Softball camp is a place where you can always learn something new. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, you can always challenge yourself to improve your skills and become a more valuable player for your team. But this requires constant effort and dedication. That's why we have compiled 9 tips that you can use to enhance your game right away.
|How To Improve Your Softball Game With 9 Simple Tips|
Let's start with the offensive side of the game, because scoring runs is essential to win.
1. Adjust Your Grip
When you are at the plate, you might feel nervous and tense, and you might want to squeeze the bat harder to prepare for the pitch. But this is a mistake: Holding the bat too tightly can reduce your power, reach and control as a hitter. Instead, you should grip the bat with your fingers, placing your stronger hand above your weaker one. You should also keep your wrists relaxed, so you can control the bat better. This grip might take some time to get used to, but it will pay off.
2. Trust Your Swing
What if you are facing a tough pitcher who is throwing you off? What if you are thinking about changing your stance to hit the ball better? Don't do it–you will only end up with a worse stance than before. In a situation like this, it's better to stick with what you have practiced than to try something completely new and risky. You know the basics of a good stance (feet shoulder-width apart, weight balanced, bat on your shoulder,) and you know that your swing depends on your stance, so don't mess with either of them in the middle of an at-bat. If you need help with your swing, ask your coach at softball camp for guidance.
3. Keep Your Eye On The Ball
This might sound like a cliché, but it's true: You need to watch the ball if you want to hit it. It's very easy to forget this if you are not focused. When the pitch is coming, you might be tempted to look at your grip, first base, the outfield, or anything else that is not the ball. If you are a new hitter, you might even close your eyes. This is something you need to avoid if you want to make contact. Of course, you need to be aware of your grip and the position of your teammates and opponents on the field, but don't check them when the pitch is on its way!
4. Use Your Hips
Your hips are a key source of power for your swing. If you focus too much on your arms, you will end up stretching them too much or bending them awkwardly, which will take away power from your hit. By rotating your hips and front shoulder, you will get a smoother, rounder swing that will have a better impact when you hit the ball.
5. Don't Miss ANY Base!
There are many tips for running the bases in softball, but this one is very basic and very important: You need to touch every base if you want to score. It sounds obvious, but some runners can forget this in the heat of the moment and run past a base without touching it. All the smart baserunning tips in the world won't help you if you don't touch the bases, so don't waste your time and your teammates' efforts. Make sure you touch every base as you run around them!
We have already covered some tips for improving your offense, so now let's focus on one of the most crucial aspects of the game: defense.
6. Stay Focused!
If you are playing in a position where you don't get much action, you might get bored and lose your concentration, especially if the game is long. But this is a big mistake: If you are not paying attention, you will make more mistakes when the ball comes your way, and you will react slower. Stay alert!
7. Use Both Hands To Grab The Ball Whenever Possible
Any ball that you can easily grab with both hands should be. Using both hands to catch things like grounders, pop-ups and short or slow flys may not look very impressive, but it makes sure you don't drop the ball out of your glove. If the only way to catch a ball is with one hand, then go ahead, but use both hands when you can to avoid errors on balls that you should catch.
8. Think Ahead Before The Pitch
Before the ball is in play, make a quick mental plan of what you will do if the ball comes to you. Of course, if the ball is in the air, you will try to catch it, but what next? Do you try to get two outs or just play it safe? What if the ball is on the ground? If the ball makes a teammate leave their position, how will you cover them? You don't need to know every detail of your actions–after all, being able to think fast on the spot is part of what makes a good player great, but having a general idea of what to do will help you do it when the time comes.
9. Move To Make The Ball Come Straight To You
It's easier to field any kind of ball if the ball comes right to your front. Obviously you can't control how a hit ball moves, so you have to move yourself! When the ball is coming to you, change your position if you have time. This makes it much easier to get the ball, and it helps you prepare yourself for the throw as well. Stretching out to get balls will make the throw after catching harder, and they reduce the chance of you catching the ball in the first place. Be ready to move!