Every softball batter dreams of hitting those blazing home runs that send the ball flying to the stands. But the path to that is not an easy one. It is paved with your sweat and tears as you constantly work on honing your skills at the batting cage.
Improving your batting speed is an important part of becoming a better hitter. But how do you do it? Let’s look at the answers here!
How to Increase Softball Bat Speed?
Speed, power, and consistency; are the three things that differentiate between a good batter and a great one. If you excel at one or two of these things, you might be considered a good hitter. But to become one of the greats, you need to master all three of these elements.
A good softball batter might be able to swing with a decent bit of power but will have trouble delivering a good swing speed. On the other hand, some batters might have that speed but lack power behind the swing. And those who have a good balance of power and speed might lack when it comes to consistency.
But you do have to start from somewhere. And working on your speed is a good idea if you want to develop your hitting skills. Once you achieve a good swing speed, you can move on to the rest of the sections. So, what is the best way to go about it? Well, to get a better swing speed, you need to work on your batting posture and swing techniques, as well as focus on your physical strength. Your softball bat also plays a significant role here.
Is it Possible to Increase Softball Bat Speed?
There are two ways to get more power behind your bat swings; you either use a heavier softball bat or swing a relatively lighter bat a lot faster. Now, needless to say, to wield a heavy bat, you need to have the physique for it. And not all softball players will have the physical build needed to swing a heavy bat.
So, contact hitters mostly prioritize a faster swing speed to compensate for a lighter bat. And if you want to be a good contact hitter with a fast and consistent swing, you can definitely achieve that. Be warned, though, the path to a faster bat speed is not exactly easy.
That does not mean you should not aim for a faster swing speed. To become a good contact hitter, you need consistency, and swing speed is a part of that. With regular practice in the right direction, you will be able to swing your bat faster and get those blazing home runs before too long.
How To Increase Bat Speed in Softball
Naturally, you cannot notice any improvement in your bat swing speed without putting in the hours in a batting cage. But training aimlessly never helped anyone. If you truly want to swing faster, then make sure you train as smartly as possible.
Here are a couple of tips that I believe will help you improve your swing speed.
1. Use the Right Bat
The most common thing that I have seen holding back rookie hitters is not the number of hours they put in at the batting cage but rather their choice of the softball bat. If you want to have a quick bat swing, you need to choose a good softball bat that feels perfectly balanced in your hands,
While end-loaded softball bats will help you get more power, a balanced bat will ensure you get the perfect swing speed and accuracy. On top of using a balanced bat, you also need to look at the weight of your bat. The weight of a softball bat can range from 26 to 31 oz., and you need to go with one that feels most comfortable to you.
Then again, you should not go with a bat that is too light as it would mean you will not be able to generate enough power behind your swing. To find the perfect bat, hold the bat in your strong hand and stretch your hand forward while holding it. If you feel any shaking when you are holding it, then it is too heavy for you.
2. Proper Stance and Form
You also need to work on your posture and swing techniques if you want to be able to swing the bat fast. Everything from your finger grip, elbow and shoulder positioning, and your stance as you swing the bat needs to be perfect if you want to get a good bat speed.
If you are training under a coach, then he should be able to help you out in this step. Ask him to teach you proper stance and form to help you maximize your swing speed and practice it every single day as you are warming up before your hitting drills.
To get a good bat speed, hitters need to have a quick stride as they swing the bat. You also need to turn your hip as you connect to the ball, as that is where your main speed and power come from. If you work on your stance and swing techniques, you will be able to improve your swing speed significantly.
3. Bat Speed Drills
You also need to run drills that focus on bat speed regularly if you want to develop your hitting speed. Of course, the drill you choose to do will depend largely on your coach and what he thinks is best. But it is important that you let him know the type of hitter you want to be and the things that you want to focus on.
That way, he will be able to set you up with a training routine that is suitable for your bat speed development, and you can follow that every single day till you are satisfied with your performance. If you want to be a good batter, there is no alternative to running batting drills.
4. Workout is Important
Just because you are working towards becoming a contact hitter does not mean you get to skip your workouts. The key muscles that help you achieve a good swing of the bat are your glutes, the core, hand and forearm muscles, and hips. And you need to train these body parts if you want to become a good hitter.
Now there are tons of exercises available to train those muscles, and you should go with a training routine that your body responds well to. A couple of my favorite workouts are medicine ball rotational throw, barbell hip thrusts, Romanian deadlifts, and farmers carry.
What is a Good Bat Speed for Softball?
There are two types of softball games that are played competitively, which you should already know about if you have been playing for some time; slowpitch and fastpitch. Now, while both of these games are softball games, in essence, there are a lot of differences between slowpitch and fastpitch softball.
And what one might say is a good bat speed for slowpitch softball is not necessarily a good bat speed for fastpitch games.
· What is a Good Bat Speed for Fastpitch Softball?
For fastpitch softball games, a bat speed of around 70 mph is a good number. However, college hitters can reach as high as 80mph. If you are at the high school level, though, your goal should be to achieve a consistent bat speed ranging between 50 to 60 mph.
· What is a Good Bat Speed for Slow Pitch Softball?
In slowpitch softball games, the ball is pitched at a much slower speed compared to fastpitch games at about 10 to 20 mph. This gives the batter more time to react. But then again, slowpitch bats are a bit heavier than fastpitch bats which affects the overall bat speed.
For slowpitch games, a bat speed of around 60 miles per hour can be considered a decent speed. Some players can reach higher speeds through proper practice.
The Bottom Line
While bat speed is important, it is not the “be all end all” for softball batters. Other things such as posture, swing accuracy, and consistency all play a significant role in shaping you up as a good batter. So, if you want to develop your bat speed, go for it, but don’t underestimate the importance of other aspects of your training.
If you are working on improving your bat speed, the most important advice I can give you is don’t give up. It takes a while, but if you work at it regularly, you will come out the other end as a clear winner.
Hopefully, my article could give you the motivation and guidelines that you need to achieve a faster swing of the bat. Cheers!