Batter Up: Let’s Bring Your Batting Average from 0 to Hero
Playing your favorite sport as an adult provides you with countless benefits. You’re participating in physical activity (which undeniably gives you both physical and mental advantages), you’re building connections with peers, and you’re simply indulging in a fun hobby you can look forward to!
However, while playing softball with your friends is undoubtedly a great time, you still want to perform your best. Whether you are playing defense in the field or are rearing to smack the ball around in the batter’s box, you need to feel confident in your play– and so does your team.
But, there is one key metric every softball player needs to heavily focus on: their batting average. If it is below .230, it is considered a poor batting average. If your batting average falls anywhere near that range (or below!), it’s time to practice, practice, practice.
Let’s go over some key changes you can make in your swing that can help you tackle that batting average to go from 0 to hero on your softball team!
1.Make Sure You Have the Right Men’s Softball Bat
Listen: we aren’t immediately shifting the blame from the player to the equipment here. But, there is always the chance that your men’s softball bat just isn’t “the one” for you. It might be too heavy, too long, too short, or–let’s really hope not here–it’s either for fastpitch or slowpitch when it shouldn’t be!
Take a close look at your preferred bat. Take some practice cuts with it, then practice cuts with other bats with varying lengths, weights, and even brands. Find the one that is most comfortable for you and for the type of softball you play. Another element to consider is if you are a power hitter or not. Power hitters tend to gravitate toward heavier bats.
The process might feel grueling to get through, but trust us: it is very worth it!
2.Bring Your Hands (or the Bat’s Knob) to the Ball
And now onto your mechanics. When you are swinging, make sure that you are bringing your hands towards the ball. They should be your guide, your key connection between your eyes, your bat, and the ball. If they are not being properly driven to the ball, you may be swinging your arms too wide, which can lead to issues like missing the ball too often, poor swing speed, and even injury!
But, you should certainly focus more so on your bottom hand. This is because the bottom hand on your bat’s handle is essentially the one you can see the most but is also the frontrunner between both of your hands in the running towards the ball. Plus, when you focus more so on your bottom hand, your top hand follows without much effort.
If that sounds a bit difficult to tackle, you can focus your attention on the knob of your bat instead. Act as if you are going to “poke” the ball with your bat’s knob while swinging.
3.Watch Those Feet
While we’re on the topic of extremities, let’s talk about those feet. You should make sure that you aren’t taking too big of a step prior to swinging. This can effectively lock up your hips, taking away essential power from your swing. Instead, simply try to take a smaller first step with your front leg!
Your back foot also plays a vital role in your swing. It allows your whole body to pivot and ultimately drive its power into your swing. Yeah– it’s that big of a deal. When you’re swinging, is your back foot spinning on the toes quickly enough? Is it spinning too much, taking away power and consistency from your swing?
Another point to consider is how far apart your feet are. If your stance is too wide, it can take away so much necessary power– and simply lead to awkward and inconsistent swings! Try shortening up your stance. That might just be the key to unleashing your power reserves!
4.Hips, Hips, Hooray!
Since we are talking about “power” in your swing, we would be remiss (and even borderline unprofessional) if we didn’t mention the hips. Your swing’s power comes mainly from your hips!
Ensure that you are not relying on your arms too much while in the batter’s box. Your arms do provide force in your swing, yes, but nothing in comparison to your hips. Check that you are indeed bringing them slightly forward when stepping, then turning your hips upon contact. You should end your swing with your torso perpendicular to the ground while also facing the pitcher.
5.Keep Your Eye on the Ball
We know this may sound exceptionally trite, but it needs to be said: keep your eye on the ball! We know it’s exciting to watch where the ball goes after you hit it, but if you are taking your eyes away from the pitch too early, you are far more likely to never see it as a hit in front of you because it’ll be behind you– in the catcher’s mitt.
As you’re watching the pitch, keep your head down and your chin tucked to your chest. This will keep your eye on the ball and deter you from looking elsewhere!
6.Don’t Lean Forward and Don’t Lean Back
When your weight is unevenly distributed in your stance– before, during, and after contact– you can imagine the detrimental effect that can have on your at-bat and even your overall batting average.
There are several points to consider in order to keep your stance concise, but here are two: don’t lean forward after your swing (keep your torso perpendicular to the ground) and don’t lean back at any point (that just hinders everything).
7.Use Bat Grip Tape or Batting Gloves
If you haven’t already done so, we recommend trying either batting gloves or slapping on some bat grip tape on your men’s softball bat. This can drastically improve your grip on your bat, which can potentially lead to more well-drive hits and an improved batting average.
If you are indeed looking for the best men’s softball bat for you, we have what you are looking for at HbSports. Browse our many offerings to find the best fit for you so you can finally be a consistent force at the plate!
- Blog Admin