Before we start learning how we can hit a ball, it is very important to know the difference between softball and baseball first. Both games are a variety of each other. Softball was invented by George Hancock on 1887 and was known by different names such as mush ball, kitten ball, or simply as indoor baseball. It officially got its name on 1926.
Few Differences Are The Following:
- The softballs are larger and less dense than baseballs; however the former has smaller field than the latter.
- Softballs are pitched underhand in a flat ground and baseballs are pitched overhand in an elevated mound. Therefore, the pitching distance is shorter for softballs and longer for baseballs.
- The bats used for softball is shorter and can either be slow-pitched or high-pitched. Slow-pitches can be done by male or female and is thrown slowly through the air while high pitches are thrown by women in quick manner. Softball has 7 innings instead of 9.
Now with all the differences in mind, let us focus on how to hit a ball like a pro! Sometimes, bats for both softballs and baseballs are interchangeable, especially if its youth level of difficulty. For advanced levels, players are advised to choose the best softball bats they could use that would make them comfortable when playing. Bats usually come in different varieties; however, a player’s choice can depend on the requirement of the games or competitions they have joined.
In games such as softball, it is very important to be equipped with the right skill of estimation in hitting because this is where the ‘runs’ of the team depends. In order to keep the ball hitting, here are techniques that will help you become better than you were before.
Gripping The Bat
In gripping the bat, instead of applying force on the palms, the hitter applies it on his fingers. The top hand lightly supports the bat while the bottom hand, depending on what hand the batter uses (left hand for right hand batters and vice versa) is in control of the bat. Both should be on a straight line when in placement against each other. That is, the last and first knuckle on the bottom and top hand are perfectly in line. The key is to drive the ball in contrast to the pressure ground built by the back foot from the ground.
Hands must be close to the body in front of the chest, elbows down, and shoulders must be free from tension. Knees are bent and evenly distributed on the balls of the feet while the feet is positioned at the center of the batter’s box, shoulder-width apart and direction is pointing parallel to the home. ‘Power position’ or ‘power alley’ is when a player opts to stand in a back and forth movement keeping the hands and shoulders loosely to each other.
Swinging The Bat
When you push an approaching ball, your legs (specifically your knees) moves and hips rotate (parallel to the ground). The front shoulder, one of the most important body parts in hitting a ball, must be driven towards the ball’s direction so as not to create problems. To ensure a shorter arc and a more compact swing, the leading arm is in a 90-degree angle and the bat head must not fall below the hands. For a perfect swinging arc, you must know how to estimate speed and power and must have one of the best softball bats that suits you.
This does not require any technique and sometimes, strides in with luck. Once you get to contact the ball, stay in contact with it by moving your hands in a “spank” position and push it off at the end of the bat.
After contact, it is expected that your arms extend, wrists roll over, chin almost touching the back of your shoulder and hands near the front shoulder. The back shoulder, hip and knee should be aligned and most of your weight is at your front leg.
Above all these techniques, you must have self-confidence. The key is to believe that you can hit the ball and will it to happen. While most of us fear that we will fail, it is better to counteract it with positive self-talk that will hinder your negative thinking. Start the game by saying “I can do this!”