Drills For Improved Bat Skills
Hitting a softball can be an incredible tough task, especially for newcomers to the sport. Unfortunately, it’s also the most difficult and necessary aspect of the game. While natural hand-eye coordination is central to hitting, there are a myriad of softball training drills that can be used to become a more consistent hitter. Hitting a softball is fairly similar to most tasks you'll come across in life -- at first, it will seem insane and intimidating, but the longer you work at it, the more proficient and advanced you'll become.
It won't be easy, but learning to hit can be incredibly gratifying; and, luckily for you, CoachUp has put together a certified fresh list of simple drills you can use to improve your skills with! There are plenty of actual hitting drills worth employing, but for the sake of this article, we'll be focusing solely on exercises you can do with a bat weight. These drills will help your form, coordination, strength, and bat speed so that you can put those good habits to use later on!
(Note: The following drills require the use of a heavy bat, or a bat weight)
Stand in the box with the heavy bat, then take what will look like a normal swing. However, when you reach the contact zone, stop the bat and use your wrists to wiggle the bat back and forth five times, then finish the follow through. This sequence will act as one rep – look to set a goal of 15-20 reps back to back without stopping. This exercise will help with bat speed, adjustments in the zone, and overall strength and control of the bat.
Hold the bat over your head so the top of the barrel is facing straight up towards the sky. Then lower the bat behind your head until the top of the barrel is facing the ground. Next, swing the bat forward until it is facing the ground in front of you – like you are chopping wood. However, stop the bat before it touches the ground in front of you. Stopping the motion will help to build stabilizers in your core and arms, leading to more power and better control over the bat when you switch back to a regular weight. Try to do this motion for 15-20 reps, keeping good form throughout despite fatigue.
Hold the bat straight out in front of you with the barrel pointing away from your chest and your arms straight, but not locked. Only using your wrists, rotate the bat in a circle, first counter-clockwise for 30 seconds, then clockwise for 30 seconds. Try to perform this sequence for 2-3 reps as this exercise will further enhance your wrist strength, as well as your core and shoulder stabilizers.
(Related: Read about learning the power slap and drag bunt here.)
These softball training drills do not act a substitute for batting practice, but instead a compliment. If utilized effectively, these strength training exercises will improve your overall bat speed and control – hopefully leading to far more consistency at the plate. However, if you're still struggling at the dish, consider booking one of CoachUp's private trainers to set you straight. Our team's good habits and focus will have you making great contact in no time -- what are you waiting for?