Fastpitch Masters Blog
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.
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