Having a successful at-bat can start before the first pitch is tossed.
By developing both your grip and your stance, you can produce a swing that will help generate solid bat speeds.
“Having the proper grip and stance is essential to the success of a great swing,” Junior National Team Gold Medal-winning Softball Coach Pam Newton says.
When gripping the bat:
- Focus on keeping the handle in the pads of your fingers and not gripping the bat too tight.
- Grip your fingers, then your thumb, which will allow you to align your “door-knocking knuckles.”
- Having a relaxed and loose grip will allow for full extension and maximum bat speed.
To be a successful hitter you need to start in a relaxed, balanced stance. An athletic stance involves:
- Spreading your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Pointing your toes slightly inward, with the weight of your body on the inside part of your feet and forward on the balls of your feet.
Some hitters may start with an open stance to help create more power in their stride. Others may prefer a square stance. Either of these stances are effective and just depend on the hitter’s preference.
STANCE & GRIP DRILL
One way that you can check to make sure that your knuckles are aligned and that your stance is in a good, athletic position is to use a mirror at home. You don’t need to use a bat for this drill. Instead, you can utilize household items, like a broomstick or a hairbrush. Look in the mirror to make sure that your knuckles are aligned and that you are in a comfortable, athletic stance.
“Remember: your grip and stance play a huge part in having a relaxed, balanced swing that will generate good bat speed,” Newton says.
Now that you know how to grip the bat and get into a balanced stance, you will want to be ready for what the pitcher throws at you. Check out our tips on how to hit a ball thrown down the middle.