A technique I’ve introduced in softball at the college level — and would love to see more coaches utilize at the youth levels is with pitch selection. In fact, the first time a team uses these softball hitting drills they will see a huge difference. And best of all, the kids will gain a better understanding of hitting with patience and discipline.
I teach a mix of linear and rotational hitting style so what will make our hitters different is their understanding of the not just the strike zone but the zones within the strike zone where they can be most effective.
I liken this thought process to the student who knows 2 days before that there will be a quiz and they know what the questions are compared to the student who missed class and is totally surprised by the quiz. We all know that the student who missed class still may get a good grade but the chances of getting a good grade are significantly increased for the students who knew about the quiz.
I will have our kids face live pitching — and in their first series of 3 at bats will tell them what they should look for based on 4 quadrants of strike zone(low/in, high/in, high/out and low/out) and track the results.
In their second series of 3 at bats I will have them tell me what zone they are looking for — track same and in 3rd series let them know they are on their own.
Inevitably the results are always the same — much higher on base % (walks and base hits) when focused on 1 zone compared to not.