So you are looking to teach your young player how to swing a bat? Well, you’ve landed at the perfect place. Here at JustBats, we specialize in baseball bats, fastpitch bats, and slow pitch softball bats. We have built our company around being the experts in our field, and we are excited for the opportunity to help more young players learn how to hit.
This is a step-by-step guide for beginners to learn how to swing a baseball or softball bat. These tips will help teach tee-ball hitters how to swing, improve the hitting of coach pitch or machine pitch batters, and even cement the fundamentals of hitting for young ballplayers. If you already know how to hit and are simply looking for hitting tips to improve your game, we recommend reaching out to a professional hitting coach in your local community.
How to Swing a Bat
Grip the Bat
Before you ever learn how to swing, you will need to properly grip a bat with your hands. To properly grip a baseball bat or softball bat, think about holding the bat in your fingers (not your palms.) Align your knuckles to form a straight line across both hands. Use a light, relaxed grip. Over-gripping the bat can cause issues within your swing. So just keep an easy grip on the bat, and let’s have some fun!
Find Your Stance
Setup in the batter’s box with your feet and legs approximately shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to get your body in an athletic position. For beginner players, an easy tip is to align your feet parallel to the lines in the batter’s box. Once you have your feet in the correct position, hold your hands near your back shoulder and turn your head towards the pitcher. To stay relaxed and comfortable, it is alright to have a slight sway or movement throughout your body before the pitch, but be sure to avoid moving your head and eyes.
Set Your Back Foot
Your back foot is the catalyst to your swing. It generates leverage and power for hitters. For right-handed hitters, your back foot will be your right foot. For left-handed hitters, your back foot will be your left foot. Plant your appropriate foot and shift a little more than half of your weight onto it. Think of having about 60% of your weight loaded onto your back foot.
Load Your Swing
As you go to begin your swing, you will need to load your hands and body. One of the best ways to do this is to take a small step forward (only a few inches) with your front foot as you pull your hands backward away from your head. Think of your body as a rubber band. As your foot moves forward and your hands move back, you are tightening the rubberband to explode when released.
Let Your Hips Initiate the Swing
As you begin your swing, rotate your back hip around your body’s center balance point. Be sure to avoid “throwing your hips,” which means turning too quickly because this will cause your hands to drag through the zone. Keep all of your body coordinated together and activate your hands and core with your hip movement. Your hands should follow closely behind your hips, keeping them close to your body during the initial stages of your swing.
Use Your Shoulders
Once your hands and hips have begun the swing, rotate your shoulders across your body. This will be the final movement necessary before you make contact with the ball. Remember, your legs and core will generate the power in your swing, so keep your shoulders relaxed until you are about to hit the ball.
Finish Your Swing
Just like a sprinter finishes past the line, you want to do the same with your swing. Even after you have completed your swing, continue to drive through the motion. Finish with the bat over your front shoulder and two hands. Keep two hands on the bat all the way through the swing. After your swing, your chest and torso should be facing the pitcher/second base.
Boom! That’s all you need to know when it comes to learning to swing a bat. We have added a few extra hitting tips below to help guide you to your best swing. And if you have any questions at all, please reach out to us.
5 Quick Tips to Improve Your Hitting
Find the Right Bat for YouFar too often, young players are given a bat that is either too heavy or too light for them. This can cause issues with the development of their swing. Shop for the best baseball bat or the best softball bat that fits your player’s needs. If you need help with bat sizing, contact our team of Bat Experts via phone, email, or live chat.
Keep Your Eye on the BallIt’s a cliche for a reason. You can’t see what you can’t hit. Always keep your eyes on the ball.
Relax Your MindA good term for this is quiet concentration. Stay focused on the task at hand, but keep things simple. Typically, struggling hitters are thinking hitters. Focus on your mechanics, relax, see ball… hit ball.
Line Yourself Up With the PlateNew baseball and softball players will often tend to be either too close or too far from the plate. To cover the entire dish, tap the outside part of the plate with your bat and set your feet accordingly. Tee-ball hitters can even put the bat's barrel up to the ball (similar to golf) before they begin to swing.
Have More Fun Than Anyone ElseIn a sport where you are more likely to fail than succeed, find your fun in the process. Play with a smile on your face. It may not seem like it will have any impact on your performance, but trust us, it does! So go out and have as much fun as you possibly can because if you do that, it won’t matter if you went 0-for-4 or 4-for-4.