Updated: March 11, 2021
The "Pepper" Hitting Drill is a great drill to develop bat control and a short, quick swing. The "Wiffle Golf Ball" is excellent for perception and aspect of the ball. "Don't Squish the Bug" is one of the softball hitting drills that is done with a tee. "Toss from Behind" is a difficult drill at first, but it is useful for tracking the ball better and keeping your head still so you can make contact with the ball as you follow through your swing.
We all know the adage: practice makes perfect. Here are some softball hitting drills that can help keep your practice fun and interesting.
Pepper is a great drill to develop bat control and a short, quick swing. The hitter stands 20 to 25 feet away from the three infielders who position themselves two feet apart. The batter will hit the softballs or tennis balls using a short, quick downward stroke. Try to hit the balls sharply with just one or two hops to the fielders. The fielder plays the ground ball and quickly tosses a one-half to three-quarter speed pitch back to the hitter. The batter then hits the ball where it is pitched.
If you are a right-handed batter, the object is to hit the inside pitch to the fielder to your left, hit the pitch in the middle of the plate to the infielder directly in front of you, and hit the outside pitch to your right.
Once you are comfortable with this drill, mix it up by using two softballs at once. This keeps you swinging and keeps the infielders on their toes.
This drill is excellent for perception and aspect of the ball. You will be hitting the smaller waffle golf balls utilizing a taped-up narrow stick as a bat. The pitcher will toss the waffle golf balls and the batter should practice hitting line drives or balls hit hard on the ground.
It is a difficult drill at first, but it is useful for tracking the ball better and keeping your head still so you can make contact with the ball as you follow through your swing.
You can use tennis balls or regular size softballs for this drill. Tennis balls are a great choice for beginning athletes. The hitter sets up for a normal soft toss, however, the pitcher stands and will toss the balls from behind the hitter. The drill forces the batter to wait until the last moment to start their swing. It also helps to initiate and learn a short, compact swing.
This is one of the softball hitting drills that is done with a tee. Once the ball is on the tee and the hitter's feet are in the proper batting stance, a coach or teammate places the bucket of balls behind the back foot of the hitter. The drill allows hitters to work on and learn the proper transfer of weight from the back leg. The hitter cannot simply rotate their back leg while the foot is anchored. This drill will also give immediate feedback on whether the weight transfer is correct or incorrect.
For this drill, set one tee in front of the plate and the other tee will be located behind the plate, but two inches higher. The hitter takes their normal stance, except a little further back from the plate than usual. A softball is placed on the front tee and the batter must hit the ball without disturbing the back tee. This is one of the softball hitting drills that you can practice by yourself.
When doing tee work, it's important to have a visual reference to help hitters with their stance. This training guide instills fundamental hitting concepts with a trusted visual aid and instills consistency throughout the tee drills in your movement and creating muscle memory. Understanding that the normal batting stance (i.e. front foot land) stays the same whether the pitch is in our out is an important concept for hitters. While the feet should stay the same, the contact point changes based on where the pitch is located.
The Hitting Deck shows a complete right and left side contact zone and the hitter's stance in relation to the tee placement. The Stride Guide and Front Foot Landing zone help to teach this principle. The Hitting Deck can be used to practice by yourself.
By utilizing various softball hitting drills like the ones mentioned here, players can elevate their game, sharpen their mechanics of swinging, and strengthen their upper body while staying engaged during practice year-round. Keep practicing and you will be able to handle anything that comes your way!
What are your favorite drills? We'd love to know what drills work best for you/your players.
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