Softball is a highly competitive sport. Everybody is playing to win. As a player, you should be ready to push yourself to the limit – improve your skills, practice diligently, and always play it smart. After all, skill, effort, and strategy are the secret to any game.
That said, no one can claim that they know everything there is to know about the game. That would be arrogant, to say the least. That is why newbies and pros should always look for ways to improve their performance.
That is why we have listed down the Top 10 winning factors in Softball – all of which are designed to help you improve your game. So, be sure to keep reading.
Picking the Right Softball Bats
Your bat is an essential piece of equipment. However, contrary to popular belief, not all bats are made the same. Similar to gloves and cleats, you need to ensure that you are using the right kind. That is why you must choose a bat of the right length and weight if you wish to ensure optimal performance. In addition to this, you must also account for the bat’s drop.
To find out if your softball bat is the right length, make sure to follow these steps:
- Place the knob of the bat at the center of your chest.
- Point the barrel toward your fingertips.
- Check whether you can touch the end of the bat with your fingertips
This is a simple test that tells you which softball bats are appropriately sized for you. If you can touch the end of the bat with your fingertips, then it passes the test. If not, then try looking for a shorter bat. Needless to say, you should never get a bat that is too long for you as it may prove unwieldy.
Another equally important aspect you must consider is the bat’s weight. As a rule, you want to be able to swing as evenly as possible. Your strength and endurance levels also play a factor as swinging a heavy bat can take its toll. That said, you want a quicker swing, then maybe consider getting a lighter bat.
Finally, consider the drop of your bat. For those unfamiliar with the term, the drop refers to the difference between the bat’s length and weight. You need to ensure that you look at softball bats that best fit your needs.
Grip Your Bat Properly
You may find yourself tensing up and feeling anxious as you step up to bat. It is undoubtedly a tense moment. In these moments, it is easy to over-tighten your grip as you prepare for impact. However, you need to ensure that it doesn’t get the better of you. Maintain a level head and ensure that you are gripping the bat properly.
This is because choking your bat can prove to be your undoing. Remember that doing so can potentially lessen the power of your swing. At the same time, it may also compromise your reach and control. So, be careful not to overdo it.
Instead, stick to the fundamentals and apply pressure with your fingers. Take your dominant hand and place them over your weaker one while ensuring that the wrists stay loose. This should let you get as much control as you need.
Swing with Confidence and Power
If you are up against a pitcher who is giving you problems, then you need to remember that softball is as much a mental contest as it is a physical one. The last thing you would want to do is let your opponent get in your head.
In situations like this, it is best to always stick to what you know. There is no better way to improve your swing than by knowing stance fundamentals by heart. This means standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and placing your weight at the center – this stance gives you the best opportunity to swing directly at the ball.
Of course, your stance isn’t all that matters. You must also ensure that your bat is infused with as much power as possible. That said, remember to swing from your hips. Newbies often make the mistake of focusing on their arms too much. Doing so often leads to you overextending or awkwardly bending your arms which can take away power from your swing.
If you want to swing with as much power as possible, then always remember to rotate your hips and front-facing shoulder. This is exactly how boxers throw a punch – they don’t rely on the strength of their arms alone. Instead, they throw their entire weight behind it by rotating their hips. Do this properly and you will have a smoother, rounder, and more powerful swing.
Stay Vigilant and Maintain Focus
Whatever position you are playing, we must note here that you should stay focused at all times. This means keeping an eye on the ball at all times. While it may seem like a cliché at this point, the importance of this principle can’t be overstated.
If you want to win in softball, then this high-level of focus and concentration should become second-nature to you. Needless to say, this is easier said than done. After all, the field is a high-pressure environment that isn’t for everyone.
For instance, when you take to the field and you are facing down the pitcher, it can be quite tempting for your eyes to wander. You may inadvertently steal a glance at your grip. Your eyes may also be unconsciously drawn to first base or the outfield. You must fight against these impulses and always keep your eyes fixed on the ball especially as you prepare to take a swing.
This rule also applies if you are playing other field positions. This becomes even easier when you find yourself out of the action after several innings. When the action starts, however, you may find yourself caught unawares and prone to make massive errors.
There you have it, everything you need to know to become a winner in softball. So, be sure to remember these 4 winning tips in Softball.