To get victory in the softball requires diverse kinds of special techniques that can put the pressure on the opponents and improve the winning chances. Slap hitting in softball is one of those techniques and known as the secret weapon because of the damage it can do to the rival team.
Why do softball players slap hit?
The player who slaps is a left-handed hitter and called as the slapper. The softball players slap hit to utilize their agility to get on base or it further helps the team players to move forward who are already on base. Slap hitting takes the ball to the particular point in the infield that aids in obtaining the scoring position.
What is the most important factor while slap hitting?
To make your slap the winning one, there are various factors involved and every factor is as important as the other. Initiating with knowledge is power, having the proper knowledge of the slap’s basics is necessary. Then comes the power of hitting; the proper bat angle contributes to the slap hitting that can produce a win-win situation for your team. After that, proper footwork is essential. These three components are the most important factors while slap hitting.
A few ways to Practice slap hitting in softball
Let’s start with the basics. Slapping is done on the plate’s left side so you need to have the right footwork and for that your stance matter. Crossover is required for the perfect slap – back foot should crossover as it will produce a better situation to hit and run. While doing so, your body should be balanced with bent knees. Your hips, back foot, and shoulder should be properly aligned and facing the pitcher.
For many, slap hitting is running, hitting, and going, but that’s not the case. The right slapping is to make sure that the ball is hit correctly and then run.
To improve your slap hitting, you can practice some below-mentioned drills. Practicing can take your game to the whole new level and aid you in slap hitting even when the pitcher is giving the best performance you can face.
#1: Improving Footwork
For better footwork, follow these steps:
- Make a lane towards the pitcher; you can do that by placing three cones in a line
- Slap hit and run through the cones; make sure that your body remains in your control and you don’t touch the cones at all
- Staying in the same direction is important as it will help in hitting every pitch location
#2: Just Run!
Footwork won’t help if you don’t have the required running speed. In the practice time, you should concentrate on your running speed. You should show agility while keeping your body in control. Even when you are running fast, you must keep the balance. If it is not possible to run when you are practicing with the team, do it during your own time. Go for the sprinting drill to focus on speed.
#3: Controlling Swing
Placing the ball in the field where you desire needs a lot of practice. You need to take control of the bat’s knob when you swing. Do this drill to perfect your swing:
- Go to the fence and face it
- Take a few steps back and stand at least one bat distance away from the fence
- Stand in your usual position
- Do the practice swings while taking control of the bat’s knob
- When you use the right technique, the bat will not touch the fence at all
- When you think that you can do it properly with you open eyes, close your eyes and do this drill to further enhance your technique
#4: Setting Target Drill
Taking the ball to the target is what slapping is all about. To practice this drill:
- Place the cones between the second and the third base
- Set the tee-stand in a way that when you take your stance it is in line with your body; in the next session, it can be inside or outside of the plate
- Do the crossover step and swing
- Aim for the cones that are your targets while hitting
- Change the tee-stand’s location as well as the cones’ locations to practice this drill
#5: Correcting the Contact Point
The right contact with the ball means the ball is going where you want. If the contact is poor, the ball is not going anywhere and the strike wouldn’t be considered as the slap hit.
Practice your contact point using a tee or a team player. The more you practice the more accurate will your contact point will become.
#6: Precise Hand Position
When you are ready to slap hitting, your hands shouldn’t go lower than your shoulders. The hands make the V posture when it comes to hitting. When the hand comes in contact with the ball, then a point arrives when it releases to the shortstop. This practice leads the ball to the left infield side when you hit it.
Practice that while keeping your hands tight against the body. The bottom hand, the lead hand, will stay inside the ball when releases to the shortstop.
It is your lead hand that will decide where to drag the ball. It provides the direction for the ball and also the bounce that is needed.
#7: Soft Slap Practice
The key to the right soft slap is in achieving the correct hitting pattern. It can be achieved by placing around five cones at the distance of three feet from the batter’s box. Here, what you need to practice is that the first bounce should be inside the cones. If you are unable to achieve that, practice again and again.
When the ball bounces inside the cone, it will gain a better height on the bounce. Better height means the better bounce and it will take the ball to your location. Do this practice to gain enough time in the field to run and achieve your desire.