You all know I feel aggressive is good. A hitter who takes a great aggressive swing at a marginal pitch is, to my way of thinking, a hitter who is demonstrating great faith in her ability to hit. I want my hitters ready to kill every pitch they see. Now that doesn’t mean I feel that a player should swing at everything but I want them ready to.
When you watch Florida play, it is clear that Coach Walton feels working the count and taking a lot of pitches is the key to long-term success. His players get walked a lot and get hit with pitches a lot, both lead to a much higher on-base percentage. He has two national championships so you can’t argue with his philosophy.
Which approach is better? Sorry, there is no “right” answer to this one. It’s like asking if you like chocolate or vanilla, you can’t be wrong even though we may disagree.
Now let’s be clear about one thing, we work on understanding the hitting zone and want our hitters to know what part of the zone they hit the best. We want our hitters to “take” bad pitches and hit good ones. Not too hard to understand, right.
So what’s the difference?
One philosophy has you taking pitches to get walked.
The other has you taking pitches because you want to get better pitches to hit.
No offense, but I just enjoy watching a player hit a lot more than watching them walk.
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.