Grounding out in softball can be frustrating. Poor contact is the most likely cause of ground balls. Strength and speed are not the only things you need to hit a powerful line drive. You also need accuracy and control.
There are many reasons you could be hitting ground balls. A lack of focus and concentration, not giving 100% effort, not having the right approach, not being ready to hit, and hitting pitches outside of the strike zone are all reasons hitters ground out.
Reasons you are hitting ground balls
1) You don’t have the right approach
When you go up to bat, you want to have a plan. “Getting a hit” is not a plan. Without the right approach, you won’t be able to use your full power. With the right approach, your swing mechanics will be more powerful and your confidence will grow.
A good approach when hitting in softball is “wait for a slightly high pitch in the strike zone, make square contact with the ball, and drive it up the middle.” With a focused approach, you can really give it your all. This will help you reduce weak ground ball hits.
2) You weren’t ready for the pitch
Ground balls are the result of poor contact. You may be making poor contact with the ball because you weren’t 100% ready for the pitch.
You don’t want to have the mindset of “If the ball is in my strike zone, I’ll swing.” This mindset leads to thoughts of “This next pitch may or may not be my pitch,” which causes hesitancy.
Instead, you want to get into the mindset of “this next pitch is mine.” Your swing should be ready for every pitch, before the pitch. If the ball is not in the strike zone, you can always pull back your swing. It is better to pull back on a bad pitch you were ready for than get ready at the last second for a good pitch.
3) You hit the wrong pitches
When you try to hit a pitch that is not where you want it, you will most likely make poor contact. Poor contact = weak ground ball. Most often, trying to pull an outside pitch results in weak grounders.
Remember, you should have a plan as to where you want the ball to go. Therefore, don’t swing at pitches you can’t pull where you want. It is best to wait for the right pitch, then give it your all. The pitch doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, swinging at slightly higher pitches can reduce your ground balls.
A great way to reduce ground balls is to learn pitch recognition. This refers to swinging at strikes and only strikes. Swinging at bad pitches results in an overextended swing. You can’t use your full power or hit with accuracy if your swing is outside of your strike zone.
4) You aren’t giving it 100%
Grounding out means you didn’t hit the ball with everything you had. Maybe you were distracted or you weren’t ready. You don’t want to go up to bat and merely hope that you get a hit. You want to use all your strength to ensure that you do get a hit.
Try not to be tentative when swinging the bat. Be confident with your stance and swing with everything you’ve got. Control your strength to make the bat hit the ball, rather than swinging carelessly so that the ball hits the bat.
Your goal here is not to simply not miss the pitch. Your goal should be to crush the ball. Don’t be afraid to swing hard.
5) You aren’t keeping your eye on the ball
Keeping your eye on the ball is the one thing almost every coach says. That’s because you must watch the ball all the way to the plate to make an accurate swing and make good contact. As mentioned before, not making good contact can result in weak ground balls.
6) You don’t have control of your bat
When you have complete control over your bat, you can make decisive contact with the ball. To get more control, you can practice your swing, strengthen your forearms, and try out different bats.
During practice, try choking up on the bat or lowering your grip. Figure out where to grip the bat so that you have the most control. Once you find the right bat and the right stance and swing, practice making solid contact with the ball.
A great way to practice hitting is to consistently aim for different areas of the field. Aim to hit the ball up the middle or to the opposite field. This can help you focus on your swing and contact with the ball, which can help you use the right hitting approach.
The main reason most hitters ground out is because they were not giving 100%. This could be because they weren’t focused, they didn’t have a plan, or they were not ready for the pitch, among other reasons.
Check out hitlasers.com for more information on choosing the right pitch, getting control of your swing, and drill ideas to reduce ground outs.