Lake Oswego Girls Softball Assocation

Hitting Mechanics
Posted Jan 15, 2017

STANCE/SET UP Hitting is cause and effect, beginning with the stance. Attain a simple, sound, relaxed and balanced stance, one that has control of the center of gravity and allows for the creation of rhythm and timing. Substance is more important than style.

  • The feet are the foundation, place them slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with the weight towards the balls of the foot and in a straight line towards the opposite batter's box.
  • Flex the knees and keep them between the feet.
  • Align the head, both eyes, and the body, square and level towards the pitcher.
  • Keep the head between the feet and let the arms hang relaxed close to the body.
  • Place the bat close to the launch position angled at 45 degrees with a natural grip having the bat run through the base of the fingers.
  • Bottom hand is at the top of the strike zone.
  • Both elbows are pointed downward and relaxed.

LOADING PHASE

  • As the pitcher gets ready to pitch the ball, the hitter begins to get into position to hit the ball.
  • Hitter loads slow, easy and early approximately when the pitcher lifts the stride leg, hands go back towards the launch position.
  • Keep upper body rotation to a minimum while maintaining good posture.
  • This initial phase of rhythm and timing helps the hitter to be on time for the swing no matter what type of pitch is thrown or the velocity.

STRIDE TO BALANCE

  • When hitter strides to balance, the hands will move back towards the launch position as the stride foot simultaneously moves towards the pitcher prior to the release of the ball.
  • Hands will settle near the back shoulder moving the bat over the shoulder close to a 45 degree angle, with the knob of the bat pointing down to the ground in front of the catcher.
  • The stride foot moves directly towards the pitcher, landing on the inside ball of the foot on a 45 degree angle. Heel remains slightly elevated in preparation for the swing.
  • Stride must be short enough to keep strong balance and long enough to fit the hitter’s body type.

SWING

  • The swing begins the rotational action starting as the stride foot heel hits the ground elevating the back heel and opening the front hip.
  • Front shoulder remains closed with the hands back.
  • The lower half action begins the sequential swing and creates torque in the body.
  • The swing is feet first, hands last, from the ground up, with the back foot rotating to toe down or completely off the ground at contact.
  • The body delivers the bat to the ball.
  • During the swing, the body rotates around an axis maintaining dynamic balance. If the hands remain close to the body, the rotation will be quicker.
  • Less head movement during the swing is better, the head and eyes are angled towards the ball, while the hitter maintains eye contact with the ball as long as possible.

CONTACT TO EXTENSION

The three optimal contact locations are:       1. Ball outside   = between belly button and front foot.  

  1. Ball down the middle = inside the front foot (after stride)
  2. Ball inside = 6” – 8”  in front of front foot (after stride)
  • The optimal contact position has the hitter’s elbows tight to the body in a strong power V position.
  • Palm up palm down at contact and hands 6” – 8” away from the body.
  • Hitting through the ball is a must.
  • The finish of the swing is a direct bi-product of our contact position and extension.
  • Extension through the hitting zone allows us to adjust to off speed pitches and recover from being early.

HEAD AND EYES

  • It is imperative that the head stays as still as possible during the swing. Any movement will cause the hitter to miss the center of the ball.
  • The eyes must be given a chance to track and recognize each and every pitch. Good decisions will be made when the ball is recognized correctly.

UNDERSTAND – FEEL – EXECUTE

  • We learn three ways: by listening, by seeing/imitating, and by feeling.
  • The most efficient of the three is “Feeling.” A good hitter tells her coach what she feels, and a good coach tells their hitter what they see.
  • Together difficult problems can be worked out and corrected.
  • Have a great attitude and work hard.
  • Never be afraid to fail or swing and miss. Go for it!

TWO STRIKE APPROACH

Two-strike hitting is the most difficult of all offensive situations. Hitters definitely should have an individual plan and know how to implement the plan. Last year two strike averages in the major leagues were: 0-2 (.159); 1-2 (.172); 2-2 (.189); and 3-2 (.226). The averages increase with the number of balls. Hitters will be expected to look visually different with two strikes on them.

 SUGGESTIONS:

  • Expand the strike zone.
  • Choke up on the bat.
  • Move up closer to the plate.
  • Cut down on length of swing.
  • Let ball get deeper.
  • Think the other way.
  • Look away adjust in.
  • Develop attitude of refusing to strike out, be tough-minded.
  • Hitters must develop their own plan to cope with these counts.