V1 Sports Blog

9 Hitting Terms Every Softball Player Should Know

9 Hitting Terms Every Softball Player Should Know

In this special blog takeover Chas Pippett, Founder, CEO, and Lead Softball Hitting Instructor at Baseball Rebellion walks us through some essential terminology that will make coaches and parents better communicators, and athletes better hitters.

Do you know the most common hitting terms used by coaches today? Knowledge is power, and knowing these terms and what they mean will help everyone learn faster and share hitting information better. Seeing is also believing, and using the V1 Pro software during practice and V1 Baseball app at home can help make these terms come to life. Here are the 9 hitting terms I think every athlete needs to understand:

1. Exit Velocity

Exit Velocity is the speed the ball comes off the bat. It has nothing to do with the bat itself, just the ball once it’s hit. Another term that means the same thing as Exit Velocity is Ball Exit Speed.

Exit Velocity

2. Bat Speed

Bat Speed is the speed at which the bat is swung. This has nothing to do with Exit Velocity of the ball as Bat Speed is only about the bat. Another term that means the same speed as Bat Speed is Swing Speed.

3. Launch Angle

Launch Angle is the angle at which the ball leaves the bat once it is hit.  Every ball has a launch angle, grounders are negative angles to slightly positive angles (-90 degrees to about 6 degrees). Line Drives are about 7 degrees to about 24 degrees, and fly balls are higher than 25 degrees generally. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a “launch angle swing”‘. Another term that means the same thing as Launch Angle is Exit Angle.

Launch Angle with a softball hitter

4. Attack Angle

Attack Angle is the angle from when the bat enters the hitting zone until contact with the ball. For example, if you swing down and chop at the ball, your attack angle will be a negative number (-15 degrees). If you swing flat and level to the ground it will be 0 degrees. And if you swing upward it will be a positive number, anywhere from 1 to about 25 degrees. Contrary to popular belief, pop-ups are mostly caused by negative or flat attack angles. Alternatively, line drives and hard grounders are from positive attack angles. Another term that means the same thing as Attack Angle is Swing Plane Angle.

Attack Angle with a softball hitter

5. Pitch Plane

Pitch Plane is the angle at which the pitch comes in. The best contact hitters have attack angles that are opposite of the pitch angle coming in. For example, if the pitch comes in on a -4 degree angle, the hitter would want at least a 4-degree attack angle. Home run hitters tend to have higher attack angles than the pitch plane. 

Pitch Plane with a softball hitter

6. Area of Impact

Area of Impact is how long the bat is in the hitting zone and behind the ball. A perfectly matched attack angle to pitch plane has the longest area of impact, which is around 3.5 feet.

Area of Impact with a softball hitter

7. Hip Hinge

Hip Hinge is bending at the waist towards home plate from your stance position. Another term that means the same thing as Hip Hinge is Pelvis Bend.

Hip Hinge with a softball hitter

8. Side Bend

Side Bend is bending towards home plate at the contact position. The body has rotated to this ball now so the hip hinge in the stance has transitioned to side bend. Other terms that mean the same thing as Side Bend are Pelvis Side Bend or Torso Bend or Inward Tilt.

Picture of Side Bend with a softball hitter

9. Hip and Shoulder Separation

Hip and Shoulder Separation is the angle of the front of the pelvis compared to the angle to the shoulder girdle/collar bone of a hitter or thrower. Generally, the more different the angles of the chest and hips, (more open for hips and more closed for shoulders) the harder a player can swing a bat or throw a ball. Another term that means the same thing as Hip and Shoulder Separation is X-Factor Stretch.

Picture of Hip and Shoulder Separation

Baseball Rebellion is committed to proving improvement for the thousands of baseball and softball athletes that come through our doors or interact with us virtually with online lessons. We use a few different types of systems to accomplish this, but one of my favorite things about the V1 System, and why we’ve made a commitment to using it in our facility, is that the athlete can be told they need to improve one of the terms above like hip hinge and they can go home and with the V1 Baseball app in a stand or a friend or family filming for them they can work on their swing and actually measure and see their improvement and progress. No other system gives the power to the athlete to seek improvement outside of the facility like that.

– Chas, Founder, CEO, and Lead Hitting Instructor at Baseball Rebellion

Interested in learning more about adding the V1 Pro System and V1 Pressure Mat used by Baseball Rebellion to your own facility? Click here to schedule a demo or start your free trial.

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