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Rotational hitting for softball

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  • Rotational hitting for softball

    I know this is a baseball message board, but I'm guessing some of you have daughters playing softball too..

    My 9 year old daughter has suddenly become interested in playing softball. I"m working with a blank canvas here, so I'm trying to get it right the first time with her. I have been working with my son on rotational mechanics and matching the plane of pitch makes perfect sense to me. ..But how does that apply to the underhand softball pitch?

  • #2
    dano, we had a thread for some time that about softball because several of our members who have sons playing baseball also wanted to know about how some of the information such as hitting, related to softball. Therefore, your question is not out of line. In fact, I have a thread about my child and updates on her and soon, I'll contribute some more to that thread.

    To answer your question, my daughter was raised attending my baseball hitting camps. She received the same instruction as the boys growing up and hits with that same concept today. Nothing in her swing has changed from the base we established so many years ago. I would say this though, I would not get caught up in the "rotational" or "linear" argument. Elements of both contribute to the swing, imo. Dano, I think you can take some of the video on this site of MLB players and use them as a resource for your daughter. You can also find great sites that have good video of young ladies playing in the top programs in the country. BTW, there are some examples out there that show the flight path of the ball from the pitcher's hand. The difference isn't that great to necessitate some drastic change in teaching the swing.

    Good luck with your daughter. If you have any additional questions or want to discuss the journey of my child, send me a pm. BTW, I don't mind answering on the public portion of this site if others have questions.

    For those of you with your panties in an uproar, if you don't like this thread or Jake's thread, then you have so many options in the internet world. Perhaps even ignore this thread.
    Last edited by Cannonball; 04-25-2012, 05:42 AM.
    Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

    I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would not get caught up in the "rotational" or "linear" argument.
      Oh boy. If the OP doesn't know the difference between them, then he will be in big trouble going through fastpitch.

      Just to give you a little background, I have 4 DDs that played fastpitch. Some of their teammates played in the WCWS, and now play pro ball. We learned from some great linear instructors, including one that has her name on bats. Since I trusted these credentialed professionals, I taught my daughters, and (forgive me) some of their teammates, how to hit using perfect linear instruction.

      However, it didn't really work as advertised.

      Many old time fastpitch instructors and coaches are allegedly making a transition to rotational. However, every time I have reviewed their latest materials, it's complete BS. They simply use rotational terms to describe (mostly) linear swings.

      Here is the great former UCLA coach even today...


      If I were you, as CB said above, I would use only baseball hitting instructors. Further, I would not even visit softball hitting forums, they are completely lost.

      To answer your question, my daughter was raised attending my baseball hitting camps. She received the same instruction as the boys growing up and hits with that same concept today.
      That is why CB never worried so much about "linear" vs. "rotational".

      The easiest way to think about the differences between linear and rotational is:
      - linear takes the hands away from the shoulder too soon
      - linear never slots the back elbow into the hip (they even brag about a longer hitting zone or other such crap) (or, if they do slot for a moment, they never intend to make contact while slotted)

      So their idea of the perfect swing for power is to contact the ball with fully extended arms.

      Linear/rotational has nothing to do with striding/not striding and other such nonsense.

      That's really all there is to it. Both of these linear techniques rob power, and drive the ball to the ground.

      BTW, one of the kids that plays pro ball, would never listen to us 'experts', she always wanted to slot her back elbow.

      I invite you to save this post and re-read it when your kid is 17. I'll buy you a cup of coffee if you think I'm wrong.
      Last edited by songtitle; 04-25-2012, 11:31 AM.
      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the feedback.

        The main thing that I am still unclear on is the swing plane. In baseball, we have learned to match the downward angle of the pitch by having a swing plane that is slightly upward.

        How do you get on plane with the underhanded pitch in softball? (since it is, or can be upward)

        Comment


        • #5
          A softball hitter can't match the plane of the pitch unless they want to hit everything into the ground. It's a fallacy baseball hitters match the plane of the pitch. They swing up through low pitches. Rotational hitters swing the bat parallel to their shoulders. For softball advice I recommend www.heybucket.com. I haven't been there since my daughter stopped playing. It used to be a very knowledgeable site.
          Last edited by tg643; 04-25-2012, 09:47 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here is Amanda Scarborough (Former Texas A&M All-American softball pitcher) instructing a fastpitch fastball (not a riseball)



            Notice the ball reaches its peak roughly 2/3 of the way to the batter, then begins dropping at a 30+ degree angle (similar to baseball).

            Most riseballs are not strikes, so you would be better off to learn how to lay off those. (If anyone has a video of a riseball that's a strike, show me, and I can slow it down and convert to gif like above)
            Last edited by songtitle; 04-25-2012, 11:13 AM.
            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tg643 View Post
              It's a fallacy baseball hitters match the plane of the pitch.
              I think it would be more precise to say "the vector of the pitch must lie on the plane of the swing..." IMO, this is actually mostly true even with pros hitting low pitches...


              IMO, we think about the swing in too much in two-dimensional, cartesian terms...
              Last edited by bbrages; 04-25-2012, 11:44 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                songtitle, thanks for finding that. I was looking for a graphic Scott Sarginson had that showed a side view of several pitches. Most are down in the zone and not up. As Song mentioned, most good hitters learn to lay off the rise which is just higher than other pitches or as most have come to agree with, just don't give in to gravity as soon as other pitches and so, that pitch is a ball. Again, learn the best swing regardless of the game. Personally, I've never seen anyone teach swinging down on the ball with regards to a difference in both sports and I believe for most of my daughter's career, she has matched the plane of the ball reasonably well though not exact.
                Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't know if this image will show up or not. Here is a picture of my daughter hitting a ball around 250 feet. She cleared a 220 fence that was 12 feet high by a huge margin on this swing:

                  2047_0.JPG
                  Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                  I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bbrages View Post
                    I think it would be more precise to say "the vector of the pitch must lie on the plane of the swing..." IMO, this is actually mostly true even with pros hitting low pitches...


                    IMO, we think about the swing in too much in two-dimensional, cartesian terms...
                    I'm not going any further than my basic comment. One thing I've learned from this board if you can't use the exact words for absolutely everyone on the board to have a complete understanding, there are several people on this board perfectly willing to twist words into something they are not and pick a fight on choice of words and description. I don't play this game. There's a dictionary full of words that mean the same thing. Unless we all learned from the same person we're not going to describe what's right using the exact same words. In fact, until this situation occurred here there used to be a lot more active members.

                    Comment


                    • #11


                      'Flat' Riseball by Osterman out of the strike zone
                      Last edited by songtitle; 04-25-2012, 12:52 PM.
                      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                        In fact, until this situation occurred here there used to be a lot more active members.
                        Membership is up, as I understand it. I'm not sure why you would suggest otherwise.
                        Last edited by songtitle; 04-25-2012, 12:46 PM.
                        efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                          Membership is up, as I understand it. I'm not sure why you would suggest otherwise.
                          I just went to check. 243 "guests" are on line right now. 43 "members" are online.

                          IMO, beside the perception that Jake and I have a "side" in our attempts to moderate this site, the truth is, members from several "camps" were banned because they refused to have meaningful dialogue opting instead to attack each other. The "base" of our membership asked both Jake and myself to take action. A vast majority of those members of "camps" have decided not to post here because we won't allow them to continue their agendas which, in reality was drive membership to other sites. It is that simple.
                          Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                          I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Gentlemen,

                            Thank you very much for all of your input. Now I see why it was said to use the same swing as in baseball. I didn't realize that the pitch had a drop off.

                            The question now is how can I teach her the right swing (or put her on the path to it) at this young age and without her doing a bunch of drills. (She is 9 years old, 3rd grade) She's just now getting into it, so she's more about having fun playing than putting in work for a payoff. I want her to just develop a love for it and see where it goes, but at he same time, I don't want to have to un-do bad habits.. or wrong teaching.. like I had to with my son.

                            So far, I just told her to get in her stance with some flex in the knees and tilt in. .....and we're working on catching the ball, fingers up:-)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              dano, you have to know your child and it seems you have a good read on her. Let it be fun and along the way, you can insert some thoughts/drills/fun things for her to try. If she is showing promise and you have a quality travel program in your area, you might want to watch them play some to see if your daughter might like to tryout for them. My daughter began travel at age 9 but I don't think that is necessary for most. dano, in my area, softball is very competitive at both the travel ball and high school ball level. It is not uncommon for a hundred+ fans to show up to a high school game. In travel ball, your child will make friends for life. I highly recommend the journey!
                              Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                              I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                              Comment

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