As a softball player, maybe you have already experienced standing in the box with no clue at all. This means you merely positioned yourself in the box thinking that it’s your turn to hit the ball. You have no idea of what your team requires you to realize at the moment you approach the box. This is important in softball hitting, you must be aware of the situation you are in.
To help you with, here are three important things you need to remember to ensure a good hit when the time comes that it’s your turn to stand in the middle of the box.
First, you have to study the pitcher regarding on how he throws the ball. While waiting for your turn, you must pick up anything from that pitcher. This can definitely be a big help when it’s your turn to strike. You must take note of the things such as when he throws at first pitch strike, usually moves the ball in and out or up and down, have a tendency to throw inside against outside, up in the zone against down in the zone, or how he delivers a pitch. There are pitchers who first make a glimpse of the area
Study the pitcher to gain an edge.
Anything you can pick up about the pitcher prior to going into the box can help give you an advantage. Does she always throw a first pitch strike? What pitch does she like to throw when she’s ahead of the count with 2 strikes? Does she move the ball mostly in and out or up and down? What is her “bread and butter” pitch? Does she have a tendency to throw inside vs. outside? Up in the zone vs. down in the zone? Does she tip off any of her pitches by how she delivers or prepares to deliver? Some pitchers look at the location of where they’ll throw their pitch after picking up the signal from the catcher. If you can pick up the movement of their eyes from the catcher’s signal to their target, you may be able to tell whether the pitch will be thrown outside or inside. Picking up on any of these things can help give you an advantage.
Go into the box with confidence.
Whatever you do when you go into the batter’s box, don’t show fear. Go into the box with confidence that you WILL hit the ball. Even if you’re not sure you will tell yourself you will. Keep saying it until you believe it.
Start before you get to the box. Even if you don’t feel confident, look confident. Do NOT let that pitcher see that you are worried or that you lack confidence. It will only give them more confidence when they throw and, as a batter, you don’t want to help the pitcher in any way, shape or form. Going in the batter’s box with anything less than a confident demeanor is helping the pitcher. Work on it with a mirror if you have to.
Most importantly though, you need to have the right mindset when you get into that batter’s box. It’s so important that you are thinking, “I’m going to smash this ball” rather than “I hope I don’t strike out.” One thing that separates great athletes from the others is that they’ll go into situations KNOWING they’re going to get the job done rather than HOPING they don’t mess up. They are focused on making a positive result happen rather than worrying about a negative one.
Know the situation.
To be the most effective hitter for your team, it’s essential that you know the situation before getting into the box. What does your team need right at this moment? Does your team need to move runners into scoring position? Does your team need a hit? Or does your team just need to bring a runner home even if an out is recorded in the process?
Bringing a runner home from 3rd base with 2 outs is very different from bringing them in with just 1 out. It’s important that you know these types of things as a batter. With a runner on 3rd and 2 outs, you basically are going to need a hit to score that runner (or an error). With just 1 out, however, there are many ways to score: passed ball, grounder to the right side, deep fly, base hit, etc. Know all of those options and keep them open. If the pitcher throws you a perfect pitch to hit on the ground to the right side, go for it. It’s so much less pressure when you know all you have to do is hit a grounder than it is to be up there not fully understanding the situation and thinking, “I have to hit the ball well because we need to score that run.”