Common Softball Hitting Errors

Common Softball Hitting Errors

Following are some basic softball hitting errors that I have seen and still see on the fields.  They are simple ones that can be discussed and worked on at practice or even prior to a game.  Video analysis is the best way to detect many of them however some are also obvious.

Encouraging your batters to try to be physically aware of their movement is beneficial because they will often simply do what we tell them to.  Use the checklist to allow players to break it down and even evaluate each other.

Common Softball Hitting Errors

Vertical Movement

A common error in hitting is moving the core of the body either up or down when bringing the bat to the ball which changes the players view of the ball entirely causing a discrepancy between where she thinks she is going to hit the ball and where they actually do hit the ball. This often results in a pop up or a weak hit ball to an infielder. If you drew a line on a video when doing video analysis across the hips, the batter should be at the same vertical height when they finish their swing as when they started it. ……

Ineffective Rotation

Another common error is to bring the bat through the strike zone before the hips.   The hips are part of the force generation and are critical in (in the most efficient order) for generating energy from the feet up.

  • The sequence should be:
  • feet (step)
  • hips
  • elbows
  • bat

When I am teaching batters who are new I say, take a step – turn your hips – swing

Keep the eyes on the ball

Often new hitters will get distracted while at the plate and have difficulty keeping their eyes on the ball.  Or they lose track of the ball when it gets about half way to the plate.  Some will also keep their eyes at the pitchers hip where you are telling them to watch the ball from.

Some are also actually only using one eye to watch the ball as their head is not turned fully to face the pitcher.  For new hitters this is not an easy task as their body is facing away from the pitcher.  Use the colored ball drill to practice keeping the eyes on the ball.

Only think of Hitting

It is difficult as coaches to allow our new hitters to only focus on the task at hand sometimes.  We want so much to help them at the plate by relaying instructions to “get their hands up” or “relax the elbows” or “focus on the ball”. This actually can have us contribute to the most common softball hitting errors which is distraction.

It is not such a bad thing to want to help our players however it can also be distracting for them.  For new batters especially there is so much going on around them and they are so anxious already to not strike out or hit into an out.  If you can allow them to relax and let their body do the work I guarantee you they will have as much success as they would if we are giving instructions.

If there are any adjustments to make it should be done while in the on deck circle.

Have Fun

We want our players to enjoy this game as much as we do.  So it is important that we allow them to have that experience.  Who does not love hitting the ball?  Every person in the batters box wants nothing more than to have a good solid hit.  And if you asked them, following a strike out or after grounding or flying out if they would like another shot at it I am betting you they would say yes.

Allow them to go up and do their work for them and their team.  I promise you they are going to do the best that they can at that moment regardless of the instructions we can or can not give them at the plate.