by: Margo Hurdt Ostarticki

I see hitting a softball the same way I see taking a test. You do your best and rely on your training and preparation before either taking a test or getting ready to hit. Here are some tips I want to share with you that might make taking that “test” or hitting a softball a little easier. Here are my five softball hitting hacks that you can put into play:

  1. Go in with a game plan:A lot of girls don’t have an idea on what they hit well and what they don’t hit well. This is something that gets a lot of players out at the plate. There is a difference between your favorite pitch and the pitch you hit well. Once you identify the pitch you hit the best, make a plan to attack that pitch in your at bats. The second half of that plan is knowing what you don’t hit well or what your sucker pitch is. For alot of girls, its the rise ball. Make sure you define your plan and stick to your plan in your game.
  2. Attack the first strike you receive at bat: This is VERY important. As a batter, you have a higher percentage of getting on base by attacking the first strike then waiting for the third strike. The main focus for pitchers is to get ahead in the count and stay ahead so the first strike is going to be the best hitting pitch you are going to get as a batter. So be in ATTACK MODE. Now there are exceptions of course to this idea. If your first strike is something you are not good at hitting, let it go. Or if you didn’t think it was a strike and the umpire decided it was a strike, you move on. These things happen ut for the most part, pitchers are going to be more over the middle of the plate at the beginning of your at bat than the end of your at bat.
  3. Look in, adjust out: This idea comes from hitting the ball at the right contact point. Your swing can be amazing and you can pick the best pitch BUT if you do not swing at the right time, none of the other two matter. All hitters need to make sure they start their tracking from the pitcher’s hip to the inside part of the plate and then adjust to the outside of the plate. This will give you the best chance to get your hands out early enough if the pitch is inside or adjust your hands to the outside corner if need be.
  4. Talk to your Teammates: Usually pitchers and coaches calling pitches have the same plan of attack when it comes to the line up. Make sure you and your teammates are chatting with one another to see what they are getting first pitch and what she goes with when she is ahead of the count. This is something that could really help you and your team later on in the game. For example: If she always starts with a curve ball, make sure you are ready to drive the first pitch to the right side. If the pitcher always throws a change up with 1 strike on the batter you know to sit back and wait or lay a sneaky bunt down and really shake up the defense. Communication between batters is key to making in game adjustments and making those late innings impact for your team in a positive way.
  5. Position yourself correctly in the batter’s box: Everyone has their favorite place inthe box. You can find it where the holes are in the batters box but depending on what kind of pitcher you are facing will depend on where you stand. If you are facing a pitcher who throws mostly inside and outside, you want to be in the middle of the box and an average distance from the plate. You do not want to crowd the plate or be too far off the plate due to the lack of contact point coverage for inside and outside. If you are facing a drop ball or rise ball pitcher, you want to be in the front or back of the box. If you pick the front of the box you want to be in attack mode on the drop and make sure your hands start high in the strike zone for the rise ball. If you decide to be in the back of the box, you are more of a patient hitter and want to see more pitches. This will give you more time to track the ball and make sure you are falling for the break. When you are in the middle of the box, your swing is crossing the plate right as the ball is rising or dropping and it makes it difficult to make solid contact. I love my hitters at the front of the box but it depends on the type of hitter you are.

Implement some of these hacks and let me know how they work. Also if you have any game time hacks, share them.

If you have any comments or suggestions on this article, please send me an email at margo@hurdtu.com. Also if you would like to receive the weekly edition of “Full Circle With Margo” just CLICK HERE!!!!

Parents, no one wants your daughter to improve at either hitting or pitching like you do. To get started, you first need to know where her current skills are. This is where to start, HurdtU Softballytics. For more information: CLICK HERE!!!!.

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