Fastpitch Masters Blog
Check Out Other Fun Things
If you’re familiar with the game of softball you’ll know that in the last decade slapping has been on the rise as a way for players to utilize their speed to get on base. Players with speed that may not have a lot of power in their swing have the opportunity to consistently reach the base.
So what is slapping exactly?
Slapping is when a player hits from the left batter’s box and moves towards the pitch. Moving towards the pitch allows slappers to get their feet moving to run before they’ve even made contact with the ball. This gives slappers an extra head start and the left batter’s box puts them closer to 1st base.
Should my athlete start slapping?
To be a successful slapper, players must have speed! Slapping utilizes a player’s speed and oftentimes players will slap balls into the infield and run them out. Your athlete must be one of the fastest players on their team and have great hand-eye coordination. Slapping along with regular hitting is one of the hardest things to do in sports especially since players are moving while also trying to hit a ball that’s moving.
Is soft slapping better than hard slapping?
The answer is neither is better than the other and the best players will do both! Athletes that can only soft slap will be less successful because the defense will adjust themselves to field balls closer to the plate. Power slapping is essential because it gives slappers the option to drive a ball or drop it short regarding how the defense is set up.
What is a good slap hit?
A good slapping hit is usually something difficult for a fielder to handle or a ball that is placed well enough to give the runner time to get to first. For example, many slappers will “chop” a ball which is the process of swinging and hitting the top of the ball so it is hit straight into the ground. The point is that the harder it is hit into the ground, the longer it will be in the air away from fielders which allows the runner time to get to first before a play can be made. Slappers also have a better option to reach 1st on a bunt. A slap bunt will be shown late like a drag but slappers will move towards the ball which still gives them their head start. A good power slap would be anything over infielders on a line or in a gap.
What kind of bat do slappers use?
Because slapping isn’t meant for power many players will choose a bat that is lighter in ounces. Players will choose based on personal preference, but many slappers will also choose a bat that is balanced vs end loaded. A balanced bat is a bat that has its weight distributed equally throughout the bat. An end-loaded bat as morse of its weight towards the end cap of the bat.
At your athlete’s games, you may notice the extra orange bag connected to first and never had much thought about it. However, most college softball teams don’t have this extra base at all. Once players reach the college levels they are given more freedom in regards to jewelry and masks on their helmets, but why remove the safety bag?
This orange bag serves few purposes, but safety would be its number one job. It doesn’t happen all the time, but collisions with runners and fielders have been seen at all levels. The base path is 60 feet which means runners are reaching some top speeds which can make it hard to quickly stop or move. First basemen run the risk of going for a ball up the foul line and meeting runners head-on.
While watching the 2022 Women’s College World Series, softball players have been given the chance to have video replays to get calls correct. Through this, we’ve seen multiple calls regarding runners being out of the baseline which is against the rules because it interferes with the fielder’s ability to make a play. Bases are placed on the fair side of the foul line meaning that when players are running in the base path they’re not running straight onto the base. For runners to stay in the baseline, they’re also usually hitting that bag with their left foot. Softball is a game of inches and timing to step with their left foot rather than their right could cost them a single.
Team sports require great team chemistry to be successful. Without team chemistry, it is difficult for the whole team to buy-in. Many players at the highest level of play come together to play for their team above themselves. Coaches not only want to see how players will perform but also how they’ll get along with other players. If players aren’t willing to buy into team goals and attitudes then they may not see the field. We’ve compiled a list below of how players can be great teammates.
- Pick a teammate up. This can include cheering a teammate up when they’re down or helping them get their equipment when they’ve just gotten off the bases. Teammates can pick up a catcher who needs help getting their gear on or if you’re sitting on the bench that inning you can help the pitcher get their warm-up pitches in.
- Extra help. If a teammate needs to stay after practice or wants to meet up for some extra work it would help you as well as help them get better. For example, if a pitcher wants to throw extra to a catcher.
- Stay positive. You may not realize it, but having a negative attitude can harm your team. After a hit or any error, a pitcher may feel discouraged if they see their teammate hanging their head. Pitchers want confident players behind them. Negative comments or actions can create a divide in the team.
- Cheering. Whether you’re yelling or doing traditional softball cheers, you should always be loud for your teammates. Regardless of if you’re on the field or not, you should cheer for your teammates.
- Work hard. Many players give everything they have to this game and when you work hard you expect and hope that your teammates will too. By cutting corners, being lazy, and not having a present mind during practice, you’re only hurting yourself and your team. Not playing full out all the time could cost your team a win.
Fastpitch Masters Softball Camps
Click the map below to look at camps in your area
120 Camps nation wide annually