The hitting sequence – hips, shoulders, bat
While this is nothing particularly revolutionary or even new for some, when it comes to softball hitting it can’t be emphasized enough. There is a very specific sequence or order for the movements in the swing: first come the hips, then the shoulders, then the bat.
The reason I bring it up is that it’s easy for players to slip back into old habits – ones that are hard notice unless you work with hitters all the time. Usually the hitters know the proper sequence as well. Yet there’s something about holding that bat in your hands that makes hitters want to get it going too early.
When I’m teaching lessons, sometimes I will see a player who normally hits with good power struggling to make strong contact. Upon closer examination, I’ll see that the shoulders are turning either along with the hips, or even slightly ahead of the hips. There is a certain look to the swing when the upper body is getting ahead, even by a little bit.
At that point, I will ask the hitters “what’s the sequence?” She’ll repeat it back: hips, shoulders, bat. Once she has everything going in the right order, the power returns and all is right with the world.
Getting the body parts moving in the right order is critical for quality at bats. Remember that sequence – hips, shoulders, bat. It absolutely makes a difference.