Hitting Home Runs in Slow Pitch Softball: Getting More Power in Your Swing

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Hitting is an important part of slow pitch softball. Unlike baseball, making contact with a softball is easier, meaning the emphasis is on how well you hit, not just making good contact. It is important for hitters to be able to drive the ball, and this comes from bat speed.

Here are some tips that will help you put some power in your swing:

Stance. A batter's stance in the box is always determined by that player's comfort level. Some batters will sit deep in the box and take a step forward to help create their hip rotation. Many batters will step in and settle for a position that does not require them to move their plant foot. The key to stance is comfort and hitter's need to develop a stance that allows him to bat with comfort and confidence.

Hip Rotation. To generate more power with your swing, it starts in the lower body. The front knee should rise upward and toward the catcher, turning your back pocket of your front leg to the pitcher. As you stride forward, rotate your hips driving your rear hip forward. This rotation or uncoiling of the hips allows the batter to generate power through his swing.

Lead with your hands. As a batter's hips are uncoiling, his hands will naturally begin to follow. Your arm swing will start with your front elbow moving forward as your hands move to meet the ball. The head of the bat should remain back and you should lead with your hands, keeping the head of the bat back until you are ready to snap it through the zone.

Bat speed. As you begin to deliver the head of the bat to meet the ball, you push with your top hand and pull with your bottom hand. This generates bat speed through the zone. Your arms should be extending through the swing . When the head of the bat meets the ball, your arms should be fully extended as you drive the head of the bat through the zone.

Level Swing. Many hitters striving for power will dip their rear shoulder creating an upward swing as they try to drive the ball. This often creates pop ups and miss hits on the ball. The swing should be level driving through the zone, keeping your eye on the ball and making solid contact. Hitters that make solid contact with the ball will have a better opportunity to hit home runs than one that chops at the ball with a poor swing.

Grip. Hold the bat loosely and do not over grip the bat. Also, many power hitters will drop a finger or two over the knob of the bat to help them drive the bat through the zone. It allows them to snap their wrists and generate better bat speed through the zone.

Note: I have 10 years of baseball experience and played more than 10 years of competitive softball. Tips are from that experience.

Thomas Cooper has more than 10 years of softball experience, including league and tournament play.
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