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Re: softball swing mechanics

Posted by: Mike Myers (mike.myers@bell.ca) on Fri Aug 19 12:46:51 2005

> I have been working on this rotational swing for slow pitch softball for a while, and I dont seem to have lost power and distance, often hitting weak fly balls. When I use the swing mechanics explained in the web site swingmechanics.com I get greater results. I dont want to give up on the rotational idea, but Im starting to doubt it works for softball because of the ark the ball is coming in at you cant have a angled swing plan like what is taught for rotational mechanics or you will hit a lot of pop ups. What do you guys think?


I agree with your analysis. I have played both sports, and can say there are significant differences in the swing mechanics of baseball vs very slow pitch (i.e. lob) softball. These include:

1. Softball has a much larger difference in bat-to-ball cross-sectional diameter than baseball.

As a result, it is less likely to hit a softball squarely. One can easily generate loft by hitting the bottom half of the softball, and a grounder by hitting the top half. Since there is error in every swing, and an even slight top-of-center hit could produce a grounder, the optimal strategy is not to try for a square hit, but to try to hit the bottom half of the ball with slight downswing. This will also generate backspin, which creates loft as per Bernoulli principle.

2. Lobball has a much steeper downward pitch.

Since the lobball arrives at the plate with more downward energy, you must produce a correspondingly greater upward energy to produce loft. This does not mean you should try to have a greater upward swing plane (as you could easily hit the top half of the ball, or pop up hitting the lower half), but rather, this is more reason to concentrate on hitting the bottom half of the ball with slight downswing.

3. Softball has more time to generate a powerful swing than baseball.

A lobbed pitch is very slow, and location is highly predictable. One can spend time marshalling every muscle more readily than in baseball to produce the most strong and accurate swing. Remember: it is not important that the swing have an energy-efficient transfer mechanic compared to baseball. It is only important that you actually generate a harder swing. Thus, the lobball swing may not look as rotational as in baseball suggesting an undesirable inefficiency, but if a harder swing is the net result, what does it matter? That you may have spent more unused energy in the swing process is irrelevant. This is similar to a car with fuel economy plummeting at high speed RPM.



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