If you want to play fastpitch softball at an elite level, eventually youâ€™ll have to develop an effective plan to hitting elite fast-pitch softball pitchers.
The question is simple. What are some of the common adjustments that successful collegiate hitters make when adjusting to the next level of fastpitch pitch softball?
Letâ€™s look at tips to be an elite hitter, followed by drills for more powerful and aggressive hitting.
Tips to Make Yourself an Elite Hitter
Here are 6 top tips for turning yourself into an elite fastpitch softball hitter.
Tip #1 Refine The Swing But Avoid Perfectionism
You wonâ€™t get anywhere with shabby mechanics.
Master control over your load and stride, so you can repeat them every time. Once you're locked in, trust your training, execute your approach, and then compete your tail off.
Hitting isn't about being perfect. It's about being prepared and wanting to be there
Tip #2 Train Your Pitch Selection
Elite hitters donâ€™t hack away at everything in the strike zone, swinging at everything while not sitting on a specific pitch and location.
The approach is to swing at good pitches to hit. The mentality is when you get a good pitch to hit, you don't miss.
With patience, discipline, and some good pitch selection drills, hitters can meet elite pitchers at their level by having the right plan and swinging with intent.
Tip #3 Nail Your Timing
If hitting is about being on time and pitching is about upsetting that timing, pitch selection is important.
Pitch selection wonâ€™t do you much good if your timing is off. Elite hitters can adjust their swing to pitchers at different speeds.
Take the time you have on deck to watch the pitcher and nail your timing. Solid timing will help you control your load and stride, which is where your power comes from.
Tip #4 Have the Right Attitude
Mental toughness is an important characteristic of elite pitchers.
Boiled down, mental toughness is the ability to focus on the result that you want in the face of adversity.
Responding positively to failure, using constructive self-talk after an error...being your own batting coach when you have to battle at the plate.
The idea is simple. As an elite hitter, you must realize that you can choose to have the right attitude...
...and the attitude dictates how you perform.
You choose how to think.
Trust yourself and your abilities.
Tip #5 Scout the Pitcher
If you and your team really want to compete with a championship pitcher, do some research. Does this pitcher rely on a great curveball? Is she good at working ahead in counts?
Know these aspects of her pitching style before going into a game, so you and your teammates can create a strategy.
Drills for Elite Hitters
Check out these two drills to make your swing more powerful and to practice being aggressive in the batterâ€™s box.
Hitting Drills for More Power
A powerful swing is vital when youâ€™re up against elite pitchers. Use drills that emphasize weight transfer, an essential for power hitting.
With a drill like the Half Turn Drill, you isolate the lower half of your body. How-to: Take up your stance while holding your bat vertically, pinned to your back leg and back shoulder.
Keep the bat in this position as you rotate your lower body for your swing. This drill improves the positioning of your lower body, so you make contact at the right spot.
Hitting Drills to Be More Aggressive at the Plate
Facing an elite pitcher, you need to be aggressive. You can do â€œno-ballâ€ hitting drills to improve this aspect.
The Stride Drill, for example, conditions your stride so you take the same, controlled step every time.
How-to: Take a stride as if to start your swing and where your foot lands, place a piece of tape at a 45Â° angle.
Your goal now is to line up your stride foot in the same spot on every swing. Find this and other drills for an aggressive swing in this video.
Hitting Elite Fast-pitch Softball Pitchers - Final Thoughts
Whatâ€™s the number-one thing that will help you face elite pitchers? Practice.
Practice every aspect of your swing.
Mechanics, timing, pitch selection â€“ you should even do exercises for mental toughness.
With practice, patience, and discipline you can and will make yourself into an elite hitter.
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