For those of you looking to learn how to slap hit, you have come to the right place. JustBats recently hosted professional softball player, AJ Andrews (@aj_andrews_) to have her breakdown the best tips for learning how to slap hit. So without further delay, let’s get to it. These are JustBats easy tips for how to slap hit.
Slapping Hitting Steps
When you're starting to learn how to slap hit, the main thing you want to focus on is being, and feeling, athletic. So when you start in your stance, you want to make sure your knees are bent, your body is balanced, and you are light on your feet.
The first step is to perform your crossover. Oftentimes you'll see girls when they go to slap, slide and then go. When you do that, your momentum is already leaning forward. And as a slapper, as you get older, you're going to face better pitching. Pitchers that can change the speeds on their pitches. Pitchers that can locate better. And if your momentum is always falling forward, then you won't be able to adjust to those pitches quick enough. So think about, instead of sliding, just performing a very simple, and subtle crossover with your back foot.
Also make sure that your front elbow is “loading” as your back foot crosses over. This will allow you to swing when necessary. If you do not successfully load your hands in time you will likely see yourself being late or missing the ball completely because your hands are dragging through the zone. This is a great thing to practice while in the on-deck circle before your next at-bat.
Next you will want to remember, to stay athletic and always make sure your chest is facing the ball. The biggest mistake that a slapper will make is when they pull their chest. It's very easy to do as you're trying to run towards first base. But when you run towards first base, if you go too soon, your chest pulls away from the plate. As a result, you're not going to be able to hit the outside pitch, which will result in popping up or pulling that ball towards first base. And as a slapper your goal is to hit the ball in the five-six hole (between SS and 3B). However, if you are able to stay in control of your upper body and keep your chest square to the incoming pitch it will allow your eyes to track the ball all the way to the plate. And we all know, you can’t hit what you can’t see.
Make sure you break it down. Many people think that slapping is just running, tapping and going, but you really have to make sure you're exploding through that ball before you can actually run to first base.
The process will look like this:
- Step one. Good athletic stance.
- Step two. Perform your crossover.
- Step three. Remain in an athletic position.
- Step four. Keep your chest and eyes square to the ball.
- Step five. Drive the ball on the ground towards the five-six hole.
- Step six. RUN.
As for your approach at the dish, typically you're going to get a lot of pitches on the outside part of the plate. This makes it absolutely paramount that you remain in the box, an appropriate distance away from the plate so that you can still comfortably hit the outside pitch. Let the ball travel and… Bam! Square it up and take off running. When you do it right, it’s the best feeling in the world.
So there you have it. Those are JustBats' simple tips on how to slap hit. If you are interested in learning more about fastpitch softball be sure to check out our Buyers Guide. And if you have any further recommendations for slap hitters, leave you thoughts in the comment section below!
And remember, if you have any specific softball bat related questions, our Bat Experts are available via phone at 866-321-2287, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can click here to live chat. Don't forget, we'll be here for you from click to hit!