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Fundamental steps for basic softball skills



  • When gripping the bat, your hands should touch. If you're right handed, it's left hand on the bottom and right hand on the top (it's opposite for you lefties).

  • Hold the bat up, and not on your shoulder.

  • Spread your legs roughly shoulder-width apart.

  • Don't stand straight up – just bend your knees a little so you don't feel stiff. It puts you in a ready position.



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  • Keep both eyes on the pitcher, not just one. You'll be able to see the pitch better. Try to pick up the ball as early as possible for better success. And never take your eyes off it.

  • Keep your weight on your back foot for now, but be ready to have that shift immediately.

  • If you're right-handed, take your left leg and pick it up slightly as the pitch is released. (It will be the opposite if you're left-handed.) As the pitch comes toward you, stride forward roughly a foot (less if you're smaller or younger) so you're building momentum toward the pitcher.

  • By now, you should have figured out whether the pitch is good enough to hit. If it's definitely a ball, continue your stride but watch the ball go by. If you think it's a strike, turn your hips through the ball and swing the bat.

  • Your back foot should pivot, but not leave the ground. You know you've done this correctly if your foot is pointing downward. You should feel your weight shifting forward

  • Keep your elbows toward your body so the bat goes in a tight circle.

  • Your bottom hand should be pulling the bat over the plate while your top hand guides it. You'll want to hit the ball just before it goes over the plate. Any later and you'll likely foul it off.

  • Many young hitters who don't know any better will always end their swing with what's called an uppercut, meaning the bat starts low and ends high. A beginner should always focus on a level swing, because that gives a better chance of making contact.

  • Continue the momentum of the bat, whether you make contact or not, to follow-through.

  • If you made contact, get ready to drop the bat and run to first base.


Fielding ground balls:

  • Start in a “ready position, meaning that the fielder should distribute his or her weight evenly on each foot. Keep an eye on the plate and the batter, to watch the ball right off the bat to get a jump.

  • Make a quick decision.

  • Decide if you can get to the ball and if so how fast do you need to run.

  • Recognize where the other fielders are and determine whether another fielder would have an easier play and if you should cover a base instead.

  • Move towards the ball aggressively, but not out of control.

  • As you get closer to the ball, begin bending or kneeling down to get into position to field the ball. Bend not only at the knees but also with your back.

  • Put your hands out in front of your body and open your glove toward the ball with your bare hand on top.

  • Look the ball into the glove while squeezing with your glove hand and covering with your non-glove hand.


Fly balls:

  • Start in a “ready position”, i.e. knees slightly bent, ready to move with your eye on the ball.

  • Run quickly to the spot where you think the ball will go.

  • Get behind the ball as it begins dropping.

  • Bring both hands up above shoulder height. Avoid having your glove hand directly in front of you face, i.e. blocking your vision.

  • Look the ball into the glove while squeezing with your glove hand and covering with your non-glove hand.



  • Grip the ball across the seams.

  • Have your non-throwing shoulder face your target.

  • Begin rotating your body towards your target while you…

  • Make a circular motion with your throwing arm:

  • Bring your throwing arm away from your glove

  • Bring your arm up so your elbow is shoulder height

  • Lead with your elbow as you begin moving your arm forward.

  • Finish with a wrist snap and a follow through towards your target.

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