How to Swing a Bat for Newbies

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Rachel
Creative Design and Web Admin

At the ESSC we love having players give new sports a try! We pride ourselves on being a league that gives players of all skill levels the opportunity to play new sports and develop new skills. If you are a new Slo-Pitch player I really want you to feel what it is like when you swing and make a powerful connection with the ball! So I have a few quick tips that you can try if you are struggling with hitting.

You will want to make sure you are holding the bat correctly before you swing. This includes gripping the bat with your fingers and not your palms. You also want to have a light grip until you make contact with the ball to maximize your speed. For better bat control you can choke up on the bat by moving your hands up. But this grip means a shorter bat and less power.

Making sure you are comfortable and have good balance at the plate is very important. You don’t want to have your feet too wide or close apart. You also want to have your knees slightly bent. So make sure you are comfortable and you feel like you are in a powerful athletic position when you step up to the plate.

Another thing to be aware of is how close you are to the plate. You can take your bat and tap the opposite side of the plate to make sure that when you swing you are able to hit the outside and the inside balls with the juicy area of your bat. If you are too close or too far then it might be harder to swing at strikes.

While you are waiting for the pitch you should let the bat hover over your shoulder ready to swing! If it is resting on your shoulder or neck it will be harder to swing when you need too. You also want to be relaxed keeping your hands and shoulders feeling loose. If you are tense it will be more difficult to swing.

When it is time to swing make sure you use your legs and hips for more power. Many players make the mistake of keeping their hips stationary and just swinging their hands, which creates less power. Instead, when it is time to swing, let your power come from the back leg, then the hips, and finally swing your hands hard. This means taking a little step with your front foot and rotating the ball of your back foot (like you are squishing a bug) to swing those hips forward and use that back leg for power!

Your head shouldn’t move while you swing. One major step to hitting the ball is to KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL. If you follow all the above steps but you are moving your head and looking away then it will be very hard to make a connection. You need to watch the ball hit your bat.

When you are swinging you will move your hands towards the ball and you will need to swing through the ball. Once you feel a connection keep following through and don’t stop as soon as you hit it.

I hope the above steps will help your swing at your next game. And remember it takes practice to get better at hitting. So just relax up there and have fun, because having fun is the most important thing in our leagues!