In this weeks Tip of the Week I explain one of the key elements of footwork for teaching your players how to slap in softball.
When you are teaching your players how to slap in softball, they need to learn how their upper body and lower body work together to be as efficient as possible.
Part of the process for the lower body is landing the crossover foot as effectively as possible. Watch the video and then read below for some additional content about the crossover step!
QUALIFIER FOR 2018 SEASON: Be sure to check your associations rules for what is considered being “out of the batters box.” For the 2018 season, NCAA has made a rules change that takes out the word “completely” from the verbiage for the “batters box rule.” This means that slappers (and all batters) cannot have ANY part of their foot touching the ground outside of the batter box.
This is a rule that CAN change from year to year and from one association to another so be sure to check each season. NFHS might differ from ASA, for example. Thank you to one of our Facebook followers for alerting us to this NCAA rules-change!
As you could see from the video, there are a couple of key factors for landing the crossover foot when learning how to slap in softball:
- Ideally the hitter should land with the foot touching the inside line of the batters box.
- Keep in mind that the batter is “out” if the foot is entirely out of the box when she makes contact with the ball…so even if part of the foot is touching the line she is ok. (PLEASE SEE QUALIFIER ABOVE REGARDING 2018 NCAA RULES-CHANGE)
- In a PERFECT world, the batter should hit the front corner of the batters box…where the inside line and the front line meet.
- By hitting the inside line of the box, the slapper is better able to reach an outside pitch.
- A slapper is moving towards the ball, which makes this step even more critical in order to hit an outside pitch while running. The video gives a good example of this.
- If she is able to place her crossover foot at or near the front-inside corner of the batters box, she is simply a little closer to first base at contact and increases the chances of beating a throw to 1st base.
Teaching some of your players how to slap in softball can be a huge weapon that puts constant pressure on the defense. Teams that have slappers in their lineup have more ways to generate runs then those that do not.
This weeks tip only scratches the surface, but you can start by teaching some of the basics and see what happens!