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Great Hitting Chart To Help Scout During Pre-Game

By: Cindy Bristow

Wouldn’t it be great to know what the opposing hitters are likely to do against you before the game even starts? Scouting hitters is tough if you only see them hit soft-toss but check out a simple hitting chart to help you do just that!

Fastpitch Softball Free Pre-Game Hitting Chart
Scouting would be easier if your opponents actually took an on-the-field batting practice before the game that included live pitching. But that’s not reality for most of you. Most teams aren’t allowed on the field before the game and have to take pregame hitting off of side toss. No problem, check out a way to still chart their hitters so you have some kind of defensive clue come game time.

Anytime you know your opponent ahead of time and can find out anything about their hitters it sure makes playing defense against them much easier. College coaches often have video on their opponents, or can watch them play on tv, or can call a coach and get a quick scouting report, but how many of you can do the same thing? Not many. Most of you are going into games blind and only have a few slim chances before a game to learn anything about your opponents.

It’s pretty common that most teams take their pregame hitting off the main field and over to the side someplace. It’s usually taken off of some kind of limited front toss (using whiffle balls) or from players hitting side toss. These are both very common forms of pre-game hitting and yet for some reason we don’t feel we can chart these opportunities.

Granted, these aren’t ideal scouting opportunities but I’d rather have some information on my opponents than none at all. So, I’ve come up with a simple hitting chart your players can use to scout your opponents during their Pre-Game Hitting.

The Pre-Game Hitting Chart is meant to be used by 1 or more players, coaches or parents who simply watch the opposition take whatever type of batting practice they take and then mark down what they see.

Once they fill out the top part of the chart listing the players Name (if they know it), Number, circle whether the hitter is Lefthanded, Righthanded or a Slapper, what uniform color the hitter is wearing (since lots of teams have lots of uniforms), what date it is and the location –the chart is then ready to be used to actually document how this player hits.

The completed Pre-Game Hitting Chart shows a bunch of dots now added to the chart and these dots have 2 different meanings:
Fastpitch Softball Pre-Game Hitting Chart Complete

  1. The Dots by the Hitting Figure – all represent a pitch or toss location. Each time this hitter either got a front toss or a side toss the person charting simply put a dot where the pitch was located, using the rectangle as a strike zone reference. The circles around the dots all represent tosses/pitches that the player swung at. So in looking at the completed chart you can quickly see that this hitter got 12 tosses/pitches and that she swung at 6 of them. We can also see that she swung at high tosses/pitches and left the lower ones alone.
  2. The How Hit? Section – to the right of the hitter are 3 different groups of blocks that help tell you how and where this hitter hit the ball. These blocks are designed to be easy to use by simply putting a dot in the block that matches how the player just hit that particular toss or pitch. For instance, If the toss was hit hard into the fence and toward the upper part of the fence and apparently pulled – then the person completing this form would put a dot in the Hard box (hard hit), Bottom box (hit bottom of ball so it went up), and the Pull box since she pulled the ball. Feel free to make these boxes easier to use with your own wording. So looking quickly at the blocks to the right I can see that this hitter hits most balls hard, in the air and to the pull side.

I know there’s far more you could do to complicate this hitting chart, but the whole idea for this is to create something that’s easy to use and that allows you – or your players – to chart the opposing hitters as you watch them take their pre-game hitting practice using either front toss or side toss. Click this link to get your own blank version of the Pre-Game Hitting Chart.

I hope this helps you both expand your brain when it comes to trying to creatively solve a particular issue (like pre-game scouting), and also give you a way to gather information on your opponents to use for both pitch calling as well as defensive positioning.

For more help with charting, scouting and strategy issues check out the following:


  1. At the younger levels, hitters are often uni-dimensional in the sense that are good for some stuff (i.e. high pitches, inside, etc.) and not really good at the opposite.

    Better more experienced hitters while they have their strengths are usually better at at least covering their weaker points or have worked on it.

    So this kind of chart can certainly be useful to identify simple things like: avoid insides, etc.

    Comment by Coach Marc - — November 16, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

  2. Without a scouting report this is a beautiful. You at least have some idea of how to pitch them the first time around. Totally new observation that I had never thought of.

    Comment by Patrick Douget — November 17, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

  3. I’ve got to say that I’d never thought about this type of scouting chart either until I was asked by a coach at a clinic I was giving in Italy about how to chart the opponents during their limited pre-game batting practice. In giving it some thought I came up with this type of quick and simple approach to at least have some kind of information going into the game. Thanks Italy!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — November 18, 2009 @ 10:20 am

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