4
Feb

That almost looks like a physics formula or something. What in the world does it have to do with softball?

It has a lot to do with softball, because it is the formula for FORCE. It says that Force = Mass * Acceleration. Don’t let the “physics” nature of the formula get you rattled. It is a simply multiplication problem. If you increase the Mass and keep the Acceleration the same, then you end up with more Force. If you keep the same Mass but increase the Acceleration you also end up with more force. It is really important to understand those two variables, because what I frequently see happen is that a powerful girl swings a super heavy bat (Big Mass value) and she kills the ball because her strength allows her to swing that bat at a high rate of speed. So little Suzie-Q’s dad says “Suzie-Q” you need to try that girls bat it has a lot more “pop” than yours. So Suzie-Q swings the bat, and due to the fact that she doesn’t have the strength of the girl that owns the bat her Acceleration is dramatically lower. Hence the Force ends up not being close to what she obtained from her own much lighter bat.

So how can we apply this to something positive that can help your batting in softball? It should be obvious. We need to help you improve the speed of the bat before it gets to the ball. That is something that girls of any size or strength can do. There are a couple of easy ways that any girl can increase bat speed and neither really has anything to do with their swing.

1. Quit squeezing the bat so tight – Most girls believe that the tighter they squeeze the bat the harder they will hit it. The problem is that when you are bearing down with your hands on the bat, your entire upper body is then tense. The more tension you have in your upper body, the more it will resist your efforts to swing fast. If you “relax” your upper body by not squeezing the bat so hard, you will reduce the resistance in your body and thus increase the Acceleration of the bat and increase the force with which you attack the softball.

2. Easy for me to say “relax” your upper body, I’m not the one in the championship game with bases loaded and 2 outs, game tied and everyone in the park screaming. Obviously that is hard to do if you depend on your brain to do the relaxing. So my advice is don’t count on your brain. Instead start practicing some techniques with your hands that will allow you to force yourself to stay relaxed when you are at bat. Try wiggling the fingers of your top hand while you are holding the bat. If you do that your upper body will automatically stay relaxed and you will find yourself exploding to the softball instead and hitting it with more speed and thus more force.

3. Realize that if you are thinking about swinging and your upper body is trying to attack the ball by itself your lower body is causing resistance due to gravity. Gravity!!! Yipes enough with the science. When you are standing still all of your weight is on your feet and if they are stationary and your arms go in motion gravity causes a lot of friction between your feet and the ground. That friction is tough to overcome and your back leg muscles will endure a lot of resistance as the top of your body tries to swing but your feet are still stationary. If you begin thinking about, and working on getting your whole body into the attack mode instead of just your arms, they will no longer have to overcome all of that resistance from your lower body. There are lots of phrases that are used “Squish the bug” “Get your hips into it” “rotate” and they all really come down to the same thing … you must get your lower body in motion, in order to maximize the speed of the bat.

Gotta love science, and the fact that Sir. Isaac Newton was obviously a big fastpitch softball fan :)

Category : Hitting