knowing how to throw and hit a ball is not enough, it is prudent to perfect the skills in order to avoid being left behind. Here are the most useful tips on hitting the softball that you require.

Understand personal techniques

To advance in softball, players are advised to understand themselves and develop individual tactics. While it is okay to look at others and how they do it, trying to copy them will not help. Work on your techniques and improve on them from time to time. A good way to do this is making every game a learning session. Work closely with the team leader and coach to get a review of personal techniques and how to improve on them. This will make it easy to fine tune every aspect of your hitting so that moments taken in the game helps to bring top results.

Getting the perfect grip on the bat

To be sure of a perfect hit every moment, you need the right bat grip. Professional softball coaches insist that you should grip the bat with a handshake. This gives you better control and makes targeting easy. Place the bat in the front and where possible pinch it between index finger and thumb. The objective is keeping the wrist loose, get top speed and make it possible to explode the hands to the ball. Remember that this requires patience to try, practice and perfect until it becomes part of you.

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Softball Performance – Tips & Tricks for Softball Hitters

Softball hitters are the engine of a softball game. Hitters do make the game lively and enjoyable. As such, I am pretty sure enough training on drills and emphasis has already been made to bring up perfect hitters.  But drills alone aren’t all that one needs to win. A few tricks will supplement a winner. When all teams are equally prepared, the winning team will only need utilize just one simple trick to gain an upper hand in the competition and outperform. Thus, in this edition, I wish to take my hitter readers through a simple “recipe” to outplay and outperform in the field.

#1. Be consistent in training: train, train and train always

To be a perfect hitter in softball is a daily full-time job. I mean it. Any sincerely good hitter will confess that hitting doesn’t come easy as it looks when other people do it. To be a good hitter, you have to invest loads of time in training. One important tip is that you should be consistent and learn to throw repeatedly with only one single style constantly. Of course you can add some showoff and pomp but only when after you are absolutely sure of winning.

 #2. Be confident: …if you think you can do it, you will surely do it.

It’s not just an issue of telling yourself you can. It means knowing you can. Obviously, such confidence in anything can only come from adequate training/learning. So, tip #1 will be a key to tip #2.  When you are confident, you will be sure of the perfect swings and perfect releases regardless of how a pitch is hurled at you.

#3. Learn the pitching discipline

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A New Hitting Training Aid You Want to Know About

By Coach Marc

First, I have to make a confession: “Hi, my name is Marc and I like stuff.”

Just like most grown men, I especially like tech stuff. And as a softball coach, I like testing training aids. Granted, some of them can be pretty bad! However, you always have a few good ones!

That’s why I’m excited to tell you about a brand hitting training aid i discovered a few weeks ago.

In 20 years of coaching, i’ve seen a lot of training aids and have tested dozens of them. I was also an early adopter of video analysis technology (Dartfish, Rightview Pro, Coach’s Eye Mobile App, etc.). Needless to say, I’m not easily excited by new stuff anymore.

This new hitting training aid is an exception to this. Truth is, I really like it. It’s just great. Really.

zepp-softballIt’s call ZEPP.

It’s a little nifty tool you hook to your bat, take a swing and instantly a 3D display of your swing shows on your mobile device. No more needs for cameras, laptops, or wires to do an in-depth swing analysis.

All you need is your smart phone, the app and the device. This is honestly a god’s send for coaches, instructors and athletes who are serious about improving their hitting.

What results can you get using Zepp?

  • Build a short and efficient swing
  • Hit more line drives
  • Add bat speed and power
  • Develop quick hands
  • Stay long in the zone

What does it track?

The 3D swing analysis features:

  • 3D Swing
  • Attack angle
  • Bat speed
  • Hand speed
  • Time to impact
  • Vertical angle

How does it work?

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Softball Tips – Upping Your Focus Level Pays Off

By Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

softball-hitting-tips-mental-gameTonight I was working with one of my top hitting students, a girl named Amy who always draws oohs and ahhs when people watch her swing the bat. She’s a very good hitter, better than she herself realizes, I think, and really turned some heads as a varsity starter last year when she was a freshman.

Her normal swing is a good one, but tonight while we were doing some front toss I noticed something. At one point you could just see that something had changed with her — and changed for the better.

I had to stop and ask — did your concentration level just go up? Yes, she answered. She told me that the last swing, where the ball just jumped off her bat in what looked like it would’ve been a 300 foot home run if we were at a field instead of in a cage, she just totally blocked out all other thoughts and just focused on the ball.

What a concept, eh? We often tell hitters to “see ball, hit ball,” but how often do they actually accomplish it? There’s always some nagging thought getting in the way, whether it’s an instruction, a consequence (such as I need to get a hit so we can score the runners on base), a fight with a parent or teammate, a fielding error from last inning or something else.

Yet what you really need as a hitter is that pure concentration. When you are totally focused, the ball looks bigger and gets slower. You’re right there in the moment, just you and the ball, only you have a big ol’ bat in your hands.

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Softball Tips – Practice Makes Permanent

By  Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

softballtips-practicepermanentMany of you have probably heard the expression “Practice doesn’t make perfect — it makes permanent.” Yet how often have you really thought about that in the context of your own work?

I know I see that in action all the time. Walking through a facility or along a field I will see teams diligently running drills or working on techniques that essentially have them practicing to lose. Even though they may have best of intentions.

I see it with hitting a lot. I like hitting stations as much as the next coach, but they can do as much harm as good if they’re not set up or supervised properly.

Now, if you have older players whom you’ve worked with for awhile you can probably have them work the stations without someone being with them every minute. But for younger players it often doesn’t work as well.

I will see young players putting no effort into hitting off a tee because they think it’s for babies. So they just sort of knock the ball off instead of working on elements of their swings.

Soft toss is another one that can be problematic. Players will toss arcing balls to one another, which creates all sorts of problems in the swing that will have to corrected later.

But it’s not just hitting. You can see it in throwing, when players just push or lob the ball to one another while chattering away. You see it in the way they catch or field, just going through the motions instead of working on technique. They figure as long as they get the ball, or get it to wherever it needs to go next, they’ve done their jobs. But then, when they really need the better skills, those skills aren’t there — because they haven’t developed them.

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Lucky You Don’t Have to Give Softball Success Back!

softball hitting tips

By Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

I’m sure you know people who still believe in “hands to the ball” hitting cue. I, for one, think that’s a terrible cue that will cause more problems than it cures, especially because I don’t think it will cure anything.

Regardless of the specifics, however, this issue does get me thinking because at one time I DID use that very same cue, and put my hitters through some of the drills that encouraged it (such as soft tossing balls and hitting them with the knob, which I picked up at a coaching clinic).

What I was thinking, though, was thank goodness none of the hitters I worked with, either on my team or on the side, have to give back any of their hits now that I have better information.

That’s the funny thing about a forum like ours. We can expend lots of time, passion and electrons arguing various positions on how to execute differen skills. At times it can sound like one of the taboo topics (politics, religion), especially when True Believers clash or those with a particular agenda try to bring everyone else around to their point of view.

Yet in the end, what counts is whether we’ve helped players get better. Even if we sort of backed into it.

I am a huge believer in confidence when executing athletic skills. Goodness knows I’ve given plenty of instruction, especially early in my career, that makes me cringe now. Fortunately, though, the players I worked with, male and female, were able to overcome any deficiencies at least in part because they were so filled with confidence that their bodies naturally figured out what to do.

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Softball Hitting Q&A with Crystl Bustos



By Stacie Mahoe

After having Crystl Bustos in Hawaii and getting to see her work with young softball players, I thought she’d be a good person to ask about softball hitting and hitting instruction. Crystl graciously took some time to answer 10 softball hitting instruction questions for us!

1. What’s your favorite thing about working with young hitters?
My favorite thing about working with young hitters is to watch them grow and get better

2. What are some of the common myths or misconceptions hitters come to you with? (things they’ve been told by other coaches that isn’t really helpful)
Squish the bug. That this is softball not baseball so the swing is way different. That they can’t hit homeruns.

3. What is the hardest part of teaching hitters to improve their swing?
Getting them to practice at home!

4. When a hitter comes to you and has multiple areas of her swing to work on, how do you know where to start?
I start from the ground up and age sometimes plays a role.

5. What are some of the most common problems you see in hitters that come to you for help?
They don’t know why they should do what we are telling them to do.

6. What are some of the things you feel you do differently from other hitting coaches?
I get them to understand why we do what we do and how to fix it themselves.

7. When a parent is looking for a hitting instructor to send their daughter to, what should they look for? What kinds of questions should they ask?
Why do you do that? Why is that wrong? Why is that way right? A good hitting coach should know “why” and it when they tell you “why” it should make sense.

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Smart Softball Players Take Control

By Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

softball-slappingThe other day I had a hitting lesson with a girl named Erin, a girl I converted to a slapper last year and who is now playing at the 16U level. As we were working on various techniques she can do to take advantage of what the defense gives her, she told me something that just warmed my old heart.

She told me after the last tournament she went to her coach and asked her if it would be ok for her to make some decisions on her own regarding what to do with the next pitch, based on what she saw with the defense. Apparently the coach had been calling a lot of bunts — Erin is the leadoff hitter — despite the fact that the defense was playing her in close.

To me, that’s a great thing on two levels. First, she approached it the right way. Rather than just ignoring the coach or giving up, she went to her with an idea. Second, she knew enough and was confident enough in her own abilities to want the choice of what to do.

I also feel good about that because Erin not only is my student, she played for me at 14U for two years. I am a big believer in giving players leeway on what they do in certain situations, such as whether to take the extra base when they can see the play in front of them, or what technique to use when the defense tries to take away certain aspects (as in this case). Obviously she was paying attention.

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Softball Performance Tips – Making Time for Practice

notimeBy Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

Now that school is back in full swing time is at a premium for fastpitch softball players. Especially high school age players who are either in-season right now or playing other sports.

The demands of schoolwork and/or other sports/activities make it easy to say “I don’t have time to practice.” And that’s true to an extent — it really is difficult to find the time in the midst of everything else going on.

Yet the fact remains if you’re a pitcher, come next summer the hitters you’re facing won’t care that you had volleyball practice after school or that you were taking three AP classes in the fall. The only thing they’ll look at is how fat that pitch is and how hard they can hit it.

On the other side, if you’re a hitter, the pitchers won’t care if your free throw percentage was 85% or you sat first chair flute in the band. If you’re not ready to hit they’ll simply blow the ball right by you.

softballplayerI’m not saying it’s bad to have other activities, sports and interests. Personally, I think it’s a good thing. But you can’t use it as an excuse not to practice softball if you want to play at a high competitive level.

No matter what, you have to make time to practice. It might be when you’re dead tired after running sprints, or while you still have a big project due in a few days. It won’t be easy, but then nothing worthwhile ever is.

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Softball Tips – You Gotta Have Heart

softball tips heart

By Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

Most of the time when softball people get together to discuss the game, the talk turns to technique. They’ll debate for hours on end regarding the best way to hit a ball, pitch a ball, throw a ball, etc. They’ll talk about athleticism, conditioning and a lot of other physical aspects.

One subject that rarely comes up, though, is heart. That’s a shame too, because while a player with great physical skills is a valuable thing to have, without heart you’re not going to win as many games as you could.

Heart is what keeps a player going when others might give up. While a player with heart loves to win as much as the next person, winning is not what ultimately drives her. Instead, she plays for the love of the game, and thus focuses on the game itself rather than the outcome.

Players with heart are highly valuable to a team. Just as a player who loses heart can bring a team down, a player who has heart can drive her team to keep playing even when the odds are against them.

In fact, players who have heart often love the challenge of overcoming tough odds. That’s not to say that they purposely try to get behind in a game, but when it does happen on its own it brings out the best in them.

The thing about heart is it’s not always easy to spot, especially in a tryout situation. A player can look like a world-beater in tryouts when there’s no win or loss at stake. There is pressure to perform, of course, but it’s a different type of pressure.

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