There is a common misconception that the softball swing differs greatly from a baseball swing. It's simply not true. Sure there are slight variations between the two, but the basics are the same. Power and bat speed are generated throughout the hips.
Contrary to popular belief, a softball hitter does not swing down on the ball -- just look at a softball swing in contact with the ball. The swing is slightly upwards, with the lead elbow bent slightly and the rear elbow bent at around 90-degrees. The back heel pointed towards the sky, with the back leg at 90-degrees forming a backwards L.
The walk-up tee drill is an outstanding way for softball hitters to develop bat speed and power, just like baseball hitters, by utilizing their lower body and core.
This drill teaches explosive hip power and bat speed. It forces your hips to be involved in the swing, which leads to more power, strength and quickness in your swing -- as well as curing an upper body dominant swing.
Preparation: Set up a ball on a tee. Step back a few steps. Stand facing the tee at a 45-degree angle.
- Cross the rear foot in front of the lead foot and plant it on the ground.
- Now take the other foot, which is now the rear foot and step forward, placing yourself where you would be at the beginning of a conventional tee drill.
- Cock the front knee and rotate slightly back
- Next, plant the front foot and explode the hips towards the ball, continuing with the momentum you built and swing through smoothly and explosively.
At first the drill may be broken down, but as you get more comfortable with it, perform it in one smooth, explosive movement. Just remember to follow this simple sequence: 1. Start 2. Step and plant rear leg 3. Knee cock and rear rotation of front leg 4. Swing through and finish.
In no time you'll find, by focusing on your core, you're making better contact, generating more power and producing more quality at-bats than ever before.
Jon Doyle MA, RTI, CSCS is a world-renown strength & conditioning coach. His website, www.milliondollarhitter.com, continues to be the worldwide leader in developing hitting techniques for all ages.
Find a softball event in your neighborhood to try out your new power-hitting form.