May 26, 2023

4 tips for improving your softball skills

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Softball is an excellent game for numerous reasons. Some play it for fun, while others play it competitively. If you want to win, you have to improve your softball skills. Doing so typically involves making subtle tweaks to your game and practicing as much as you can. Here are some of the tips that can help.

Watch the Ball

This is obvious, but it bears repeating. You should always be watching the ball regardless of the position you are playing. This is often a problem with new and inexperienced players who close their eyes when the ball is about to make contact with the bat. Wandering eyes, even if it is for a split second, can lead to a wonky hit which can make the ball go where you did not intend it to.

If you are on the field, you might want to see where your teammates are standing. While quick glances are fine, you should always know where the ball is so you can anticipate where it will go. This will increase your catching rate — just ensure you are coordinated with teammates to avoid collisions.

Practice Throwing Often

Your throw is integral in a game of softball, so you have to practice regularly so that you get the motion down before you step up to pitch. To throw farther and faster, you need to give the ball enough energy and you do that by giving it momentum as you throw. To achieve this, you should start with elbows high above the shoulder. This increases the distance the ball has to get up to speed before you throw.

Another important part of improving your throwing is practicing your timing. Releasing the ball at the right time, especially when it has higher momentum, will give you much better outcomes. To do this, hold the ball in your fingers, ensuring it has enough support without resting on your palms.

You should also practice throwing balls that are more than 6 ounces. Doing so helps you improve your strength. Occasionally switch up to a lighter ball because the heavier ball can disrupt how you throw the lighter one.

To ensure you are always throwing straight, pitch as many times as you can. If you do not have access to a field, you can always use a softball pitching mat. There are softball pitching mats for any budget, and they are suitable for indoor use and portable enough so you can practice where you have enough space.

Watch Your Grip

Improving your grip can give you much better control over your hits. Getting a good grip starts with how you approach the bat. It is a good idea to approach it like a handshake, with the dominant hand over the other. This handshake approach works whether you are right or left-handed. 

Ensure you have control of the bat while keeping your grip loose enough. Holding the bat too tight, also known as choking, can mean less control, reach, and power regardless of experience level. Your wrists should also be loose so that you not only get enough control, but so you can add even more power when you are just about to make contact with the ball.

Swing the Hips and Body

Most of the power will come from the twisting of the body and hips when you swing. Using just your arms can lead to their overextension which results in less power and control. Getting this right can be challenging, so practice rotating your hips, body, and especially your shoulders. You can start slow, adding speed and power as you go when you get how it works.

Subtle tweaks and regular practice are the best ways to improve your softball skills. You can record yourself or have someone watch you so that you have points of reference when you start tweaking how you approach and play the game.

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