Practicing the one-handed or the one-arm drill helps you perfect swinging off the tee. You should use a plastic bat or a wood bat when teaching children the one-arm hitting drills. The reason we do not start with real bats is they are too heavy to be manipulated by children and it can start dipping and, worse, hurt the kids.
With regards to size of the bat – it depends on what works, really. You should know, however, that if you use a bat with a small diameter, then it will get more difficult to hit. A small bat and a relatively big ball could work – but if you are using a smaller ball and a small bat, then it becomes challenging pretty quickly: not a
The one arm drill is the best starting point when practicing the offense progression. The goal is to understand what each hand does when you swing.
The coach makes the trainees understand the mechanics of the swing by making them go down on one knee and make their swings. The goal is to make them understand, or at least try to understand, the movements their forearms go through to make the swing. A good swing employs the shortest path to the ball and that is your goal whenever you swing – which is what the one arm swing really teaches you.
Depending on what situation you play softball in, the distance may vary-in college it’s 43 feet. The first half of the ball’s travel towards you is the period you have to gather information. At this point, your eyes are gathering the information about the travel – checking the ball’s strike, watching the ins and outs, ups and downs and making calculations so quick you don’t even realize you are making them.
The second half sees the hitter getting ready to make a decision. It is easy to see here that the first half influences the second and plays a significant role in determining the quality of a hit.
Important information: a player only requires 15 feet to swing and hit the ball forward – the extra 28 feet is, in a manner of speaking, your arm-room’s leg room. It is important to understand this because a lot of players in the beginning tend to hit the ball too early. The greatest players can hit all fields using hard shots.
The forearm is the key – and you need to get comfortable with your one-arm swing before you can really get better at much else. For people finding it difficult to understand this concept, a good exercise to embark upon is throwing a Frisbee. It will show you immediately that the way to throw- and ultimately, the way to swing – is by driving your elbow forward first, before the rest of your hand follows. If your elbows are away from your body- or your wrists are out- the Frisbee will go in an alternate direction. The Frisbee will help you understand the principle of ‘Elbow Forward First.’
The One-Arm Hitting Technique
This basically consists of your trainee going down on one knee and working on four points of their swing: the shoulders, elbows, wrists and the follow-through. Your torso remains straight on the tee the entire time you are performing this motion. Players should understand the importance of not tiring mid-swing and letting their arms drop off and cause a dipping in their barrel. It will make it a lot more difficult to hit the ball on the tee.
Players should understand that the swing moves from high to low before making contact. When making your swings and follow-throughs, your torso stays in position, if you find your upper body moving along the line of your arm’s swing, you haven’t done it right.
Always remember: elbow and wrists, elbow and wrists – the shoulders are a given.
Start with the front arm relative to your kneeling stance. Once you have gotten some practice done there, you should switch to the back arm and keep your back arm and wrist firm so you can maintain the barrel higher than your hands and slightly above your head. If the player’s hand dips on and before the swing they would not be able to hit the ball on the tee.
The best way to have this grip is to focus on the little pad area on the edge of your palm, between your thumb and index finger. That is the point you want to apply the pressure on for a firm grip. Apply good pressure, but do not make it the clench of death.
You want to do this over and over, practicing in a small area, and it will feel like you are in the zone with a fly swatter. You have to maintain eye contact with both the ball and your intended destination for your ball. Keep your eyes on the tee and you know when the ball arrives there that you have kept everything in focus.
Quick Review: Tips To Improve Your One-Arm Hitting Technique
#1- Pay attention to your grip
Remember – you apply pressure when gripping the bat, but the pressure comes from your fingers, not your palms. Grip the bat with the part of your fingers where calluses form. Place your top hand against the bottom and let them line up in a straight line. You should not cross your hands. Hold the bat loosely – not tightly – and ensure that your wrists are flexible.
#2 – The relative position of your hand to your body
Your hands should be close to your body (2-3 inches away from your chest and between your shoulders.) Your elbows should be pointing downwards and your shoulders should be free and tensionless. You can use the Power Alley technique – moving your arms back and forth through your hands and shoulders – to relax your body as you get ready to swing.
#3 – The swing starts with the legs
Always remember – your swing begins with your legs and your hips. During this time, your hands and shoulders are still staying put. You should be resting and pushing off against the ball of your back foot as the softball begins to near the plate.
#4 – Keep Contact Opposite the Front Hip
For a down-the-middle pitch, the contact spot is opposite your front hip. This is the position where the player gives the maximum energy on their hit. If, however, your contact is intended for inside-pitch game play, this will occur much sooner, in front of your body and your hips should open up earlier than during the pitch down the middle.
#5 – Your Follow- Through
Your swing must continue past the point of hitting the ball and swing in its natural arc. After hitting the ball, you should let your arms extend, your wrists roll over, and end the swing with your hand close to your front shoulder and your chin grazing your back shoulder. Keep your weight on your front leg, back shoulder. Your hip and knees should remain aligned.
These tips should help the beginner hitter get ready for their offensive position and improve on their current hitting strength. One-arm hitting gets you ready for the offensive play and it’s all about mastering the power of the fore arm.