Softball Hitting – How to Quickly Increase Bat Control

The best hitters in the world (those with great batting averages) have extremely good bat control.

They may not have the most power but they basically can do what they want with a bat.

This is a common characteristics of elite hitters – they control their bat.

Working on bat control is certainly not as “fun” or “cool” as working on power but it will definitely help you become a much better hitter.

Working on bat control is about learning to control what you do with your body. The body controls the bat. If you control your body, you will control your bat.

You have to increase your body awareness (what you do with it) and your overall hand-eye coordination.

You know you’ve developped very good bat control when…

– You can make quick adjustment to hit a ball thrown to any location.

– You can hit the ball pretty much anywhere in the field almost at will.

– You can control how hard you hit the ball.

Coaches usually have extremely good bat control in a controlled environment (they aren’t facing moving pitches thrown at them) because they spend all their time doing hitting balls to different players all over the field -basically doing fungo.

Athletes should definitely spend more time doing “fungo-type” drills to increase bat control.

However, one of the best drills that I’ve found to quickly increase bat control and that mimics facing a real pitchers is to is to play “pepper” with a pitching machine.

Assuming your regular hitting stance, your goal is to hit a nice slow grounder to different location (left, center, right) a full but controlled swing (that includes the follow-through too!).

You should swing at 75% of your maximum speed. The key isn’t to hit with power but to hit the ball to the desired location at a moderate speed.

I often tell my athletes to imagine they are hitting a grounder to an 8-year-old girl. Thinking about that puts you in the right mindset where you know you have to hit the ball not too hard and to the desired location.

Again – make sure you use a full swing and that you follow-through.

No half swing. The key is the speed at which you swing and how swing so that the ball does what you want.

This is a tough drill – especially at first. You are very likely to find yourself not being able to do it at all at first.

However, with a bit of work and focus, it doesn’t take that much time to master.

And once you master it, you will have much better bat control and be a much better hitter.

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