Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Looking to become a more powerful, consistent hitter this softball or baseball season? Step in line.

Improving your swing is all about tenacity and determination, and with the right tips and equipment alterations, you’ll find your hitting technique is improved in no time. Hitting can be a difficult skill to perfect, and making solid contact with a ball that approaches at varying rates in varying ways isn’t always straightforward. Keep these tips in mind the next time you step up to the plate.

photo courtesy: livestrong.com

photo courtesy: livestrong.com

Build Yourself Up

Sometimes getting better at hitting (and at nearly every other position on the field, and in life) is simply a matter of believing you have the ability. So how can you convince yourself of your own aptitude?

Building yourself up through positive self-talk and affirmations. Replace “I can’t” with “I will” and take inventory of all the skills you bring to the softball diamond. Every player has their strengths, and understanding you’re an integral part of the team’s success can help you bolster that confidence. Check out a website like Psychology-solution.net to take an online course that helps you feel your best and bolster self-esteem.

Get Rid of Fear

Every player faces a bit of fear in the game, and this fear can take root and cause a hitter to move and make contact with the ball in a completely different way than intended. Fear can cause a physical response, with a rapid heartbeat, irregular breathing, and increased perspiration—not great for keeping a strong grip on the bat. It’s important to acknowledge any feelings of fear to take away the power it may have over you. Identify where the fear is derived from; a worry about striking out, stress about making contact with the ball, and so forth. Examine the worst case scenarios, and realize that while possible, they’re not likely. Channel that fear into energy to use in your game performance.

Slowpitch Vs. Fastpitch

Hitting strategies are much different in slowpitch and fastpitch softball. Offensive strategy for fastpitch hitting often means small hits that allow the team to put a runner on as many bases as possible. Because of this, a coach may recommend single hits, bunting, and slapping in order to load the bases. In contrast, slowpitch hitting is all about hitting the ball as far as possible, as hard as possible. It must also be noted that equipment needs differ based on the league and type of softball you’re playing. Fastpitch softball bats are designed to help you make quick contact with a ball that’s approaching with quick speed. In contrast, slowpitch bats are heavier and more dense, allowing each hit to carry the power it needs.

Fastpitch bats can be easily dented when used in slowpitch softball, while slowpitch bats tend to be heavier, making them difficult to swing with the reactionary speed required in a fastpitch game. Your bat is by far your best friend when you step up to the plate, and a large part of being a great hitter is outfitting yourself with the right equipment to help you do the job.

The Importance of Core Strength

Getting your swing down pat and finding more power in the contact you make with the ball has a lot to do with core strength. In fact, the stronger your core muscles, the better you’ll hit, throw, and pitch.

Refining your hitting skills is about more than practicing at the batting cages. A cheap gym membership can pay dividends if you focus on cultivating those oblique muscles with medicine ball exercises and more.

Follow Through

You’ve heard it a thousand times, but let’s say it again. After contact, you must focus on hitting through the ball, as the bat continues to move toward the direction the ball is traveling. Transferring your weight over your front leg helps assure a long, drawn out follow through, and leaves you poised to make a quick break for first base.

Refining your hitting skills requires a commitment to improvement, with more time spent in the gym and on the diamond, investment in the right equipment, and a positive attitude that will carry you through the toughest of innings. Keep these tips in mind and become a more powerful hitter than you ever thought you could be.

About the author: Jennifer Taglione is the owner of this fabulous website Stiletto Sports. Despite writing well over 500 posts, she still maintains that she is not a sports writer! She is however a huge fan of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Sanchez, the Celtics, and totally kicks butt on March Madness brackets! Connect with her by following her on Twitter @StilettoSportsJ and subscribing to her weekly newsletter. For more info check out the About the Editor page!

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