This post was most recently updated on February 11th, 2020
You’ve probably seen softball players make a powerful hit look easy. The truth is this skill doesn’t come naturally. It takes a lot of practice and proper mechanics to know how to hit a softball with power. Aside from getting the right equipment, technique is king.
Here, we will teach you how to hit with power with the right grip, stance, angle, swing, and more. Let’s get started:
List of Contents
To start, you should have a comfy grip. If you’re not sure how to grip the bat right, imagine that you have rings on all your fingers. All of these imaginary rings should align in a straight line.
Always apply pressure on the bat through your fingers, not your palm. This will keep the bat loose enough for a nice swing but intact so it wouldn’t go flying with the ball after the swing.
Your lower knuckle should align with your upper knuckle. It may take time to get used to this grip, so make sure that you master this as you move into the next phase.
Your stance should always be balanced and unstrained. We recommend the K Position when batting. It prevents you from dropping your shoulder while in the swinging position.
The foundation of batting power is a good position. Never skip this part.
You should always have your knees slightly bent with most of your weight channeled to the back leg. This is important as you load and stride. Also, it will prevent you from lunging forward after the swing.
The back leg weight will drive your front leg during the swing. This will create more momentum which will translate to more power.
The rule of thumb is that the lead arm – the one in front – should be straightened and not bent. With this, your rear elbows should be down and tightly bent. Your lead elbow will be higher than the other to let you launch the ball up and not the ground.
Load and stride
Once you have a good grip of the bat and you’ve mastered the right position, it’s time to load and stride. The right time to load and stride is when the ball is already in its arc.
The load phase is when you shift your back leg weight to the front leg to drive it for the swing. By transferring all the back leg weight to the lead, you will have a solid stride.
Always aim for a solid and strong stride. This is the key to achieve a powerful hip snap.
Wrist and hip snap
The wrist and hip snap should happen simultaneously. Just as when you are transferring your back leg’s weight to the lead leg, you need to rotate your hip in a snap to produce excellent hitting power.
If you do this right, your back will rotate toward the pitcher. You need to pull the bat forward but it should still point backward. The moment your arms exit the plate, perform the snap or wrist rotation to drive the bat forward for the contact.
Performing a highly loaded and powerful swing takes a lot of practice. Also, it needs the right bat for the job. For power hitters, an end-loaded bat will give more momentum during the swing, thus driving the ball through the zone.
Still, end-loaded bats are more difficult to control than balanced types. Again, practice is the key.
Power hitters should always aim to hit the ball slightly below the horizontal centerline. This area will give the ball more speed by creating an under-spin.
After the swing, follow-through takes place. As the ball is flying on air, you have to drop the bat and ace that home run.
The key to home runs: launch angle
Knowing how to hit a softball with power isn't just about loading the ball with power. You also need to know where the ball is going after it bounces off the bat. This is where the launch angle comes.
The higher the angle number, the higher the ball’s launch height will be. Besides, you wouldn’t want your power hit to plant the ball to the ground. Here’s a rough estimate of each possible launch angle:
-Less than 10 degrees launch angle: ground
-Around 10 to 19 degrees - line drive hit, can achieve a home run
-20 to 36 degrees – a decent fly ball
-30 to 60 degrees – not an ideal flyball
-More than 50 degrees – pop-up, too high but not too far. This will go straight to the ground and bust your chances of acing a home run.
Take note that no softball player can master a powerful and excellent hit overnight. You’ll need to work with a coach so someone can watch your stance, load, stride, and swing. In softball, it’s easy to form bad habits that will be difficult to break later on.
-Always be in control of the bat. If you can’t control your bat at 100% swing effort, you might as well tone down your load. This is so you can maintain your stance and track the ball on its way to the plate.
-Develop your swing rhythm. Your swing should be one fluid motion that builds up pace slowly. The rule of thumb is to start slow and end up quick. This is more likely to drive the ball through the zone.
-Always maintain your balance. Never neglect your weight distribution when practicing for a powerful softball hit. If you don’t know how to control your weight, you don’t stand the chance of driving the ball to the fence.
-Keep your eye on the ball. By the moment the pitcher positions for a throw, your eyes should be on the ball. Sharp focus is crucial but make sure that you’re not moving your head to track the pitch.
By keeping an eye on the ball at all times, you can hit it right on the sweet spot of the bat.
Knowing how to hit a softball with power takes a lot of patience and practice. Make sure that you work with a coach to master the basics and improve your swing power.