One of the best ways to teach kids the proper way to swing the bat is by demonstrating it. Take them step by step through the process, from the correct stance to sweeping the bat head through the zone to making contact to following through.
The one drawback to this approach is that, when demonstrating the swing, it all happens within a second or two, making it difficult for your players to understand how each step in the process fits together.
This video from playsportstv.com – which offers a treasury of very good instructional videos on softball skills and techniques – solves the problem by demonstrating the swing in slow motion.
Not only should you check out the video yourself, you should show it to your players. The coach explains everything that’s happening while we watch in slow motion as a batter takes her stance, swings at and drives a ball.
The host, coach Jodi Ricciardi, also offers a good memory device that can help your hitters: start by holding the bat with your hands up by your right shoulder (for right-handed batters) and finish your swing with your hands up by your left shoulder. This approach will ensure the batter executes a powerful swing and follows all the way through on the ball.
Note, too, that Ricciardi mentions weight distribution during the swing, beginning with 60 percent of the weight on the back foot and then shifting that percentage to the front foot. This approach increases the hitter’s power, helping her drive the ball farther.
The hitter who demonstrates has a great swing, even if her feet are placed a little farther apart than I’d like. This is one of the most helpful videos I’ve seen on hitting a softball. Highly recommended!
Beside all that, for the best swing your player should be using the great bats. So, you also should researching on the market and read the latest softball bats reviews on the internet to find the good bats and fit for your player.
Improving the Batting Stance
One of the challenges of coaching is changing poor habits that already are ingrained in the player. The wrong way has come to feel right, and that’s the way the player has come to do it naturally.
One area in which issues tend to arise frequently is the batter’s box. Girls have been taught the basics of hitting, but have developed a bad habit or two that have gone unnoticed by previous coaches.
Here’s a short but very helpful video from a great series on monkeysee.com. (I’ve linked to other videos in the series in a few previous posts, so it might look familiar to you.) In this one the host covers a poor batting stance. The test: give the player a push. If she stumbles backward, she’s not using a strong, balanced stance, and she’ll have trouble making contact and driving the ball with power.
The host shows the proper stance in a detailed way that will guide you in correcting a poor stance. With some practice, the stance will start to feel natural to the player, and she’ll be happy to see her hits sailing farther than ever before.