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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fastpitch Softball Hitting Drill - Hands to the Ball

The dreaded Golf Swing is a common problem for Softball players. You know what I'm talking about, the player consistently misses below the ball by four or five inches. You have talked to them about taking their hands straight to the ball and about swinging level, yet time after time they are underneath the ball.

By Jim Moyer

You finally decide the girl is a complete moron and is unable to process the valuable information you are giving her or you determine that she must enjoy bringing you pain and misery.

Your Hitter is probably into the pain and misery he/she is causing you, but on the outside chance that's it's just a bad batting habit you should try this Hands to the Ball drill.

During your next batting practice, place your hitting tee directly behind home plate (touching the back corner of the plate) and pull the tee up to about mid-thigh. Now when the girl swings she must take her hands and bat over the tee without hitting the tee. Now break out the pitching machine and start throwing batting practice. If she drops her hands or the bat head she will hit the tee. Aaaahhhhh, success! Now she can process what you have been telling her for so long. It really won't take too many swings for her to correct the problem, however you may need to do this hitting drill at several batting practices.

This same procedure can be used in soft toss or in hitting from a tee. Just place a hitting tee behind the home plate so he/she can't drop her hands without hitting the back tee.

I have to admit, the first few swings are hysterical. The player thinks the coach is crazy for putting a tee behind her. In her mind you are NUTS thinking she is going to hit the tee. Then on that first pitch when she sends the tee tumbling forward the hitter will have a look of complete astonishment and disbelief. By the third or fourth swing a look of total disgust will have replaced the disbelief. By the sixth or seventh swing the player will finally own up to having poor hitting mechanics. Now, she is making real progress. Just like any 10 Step corrective plan, the first step is to admit there is a problem.

If you have a player with a great golf swing, it may take several sessions to re-train her muscles to swing correctly. Just stick with this drill. The player will absolutely hate hitting that tee and will be working very hard to correct the problem. In all of my years of coaching fastpitch softball and baseball, I have found this to be the single best drill for correcting the "golf swing" strikeouts.

Should she continue to hit the tee, she may very well just enjoy watching you pull your hair out. :-) Then again, you may be ruining the next Tiger Woods. But this isn't a golf team, it's Baseball or Fastpitch Softball and you need hitters, not golfers.

Jim Moyer is the author of Having coached over 500 youth fastpitch softball games, Jim decided to put the information online to allow parent/coaches to draw on his unique experience. See for more fastpitch softball tips, drills and essential coaching strategies.

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