Mt. Laurel Girls Softball

Basics of Hitting

HITTING MECHANICS



Place the bat in front of you and wrap your fingers around it.  Make sure to hold the bat at the base of the fingers and not deep in the palm.  The left hand is closest to the knob of the bat for right-handed batters, while the right hand is closest to the knob of the bat for left-handed batters.  The hands should be touching each other.






Pick up the bat place it on your shoulder with your hands close to your shoulder.                                       








Make “goalposts” by pointing your index fingers straight up.  You might need to rotate your hands on the bat when you do this.  (The fingers will help align the door knocking knuckles correctly and position the elbows in an upside down “V” position).  Relax your arms so there’s space between the elbows and your body.






Lift the bat off your shoulder.  (Check the angle of the bat.  It should be held at a 45° angle).  Make sure to keep two eyes on the pitcher.




Stand in the batter’s box and place your feet parallel to each other and shoulder width apart.  Your first motion during the swing is back—away from the pitcher.  This is called “load” or “trigger”.  Push back off your front toe so that your entire body moves back and your front heel moves up.  Don’t wrap the bat around your head.  Your shoulders should move straight back and not twist.



                                                                                                               


Start the swing by planting your front heel and begin rotating your hips as you bring your hands forward.  Your head should not move forward.  Take the knob of the bat toward the pitcher’s feet.






                                                                                                               



Continue to bring your hands forward.  At this point, the end of your bat will be facing the catcher.  Keep your head down.









Make contact with the ball in front of the body.  At contact, your hands will be in a “palm up, palm down” position.  Do not break your wrists.







                                                                                                                


Continue your swing.  At this point, your arms will fully extend with the end of the bat pointing toward the pitcher.  (The arms form the shape of an elongated “V”).  Keep your head down.                                                                                                          







Finish the swing by bringing your hands all the way around to your front shoulder.  Your head remains down.







                                                                                                               Your hips and belly button will be facing the pitcher and the laces on your back shoe will also be facing the pitcher.  At this point, your arms and body will pull your head up.   Drop the bat and run to first base!                                                                                      





Coaches—use a hitting tee at every batting practice.  Make sure to place the tee such that the ball is positioned on the outside front corner of the plate, as shown in the picture.  Do not place the base of the tee directly on top of the plate, as this will position the ball too close to the batter and result in bad swing mechanics.                                                                                      


PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER





“LOAD”










“PLANT”








      “SWING”





                                                            




  “EXTEND”








                   “FINISH”                                                                            






Follow these steps for the young player:


  1. Place your toes on the “tracks”.  (Draw a line along the side of the plate and then another line parallel to it in the batter’s box.  These lines are the train tracks.  The feet are slightly wider than shoulder width apart).


  1. Make “goalposts”.  (Grip the bat, place it on the back shoulder, and raise the two index fingers so that they both stick straight up in the air).


  1. Rock back and then elbow your brother.  (The swing starts with the front elbow pulling the knob of the bat and hands toward the pitcher’s feet).


  1. Swing the bat and don’t stop until your hands touch your front shoulder.


Practice these swing mechanics as a group and without a bat at first.  Simply tell the girls to “make a fist with each hand and then put one fist on top of the other” and bring the imaginary bat up to the level of the shoulder.  Check to make sure that the right-handers have the right hand on top and the left-handers have the left hand on top.