Softball Hitting Drills Fastpitch For Timing: Bad Hitting Outcomes Evaluation Checklist
A softball hitting drills fastpitch reader question came in recently that relates well to baseball…
“Why is Timing not taught throughout majority instructors? Great mechanics are good but without Timing principles, you just look good going back to the dugout. What are some of the different ways you would teach/describe Timing?”
Here's what we'll cover in this softball hitting drills fastpitch for timing post:
- Bad Hitting Outcome Evaluation Checklist,
- The Art of Variance: Bean Bag Study, and
- Varied Reaction LIVE Toss Timing Drill…
Bad Hitting Outcome Evaluation Checklist
After each 3-5 swing round with one of my hitters, we go through a powerful 3-step Bad Hitting Outcome Eval Checklist (in order of priority):
- How many strikes did you swing at?
- How many swings felt on-time?
- How did we do with our mechanical focuses?
I should probably mention that we do this while working softball hitting drills fastpitch drills such as the Varied Reaction LIVE Toss Timing Drill.
I use minimal to zero feedback between swings, until the round is over. Why minimal to zero feedback? CLICK HERE to read this post on “What Every Coach Must Know About Giving Feedback To Hitters”.
Why 3-5 swing rounds and not 15-20? CLICK HERE to read this testimonial on how to make practice swings game ready.
And within 3-5 rounds of 5 swings each round (so 15-25 total swings), there's a marked difference in the hitter's plate discipline, timing, and mechanics…for the good.
And it doesn't matter the age.
If there IS NOT a progression in their ability to swing at more strikes, get on-time, and hone effective mechanics within that swing round, then either:
- The coach is instructing too much between swings, OR
- The player needs a little education on their strikezone, how timing must change at the different distances, or, to take pressure off swing outcomes, and put pressure on executing a specific swing movement instead.
It must be said, that in games, coach will only focus on points one and two of the Bad Hitting Outcomes Eval Checklist. Players MUST be free to compete in games, not worry about mechanics.
The Art of Variance: Bean Bag Study
So I don't have to beat a dead horse, here are a couple resources to catch you up to speed on this:
- Coaching Baseball: Why We're Failing
- Ditch the 10,000 hour rule! Why Malcolm Gladwell’s famous advice falls short
Some of my hitting friends, whom I respect in their knowledge and experience, don't believe we can teach timing. I disagree however. Not only can we teach timing, but we can SPEED UP the learning process!
Here's one of my favorite drills for timing…
Varied Reaction LIVE Toss Timing Drill
Using the same principle as the Bean Bag Toss Study above, I regularly vary reaction times with our hitters. The following video is how to setup one of my favorite softball hitting drills fastpitch for timing (works well for baseball too):
Distances, whether we're talking baseball or softball, are different, so use common sense on this. Depending on the hitter's official plate to mound distance, I will put 5-15 feet of distance between the two plates.
And remember, the L-screen stays where it's at…the HITTER moves between the two plates.