Ground balls usually result in an out, which can be frustrating, especially when it feels like you ground out each time you go up to bat. The reason hitters ground out is usually because they did not make good, solid contact with the ball.
Focusing on your accuracy and control of the bat can reduce groundouts. These aspects of swing mechanics are just as important, if not more important, than your strength and power. Other reasons you may be frequently grounding out include not being focused, not giving it your all, having the wrong attitude, and hitting balls outside of the strike zone.
This article describes different reasons you may be grounding out in softball.
Reasons you keep grounding out
1) You are hitting the top part of the ball
Hitting the ball on the top part results in ground balls. If you keep grounding out, you need to practice making solid contact with the ball. You can head to the batting cages or practice with a friend to practice consistently making solid contact.
You want to have excellent control of your bat, and the only way to get better is to practice. Start with slow pitch, then once you find you can control your swing and make good contact the majority of the time, try faster pitches.
A good way to adjust your swing to hit the center of the ball is to aim “through” the ball.
2) You are overextending your swing for pitches outside of your strike zone
One common reason for groundouts is swinging at pitches outside of your strike zone. When you swing at a pitch that’s not exactly where you want it in an attempt to pull it, you will most likely make poor contact with the ball.
Trying to pull pitches outside of your strike zone takes away power from your swing, which leads to weakly hit grounders. You want to ensure you can swing naturally and use your full power to make solid contact with the ball. You can’t do this if you are overextending your swing or bringing your swing in to hit bad pitches.
You can avoid this by learning which pitches are strikes and which are not, or pitch recognition. You can also have a plan going into the batter’s box regarding where you want the ball to go. Figure out which pitch would be best for you to hit the ball there, then wait for that pitch.
3) You have the wrong attitude going into the batter’s box
Your mindset when you step into the batter’s box affects how you perform. You shouldn’t feel anxious or frustrated when you step up to bat. Try to adjust your attitude towards the game by changing your mindset to reduce weakly hit grounders.
4) You don’t have a plan
It is also a good idea to have some sort of plan before you go up to bat. Figure out which pitches you want in order to hit the ball where you want. Then, wait for those specific pitches and swing. Having a plan before you go up to bat can help you stay focused and have the right attitude.
5) You are hesitating
When you are hitting, you must be ready for every pitch. It is best to assume that the next pitch will be perfect, the exact one you were waiting for, rather than wonder if it will be the right one or not.
When you step up to bat, make sure you are ready for each pitch. Don’t wonder if the next pitch will be a good one. This causes hesitancy, making you subconsciously hold back. If you are ready for each pitch, you can just pull back on bad pitches. This is far better than preparing for a good pitch at the last moment.
6) You aren’t using your full power
Grounding out in softball is a result of not hitting the ball hard enough. One reason for this is that you didn’t give 100%. You may have been distracted or not prepared for the pitch and swung at the last second. To use your full power, you can’t hesitate or hold back.
Record yourself swinging and watch it. Is your swing tentative or hesitant? Do you have full control of the bat? Are you swinging with everything you have? Your stance should reflect that you feel strong and confident. Your aim is to power hit the ball, so don’t be afraid to really give it your all.
Practicing hitting is the best way to avoid grounding out during softball. When practicing, try to hit the ball to different areas of the field. This can help you stay focused and learn pitch recognition.
It is also important to have the right attitude. Stepping up to bat, you should feel natural, confident, and strong. Feeling anxious, frustrated, or pressure to perform will weaken your performance and cause even more frustration. Instead, think of hitting as a fun experience to see what you can do.
Head to hitlasers.com to learn more about pitch recognition, controlling your bat, and hitting drills.