OK - What am I missing??...I have been a solid Baseball Player - Excellent Hitter, Played through College. I have started to play Softball (Slowpitch-SOCAL), however I cannot seem to REALLY find my stroke. At this point I have been able train myself to only hit the ball over 2nd Base to ensure that I get on base. I know that is an OK strategy, but what about these guys I continue to play against that ALWAYS stroke the ball, hard.
I have never attempted to be a long-ball hitter, but the players that I see launching these balls are half my size & at least 65% of them clearly have never had extensive Baseball experience.
A slow pitch is completely different than hitting a baseball. You have been taught to swing level or swing down on the ball. Now you want to swing up and through. If you only swing up you will pop out. If you up and through you will drive the ball. The other thing is to learn to wait on the ball. I have seen many good baseball players have trouble hitting softball for a while. It will come eventually.
Michael S. Taylor
karpediem, I feel your pain. I played fastpitch softball competitively through college--but that most definitely does not translate to slow-pitch prowess and I understand the frustration.
I think Michael_Taylor is right on. Wait on the ball until you think you can't any longer, and then wait a little bit more. I tell myself to wait long enough to go opposite field with it and still end up pulling it sometimes--it's a tough transition for sure.
One of my former coaches who was a very successful baseball-turned-slow-pitch player mentioned that it's a good idea to think to drive the ball out on a similar trajectory that it comes in. Maybe that mindset will help. Good luck!
I agree with the previous suggestions. I am also a former baseball player and the thing that really helped was waiting on the ball. It's easy to get impatient since you are used to having less than a second to pick up the ball in baseball and you are dealing with a 2-3 second pitch in slowpitch softball, but as long as you stay back and wait for the ball to get you your zone rather than chasing the ball it will make hitting a lot easier.