Hitting Slow Pitch - A Drill

slow pitch drillsHitting Slow Pitch - A One-Person Drill
Two words...  Bat Speed.  In hitting slow pitch softballs, the speed of the bat is crucial for generating ball speed after impact with the bat.  There are some training devices out there advertising to increase bat speed.  I prefer to stick with a few basics because there are many different variables that can affect bat speed.  Also, some of these devices may not train you for the game situation of hitting slow pitch, such as muscle memory for swing technique, a proper and comfortable stance, proper swing through and follow-through.  I have trained with the Demarini Chute Speed trainer and yes it helps, but I have also noticed that my swing is choppy coming through the strike zone.  I still use the Demarini Chute Speed trainer for a few warm up swings, but I do not use it as Demarini advertises.

A method that is often used incorrectly is the weighted bat. When using this tool to enhance strength for slow pitch hitting, I believe it is important to maintain your game swing. What I mean by this, is that your swing should generally not change even though the weight of the bat is increased.

So, how do we do accomplish this?  Easy, use a bat that is only 2 ounces heavier than the standard bat that you are using and make sure it is the same length (34-inch is pretty standard is slow pitch).  If you are swinging and the weighted bat is making your swing slower with an awkward motion, you are probably swinging a bat that is too heavy.

I like the following training regimen because I have limited time for training.  Probably just like you, I have a regular job and a family that I like to spend time with.  If you have more time, feel free to train more frequently and longer.  I just like this because it is quick and easy.

softball chickTools I use:
- Heavier Bat, 28 ounce old Demarini bat (I use a 26 ounce Demarini in the game)
- Batting Tee (a cheap one works fine, they are pretty durable)
- Balls (you only need 1 or 2, but more is fine)
- Demarini Chute Speed Trainer (not required)
- Jugs Pop Up Screen (not required if you want to hit into the field and retrieve balls)

1. I put up my Jugs Pop Up Screen, which takes about 60 seconds (literally).

2. I gently swing the bat a few times through my full range of motion to loosen up muscles.

3. I slip on the Demarini Chute Speed Trainer and take about 10 swings with it, chute fully open.  (I don't use the little velcro strap because it takes too much time.)

4. I set up my batting tee in front of the Jugs Pop Up Screen, put a ball on it and start crushing!  (Note: I put my heavy bat/gear bag on the front of the Jugs Pop Up Screen because the weight/speed of the softballs tend to knock it over otherwise.)

5. I spend about 10 or 15 minutes just hitting soft balls into the Jugs Pop Up Screen.  I generally do this during my lunch hour in the parking lot.  Yes, I probably look like an absolute "tool" doing this exercise in our parking lot, but boy does it feel good to get out from behind the desk and blow off some steam!  Plus, it might actually help me hit better, and it is more activity than the other guys in the office do in a year, so I feel good about doing it.

Again, I do not use the 28 ounce slow pitch bat in game situations (or even batting practice). If I use the 28 ounce bat, my reaction time will be the same but my bat speed will be slower at game time.  I stick with my lighter 26 ounce Demarini bat for the games.

Don't forget to review our other drills - Slow Pitch Hitting Drills #1, #2 and #3 (click to view)>>

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