You can run some pretty effective softball training drills based on YouTube videos. But if you want to take your softball training to the next level, you might want to think about investing in a few softball batting training aids.
So much of softball (and baseball) is about confidence. So if you feel confident in the batter’s box, you’re going to perform a lot better. Some of these softball batting training aids won’t actually help you to unlock any additional power. But if they make you feel more confident, they’re doing their job!
On to the list…
A batting tee
Some people love them and some people hate them, but a batting tee is a great way to pick apart your swing and figure out what works for you. Set yourself up with a screen, a batting tee, a bucket of balls and a GoPro camera and you’ll soon see your weaknesses. If you’re looking for a cheap addition to your team kit, Sports Direct are currently selling this Slazenger set for just £60.
Some of the best softball training aids really aren’t that complicated. But they give you an incredible amount of feedback on your swing. The Swingrail is one of them. This simple two-part design attaches to your bat and your arm. This will give you feedback on the position of your top arm throughout your swing. If you struggle to maintain a correct path to contact, this will help you to create more bat lag and more power in your swing.
While not strictly a softball batting training aid, resistance bands are great for strength training. Head to YouTube if you’re not sure how you should be using resistance bands. They’re also great for getting more power in your throwing arm.
Another simple feedback device, the Velopro is designed to be worn around your waist and your back foot. It’s perfect for pitchers and hitters to help unleash extra power. If you struggle to stay grounded throughout your swing and find yourself transferring power to your front foot, this kind of device will help you to become more aware when your weight is shifting. It also helps if you struggle with hip rotation.
Finding someone willing to pitch rapid fire balls is rare. This is where devices like the SKLZ Hurricane come into play. Work out the mechanics of your swing using a ball that just keeps coming back for more. It’s basically just a souped up batting tee that doesn’t need a screen.
Some to avoid:
Bat donut/ 2 bats/ weighted bats
If you’re hoping to unleash some extra oomph in your swing, you might be tempted to warm up with a bat donut, a weighted bat or even 2 bats. Taking a couple of swings with a heavier bat is supposed to make you better in the batter’s box.
The theory is that when you actually head up to bat, your bat will feel a lot lighter and you’ll swing harder. However, the science doesn’t really match up. You can read more about how warming up with a weighted bat can lose you around 25 feet of flight here.