How to Hit a Slowpitch Softball

Three Parts:Selecting the batGetting the correct gripHitting the ball

If you are new at Slowpitch softball, here are a few steps to improve your hitting. It will help to practice this with real pitchers as well as in a batting cage.

Part 1
Selecting the bat

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    Choose your bat. Make sure it is a legal bat for your league. Your coach or manager will probably check that out first. The bat should not be too long or too heavy for you to have excellent control and feel comfortable swinging it. Bat speed is much more important that the size of the bat in how well or how far you will hit the ball.

Part 2
Getting the correct grip

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    Grip the bat. If you bat righty, you will put your right hand above your left and opposite if you bat lefty. Grip close to the handle, but feel free to choke up if you need greater control.

Part 3
Hitting the ball

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    Take several swings to warm up. Make sure you are clear of hitting anyone and get your muscles ready to swing hard. Swing all the way through and practice good technique.
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    Step into the batter's box in a stance that feels comfortable. Most people stand directly parallel to home plate. You will want to adjust your distance from home plate to give you room to hit the ball if inside but not so far away that you could not reach a pitch on the outside of the plate. You will want to have good balance and move your feet about shoulder length apart. Make sure your back foot (one closest to the catcher) is well planted as you will use this foot to push and gain power as you swing.
    • When up to bat, measure your bat with the middle corner of the plate.
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    Take one or two swings in the batter's box. Make sure your swing covers the home plate. The pitch has to make it over home plate so make sure you are standing where the ball will pass you between your chest and mid thigh. You can hold up a hand if you need longer than a few seconds to get set and then just lower it when you are ready.
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    Keep your eye on the ball. The ball will have to arch between 6–12 feet (1.8–3.7 m) and land just past home plate. Determine as quickly as possible if this will be a pitch that you will be able to hit well. Many times you can make contact with a pitch that is outside of the strike zone but it will not be your best hit so try not to swing at those. If the pitch is flat (does not arch 6-12 feet), even if it crosses the plate, you do not have to swing and the pitch will be called a ball. If you are not going to swing, relax and step out of the batters box once the ball crosses the plate. Make sure your bat is back and ready to go if you are planning to swing.
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    Swing fast at the ball, swinging the bat level or very slightly upward. Remember bat speed is key here and make sure to swing through the ball. Your goal is to try to get the barrel of the bat to meet the middle of the ball. You will have more time to wait because the ball is coming in at a slow arch so make sure you time your swing to make contact with the ball as it crosses your strike zone and where you hit the ball best.
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    Stride toward the pitcher as you swing, in order to increase your momentum and bat speed. Line drives are fast and usually hard to catch unless hit directly at a fielder so that is why you want to swing level.
    • If you pop the ball up (hit the ball high in the air) without much distance, you are swinging up too much. Pop ups will give the fielders time to get under the ball to make the out, so adjust your swing if needed.
    • Also, don't swing down either as this will cause a grounder and will also give the fielders a better chance to get you out. If you hit a foul ball (ball that is not between the white lines that extend to the outfield fence), you may have swung too early or you may have not hit the ball squarely.
    • Try to make sure you are making contact with the ball on the sweet spot of the ball or at the widest part. Most metal softball bats have a larger sweet spot that makes it easier to hit the ball well.
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    If you are in a game, you will run to first and listen or glance at your first base coach to determine if you should run to second or stay at first. Always run past the bag if the coach is not waving you on. If this is practice, get your bat back and get ready to hit again.
    • Run as fast as you can and don't look at the umpire unless it is a pop up near any bases.


  • Confidence is important so every time you step into the batters box, believe that you will get a good hit.
  • Practice to become a better hitter. Concentrate on swinging through the ball and swinging level. The more pitches you look at the better you will be able to determine which are balls and which are strikes. Most people are pull hitters (hit to left field if you are a righty or right field if you are a lefty) especially in slowpitch softball so become a good pull hitter first. Once you have down the basics, then you can work on hitting the ball to the opposite field
  • Make sure you choose the heaviest bat you can swing fastest. Both are important but it is better to sacrifice a little bat weight for a faster swing.
  • Don't be afraid to take a pitch or two unless you are down to your last strike. On your last strike, swing if it is close. Even if you get out you may be able to move a runner over. Also, some pitchers can get discouraged if they have problems throwing strikes so don't give them one easy by swinging at a bad pitch.


  • Make sure you are clear of other people, animals and objects before swinging. Bats can hurt!

Things You'll Need

  • Bat
  • Softball(s)
  • Pitcher or pitching machine
  • Batting gloves (especially if you are taking many swings)

Article Info

Categories: Softball