How to Perfect Your Swing with a Softball Pitching Machine
There are a lot of great uses a softball pitching machine can provide a student of the game if they’re willing to put forth the effort and hard work required to be an elite member of their squad. With nine players on the softball diamond at one time, there is little you can do to solely influence the game to a large degree, regardless of your position. Now that certainly leaves out a dominate pitcher (or for that matter, a completely inept pitcher) as their touches can make or break your team each game. When you step in that batter’s box however, you have the opportunity to send the other team packing with one swing of the bat. Below are some suggestions to really make an impact this season when utilizing your chosen softball pitching machine.
Although the testosterone in us males won’t allow us to admit it, hitting a fast pitch softball is one of the toughest challenges in all of sports. The rotation, release point and speed are unlike anything a true baseball player would ever see. That’s why – regardless of your skill level – it’s important to master the basics. For starters, it’s imperative to keep your weight back and utilizing hip drive to generate power. You’ll notice novice hitters lunge at the ball in anticipation which promotes inaccurate swings with little velocity. A good way to practice this is to line up at a tee like in a normal game scenario. Place the bat behind your back, holding it with your arms at your side. The object here is to hit the ball off the tee with the meat of the bat. The only way you’ll make solid contact while maintaining your balance is by keeping your body square and your weight back.
Introducing the Invisible Rubber Band!
An additional exercise in the batter’s box to promote proper form we like to call the invisible rubber band. So again, line up as normal at the tee with your arms in their typical, upside-down “V” position. Take three strides and on the fourth stride, swing away. Now, on your next swing, pretend someone is directly behind you pulling a rubber band that’s wrapped around your waist. Mentally, this should trigger you to lean back and force your weight onto that back leg. This is where you should be for every pitch. It’s a common mistake that hitters make as laziness and fatigue take over later in the game and girls will begin to shift their weight into that front foot which is merely adjusting forward for timing purposes only.
Lastly we’ll talk a little bit about your swing. Now utilizing a softball pitching machine is an excellent resource to bring all the fundamentals together. As the old adage goes: practice makes perfect; the more cuts, the more succinct your swing; the more fluid your swing, the better chance of making solid contact game in and game out. For our final exercise, step back into the batter’s box as normal with your weight now firmly resting on your back leg and arms up by your back shoulder. Next, with your stance now quietly still, envision a taught string running from the sweet spot of your bat directly to the head of the softball. When you turn to swing, that ball shouldn’t move an inch. If your cut is too high or low, the ball falls. If you rock your hands back, the ball falls. Any motion other than a swift cut forward will result in a fallen softball. This is how every swing from here on out should look: a solid, forward starting swing directly toward the ball. When combined with the other talking points, these will collectively ensure the proper combination of power and precision that will make opposing pitchers fear you.
So we hope these simple yet fundamental training techniques will help you tear the cover off the ball! We encourage you to take a look around at our softball pitching machines and find one that’s best suited for your specific needs and skill level. But at the end of the day, it’s not really about which softball pitching machine you chose but more importantly about the quality of exertion you get out of it. And check back soon for some more helpful softball tips at PitchingMachinesUSA.com!