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Learning to slap hit

Dec 5, 2017
192
18
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.
She does and I am one of the ac's. I discussed it with hc first and he was 100% good with it, he actually wants me to try and get a couple of other girls to try it when we start team practices in January. Dd has always batted lead off so slapping won't effect things as far as strategy goes. Part of the decision to do this, besides her speed, is that she hates hitting. She's always been a good hitter but just hates to practice. She loves playing defense and that's what she always wants to work on. With us now working on slapping and pitching she is more excited about ball than she's been in a while and actually asks me to go practice.
 
Last edited:
Jul 22, 2015
172
18
This is a great age to try slapping. If all she can do is lay down good bunts she'll be safe more than 50% of the time (assuming she's fast). I also disagree with some about switch-hitting. Let her switch as often as she needs to at first to feel comfortable and in 6 months to a year make a definitive decision if you must. I've never understood why we don't see more switch-hitters in high level softball who switch based on situation. If men can do it they certainly could as well. She doesn't NEED to develop power to be effective. If she does it's great, but there are plenty of effective slappers in college who won't ever hit a ball to the fence. They will go full swing sometimes, but not for power.
 
Sep 11, 2017
43
6
Seattle, WA
Stationary hitting is most important. Seeing as many balls from the left side is huge. If she can hit well to all fields, then slapping will come easy. Work on foot speed now if she wants to slap down the road.
 
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Chris Delorit

Member
Apr 24, 2016
315
18
Green Bay, WI
Hi pattar,

There's really not alot of Mike Trouts...in MLB baseball. :D

Sure, there are players who can run well as RHs. At the men's level, it has been a power game for decades. Most of the LH's with above average speed are usually multi-dimensional. Very rarely would they chose to be predictable in approach in any given AB or game. Adaptability and multi-dimensional, which is most beneficial as a LH for reasons that are as simple as it's a shorter distance from the batter's box to 1st.

Chris
 

Chris Delorit

Member
Apr 24, 2016
315
18
Green Bay, WI
Stationary hitting is most important. Seeing as many balls from the left side is huge. If she can hit well to all fields, then slapping will come easy. Work on foot speed now if she wants to slap down the road.
Great advice PNWdad.

I'd also add that it's entirely possible to be an exceptional slap hitter with more basic rotational or single crossover footwork. So may times we see 3, 4 and even 5 short steps through contact when it's not necessary. In fact, that can sometimes make reactionary timing more difficult and also slow the home to first time because of it's less direct/linear base running path.

Men's fastball...there are very few pure slap hitters who rely on a pre-contact run-up. Most of the time, it's no greater than a delayed cross-over and plant. Because a run-up is a sure give away to the D, the approach to contact is usually much more subtle where emphasis is placed more on a level of stealth, the shortest distance between two points and post-contact speed. Of course, there are those players who are more predictable to small ball, but whether they bunt, slap or hit away is not always clearly predictable.

The common approach is generally much more predictable in youth + softball.

Chris
 
Last edited:
Dec 5, 2017
192
18
Great advice PNWdad.

I'd also add that it's entirely possible to be an exceptional slap hitter with more basic rotational or single crossover footwork. So may times we see 3, 4 and even 5 short steps through contact when it's not necessary. In fact, that can sometimes make reactionary timing more difficult and also slow the home to first time because of it's less direct/linear base running path.

Men's fastball...there are very few pure slap hitters who rely on a pre-contact run-up. Most of the time, it's no greater than a delayed cross-over and plant. Because a run-up is a sure give away to the D, the approach to contact is usually much more subtle where emphasis is placed more on a level of stealth, the shortest distance between two points and post-contact speed. Of course, there are those players who are more predictable to small ball, but whether they bunt, slap or hit away is not always clearly predictable.

The common approach is generally much more predictable in youth + softball.

Chris
We are working on a single crossover step. I've watched a 3 part video by India Chiles,not sure if I spelled that right, plus numerous other slap hitters that all seem to promote the single step.
 

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