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Slappers timing

Jun 20, 2008
Boise, Idaho
I am working with a group of slappers who are relatively new to this movement. This is at the 14u level and the batters are seeing roughly 50-56 mph pitchers mostly. I have studied Larry Rays video and found it very helpful. I always start my slappers even with home plate so they can hit, slap or drag.

I teach them to start running late (when the ball is at least half way there) so that they will accomplish two objectives: 1) hit the inside half of the ball so as to push it to the left side, and 2) be sure that their foot is still inside the box when they contact. One of our coaches said that he thinks the girls are starting too late and that they should start moving as the pitcher is releasing...

I would appreciate any input on how you teach the timing of the running slap. My primary objective is to get the ball to the LEFT side of the field...Thanks:)
May 12, 2008
Glad you are looking to have them swing away from the left side along with the short game. Practicing a hard slap as well as a drag would be good as well.
May 7, 2008
San Jose, CA
Larry Ray’s video is a great place to start. I still go back to it on occasion just to reacquaint myself with some of its points made.
I might agree with your coach about this being a bit late to start the movement forward when the ball is half way to the plate. Here would be my reasons:
1. For a slapper to be successful, she needs to work in the strike zone. I am not sure if 20’ is enough time to do this.
2. Ideally I like slappers to work the 5-6 hole, but I feel anytime you can get the infielder to turn to get to a ball the slapper has the advantage with her speed. I would want the slapper to use more of the diamond let’s say on an inside pitch.
3. If a slapper shows too much of a desire to go 5-6, the pitcher will counter this by throwing inside making the task more difficult.

I would be more inclined to work from the contact point back to the release. Each slapper might have a different start point for her crossover but all should pretty much have the same contact point depending on the location of the pitch.
I would echo Mark’s comment, being able to hit away is a big benefit to a slapper as is a power slap.
Oct 16, 2008
SE Michigan
Deep is good

I agree with your approach. I find that beginner slappers tend to be early with their footwork requiring them to open up... just flipping at the ball and hitting weak grounders to the P or 2B. I emphasize that they let the ball go deep over the plate before swinging....not only hitting to left but also helping them to get their front shoulder into the swing for more solid contact. A good drill to start is to use a tee and keep moving it deeper and deeper until it is actually well behind the plate. They are always amazed that they can even hit it but eventually they get confident that they can just about pick it out of the catcher's glove even with their crossover footwork.

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