I received this question from one of my YouTube subscribers. Have questions? Find me on your favorite social media and I will be happy to offer any advice I have.
Question: I was wondering if you could give me some tips on batting since I'm a beginner in fastpitch softball so I can stop getting nervous all the time.
First, What makes you nervous? This is an question you can answer to yourself. Are you nervous you might not get a hit?
Successful batters get on base 3 out of 10 at bats. The game is set up that so the defense can get batters out easily. It is 9 defenders versus 1 batter after all. Keep that in mind. The game is set up for batters to fail, you are not personally a failure if you don't get on base every time... or even 7 out to 10 times... : )
Are you nervous you might get hit by a pitch?
You are holding a bat in your hand, you can use it to foul off a ball that is coming at you so you don't get hit. You can have your coach or parent toss ball softly towards you and you can practice fouling them off.
Are you nervous about your mechanics?
The only good coaching advice I have is, "Everyone is different." You should not try to swing like Sally or Susie... Swing like You! Find a stance that feels ATHLETIC. Where you feel BALANCED and COMFORTABLE. Then you have to find a rhythm. Load by shifting your weight back towards the catcher and stride a comfortable distance. Be sure to have you foot down when the pitcher has her foot down so you are balanced and your eyes can track the pitch. See the ball. Then try to hit the ball as hard as you can towards the middle of the field. Be athletic, find your rhythm, see ball, hit ball. The rest is just details and you have to find what works best for you.
Are you nervous because you don't have or have ever been taught an approach?
This one can get a little complicated because every batter is different.
First question, what are your strengths? Are you fast, strong, do you have a good eye and walk a lot? Again, this is something you can answer yourself.
Second, how can you use your strength to get on base?
Third, you need a back up plan. I call this a 2 Strike Approach. First two strikes, use your strengths to get on base. For the third strike, move up in the box, move close to the plate, choke up on the bat a little. UP-UP-UP move. Then load back a little more than normal, no stride but throw your hands and push your weight into the ball. The goal is to but the ball in play.
Last but not least, swing swing swing! Get a good tee, a net and bucket of balls and swing until you feel confident.
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