When you consider that a softball thrown underhanded can travel at speeds as high as 75 mph, you’re going to want to be as ready as possible to swing. Plenty of coaches have come up with exercises designed to keep batters on their toes -- both literally and figuratively. Practice bat-swinging exercises so you'll be at your best during game time.
Weighted Bat Tosses
While performing weighted bat tosses, the batter should be focusing on hitting harder through his swing zone -- the area the bat moves through as you swing. Choose a heavy-weighted bat, and practice swinging at throws from both a pitcher at the mound and tosses thrown from the side. Repeat this 10 times. When you’re done with the heavy-weighted bat, avoid training yourself to swing more slowly by repeating the circuit with your everyday bat. Finally, trade out your normal bat for a lightweight bat in order to speed up your swing, repeating each circuit twice with each bat. By using three different weights of bats, you’ll be able to develop the muscle memory necessary for a faster swing.
One-handed Hitting Drills
To do one-handed hitting drills, place a softball on top of a batting tee and hold your bat, using only the hand that is usually placed at the top of the bat while swinging. Swing through, trying to hit the top half of the softball. Repeat 25 times. After completing the top hand hitting drill, hold the bat with only the hand that is usually at the bottom of the bat. Again, swing through while maintaining your posture and repeat this 25 times. This drill focuses on the individual performance and strength of each arm while hitting, in order to improve cumulative performance and strength.
Colored Ball Drills
The colored ball drill focuses on a batter’s ability to concentrate under pressure. A pitcher throws two different colored softballs at different heights, and then shouts the color of ball that is to be hit as it approaches the batter. As the batter grows more comfortable with this exercise, the coach can add a third ball or shout a color that is not being thrown.
The Hitting Pod
The feet are as much a part of a batter’s swing as any other part of the body. Some softball coaches recommend adding a hitting pod to the practice field in order to better their batter’s swing. A hitting pod is a small plastic dome that is put under the back foot while in a batting stance, reminding you to keep yourself on the balls of your feet, ready to run. Add the hitting pod to batting practice or take it with you to the batting cage to simulate game-time situations.