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Learning to slap hit

Dec 5, 2017
183
18
I mentioned in another thread that my 9yo dd wants to learn to slap hit and we've been working on it for a few weeks now. I have had her working on just regular hitting from the left side at our last couple of work outs with the thought being that it will help with her comfort level and coordination slapping. She doesn't have a problem making contact but her swing is all arms and terrible, as would be expected at this point. Is it a waste of time to use this approach? Right now a lot of her "slap hits" are more like drag bunts and I feel like she will get more coordination by learning to swing properly first. Thoughts?
 
Jun 11, 2012
370
28
Righty. She is very quick and she wants to learn to slap from the left.
As the mother of a kid who made the switch, only do it if you are going to teach her how to hit lefty first. DD throws lefty but was hitting righty, didn’t have a ton of power. She switched to lefty which she should have been doing from the beginning and despite her small size hits for power more than she slaps now. It works well because her first at bat of the game they expect a bunt or a slap and she can hit so slap defense doesn’t work. But next at bat she’ll drop a bunt or slap when they think she’ll hit. It took a good 2 years after switching to develop this though and she had a pretty decent lefty swing right from the beginning

If you are going to do it it needs to be all lefty all the time, not switch hitting
 

Chris Delorit

Member
Apr 24, 2016
304
18
Green Bay, WI
Mike,

Follow a progression. Start small & work uphill. She's at a good age and she's already making contact. It's common that the mechanical "flow" in her footwork and torso is non-existant. That takes time & practice in order to develop. It's also a misnomer that slappers need alot of power. The combination of a good bat, a good swing and a polycore softball will take care of that.

Develop an outline and practice it. Progression could be something to the effect of sac bunt, bunt for hit, soft slap, harder slap and full swings. Her short term goals could be as simple as making consistant contact and putting the ball in play. Her longer term goals could be to begin to develop better bat control as she gains more experience and confidence in what she's trying to develop. Directional bunting, slapping, finding holes, etc.

Practice and play. Develop an achievable game plan, and work on execution. While she's young, let her have fun, experiment and make her own mistakes. She'll always have new areas and the drive to get better. Right now, keep it simple and don't get overly focused on placement. With age and practice, the reaction for that will tend to work it's way out more naturally.

Have fun!

Chris
 
Dec 5, 2017
183
18
Mike,

Follow a progression. Start small & work uphill. She's at a good age and she's already making contact. It's common that the mechanical "flow" in her footwork and torso is non-existant. That takes time & practice in order to develop. It's also a misnomer that slappers need alot of power. The combination of a good bat, a good swing and a polycore softball will take care of that.

Develop an outline and practice it. Progression could be something to the effect of sac bunt, bunt for hit, soft slap, harder slap and full swings. Her short term goals could be as simple as making consistant contact and putting the ball in play. Her longer term goals could be to begin to develop better bat control as she gains more experience and confidence in what she's trying to develop. Directional bunting, slapping, finding holes, etc.

Practice and play. Develop an achievable game plan, and work on execution. While she's young, let her have fun, experiment and make her own mistakes. She'll always have new areas and the drive to get better. Right now, keep it simple and don't get overly focused on placement. With age and practice, the reaction for that will tend to work it's way out more naturally.

Have fun!

Chris
Thanks for the detailed answer, that was basically what I had in mind. We are definitely trying to keep it fun now because I know it will be a struggle for a while. I have told her that as long as she wants to do this then we will dedicate hitting practice to only being a lefty now and that she needs to know it will be hard at times, especially when we start tournaments this spring. I've really tried to impress upon her that this is a long term commitment, not something she will immediately be great at. It's been as much of a struggle for me already as it has been her, hard to change your mindset from wanting to see your kids crush the ball to playing small ball. In the end I know this will be best for her team and her as well if she manages to continue playing through High School. Thanks again.
 
Oct 4, 2018
345
28
Is she playing travel ball?

I ask because I help coach a travel ball team and if a player came to me all of a sudden hitting lefty and trying slapping I'd be a little perturbed, to be honest. I've based the team and strategy around the players and their skills and if one batter is now going to enter all games trying new things (and getting out a lot) it might have negative results.

I'd hate your daughter to be moved the end of the line-up, or not make the team next year, etc. I'm sure many coaches (and perhaps myself too, who knows?) would be willing to help her develop that knowing full well the offense will get worse before it gets better. But at the same time, I agree you should do this 100%, not bat righty in games and work on slapping in practice.

EDIT -- I read that she is 9. Much easier on a team at that age than if she were older.
 
May 20, 2016
93
8
MY DD switched to lefty at 10, though the coach asked her to because she is fast. She slapped "well as much as a 10YO can" for the first year. Never had any power from the R side which she is naturally. Turns out she does have power from the L and now coach doesn't want her to slap.
 

pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
2,374
63
Question for those of you who have been around softball longer than I. How many fast, good hitting right handed hitters are there in HL fastpitch? In other words are there any Mike Trout types in FP? From the little I have seen, there doesn't seem to be too many but again my exposure is limited.
 

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