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Hitting Drill for Full Bat Extension

Just as with pitching and throwing, where acceleration and extension toward your target are essential for power and accuracy, hitting has the same requirement.

We shared this hitting drill in a newsletter several months ago (subscribe to get these things early!), but the beginning of the high school softball season has reminded me just how many softball players swing their bats with a short follow through right after contact with the ball. ACCELERATING and EXTENDING the bat through the point of contact, rather, is critical to hitting with power and to all parts of the field.

This is one of my favorite softball hitting drills. It is simple and extremely effective for developing bat speed through forward acceleration of the bat head: I call it “short to it, long through it.”

As you can see from this short video, maintaining a forward bat head path will enable hitters to drive the ball with greater consistency. Performed correctly, this drill will have the ball leave the tee and return to the tee on the same line (provided the ball doesn’t take a strange bounce off the fence or net you’re hitting into).

Make this a regular part of your practice routine and your power and contact rate will almost certainly improve!

Watch on YouTube

 

About the author

Phil

Phil Schonberg is a co-founder of Fastpitch Power, inc. He teaches all aspects of fastptich softball, specializing in windmill pitching and coaches' training.

2 comments

  1. stanley griffin

    I have a 15 year old daughter who has been taking pitching lessons since she was 8. She got by fine in 10u
    with a palm change but as we went to 14u she has been trying to develop a flip and a horseshoe change.
    But she cant get her hand from behind the ball like on a fastball. We have tried and tried the flip and the horseshoe or push, but she comes through like a fastball and releases and then turns her hand over. She says it feels like its turned but its not. I video her and play back in slow motion to show her but she just cant get it turned. What can we do to help her get the feel for turning it earlier. are there some drills for this? She playes on a good travel team and locates very good and throws the drop, curve, drop curve, and screw ball good. But her change up is ok but she slows it down and its only about 6 mlh slower and needs to be at least 10 mlh slower. Please help me with this. And loved your video her on the changeup.

    1. Carly

      Hi Stanley,
      If the problem is that she’s not getting her hand in the right position, she needs to isolate the arm circle (without moving the feet) and practice getting her hand right. She can start in super slow motion and gradually build up to normal speed. She can even throw a balled up sock into a mirror if it helps at first.

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