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4 Tips for Helping Your Hitters Increase Their Power
By: Cindy Bristow
Using your legs is crucial to hitting the ball hard. But it can be difficult to teach so discover 4 things that will really help your hitters increase their power by better using their legs.
Our legs are the strongest muscles in our bodies and yet so many of our hitters simply hit with all arms. Learn how a simple device can make a big difference in your hitter’s power.
Using our legs sounds easy since we use our legs all the time for things like walking, running, throwing, pitching, fielding, even coaching 3rd base, but knowing how to use them properly while hitting can get confusing for players. When we hit, our legs provide two very important contributions: Balance and Power. While the power part seems really important don’t underestimate the need for our hitters to maintain their balance. The truth is once our bodies lose balance we shut down everything else we’re doing (like trying to hit a ball) in order to keep ourselves from wiping out.
But if you’ve ever tried getting your players to use their legs more while hitting then you know how difficult it can be to teach. Things like loading to driving forward to finishing their swings can give hitters all kinds of problems and the biggest reason is these things involve a hitter using her legs, and hitters aren’t really sure how to do that. Too many hitters think that hitting involves just using their arms so they have no clue what to do with their legs.
Don’t think this problem only happens with girls as lots of Major League Baseball players have worked for years on improving the use of their legs by practicing with a Bosu Ball. A Bosu Ball is that big, blue, half-round ball you find in gyms that people use for balance and core strength by either standing on them while lifting weights or turning them over and doing pushups. Anyway, baseball found another use for the bosu ball by having a hitter place his back foot on it and pushing off as he swings.
Using a bosu ball to practicing hitting is a great idea, but not too practical in softball. First of all, it isn’t very portable since it’s kind of heavy and hard to carry. And secondly, the bosu ball is too tall for most of our players to use in anything resembling a realistic batting stance. While the idea behind using it is sound, it doesn’t help if the hitter has to completely change her stance in order to use it.
But I have found something that works just like the bosu ball that allows softball players to keep their normal batting stance while being very portable. The Power Pod is a tremendous teaching tool that I’ve used successfully to help hitters of all ages better use their legs. What I love about the Power Pod is that it will teach your hitters the following:
Here’s how it works – the hitter places the Power Pod under her back foot and gets into her batting stance, as shown in the picture above.
I use this simple little device in the following 4 ways to really help hitters better understand and utilize their legs:
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"The Ultimate Softball Practice Guide is a tremendous resource for coaches. It reiterates the importance of practice planning and gives detailed examples to utilize on a daily basis. Quality practice sessions make the difference in preparing your athletes and this is a practical guide for success." - Connie Clark - Head Softball Coach - University of Texas
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