Easy swing? Why?

During many years and countless hours watching softball, I’ve heard some things that just make me want to cry.

We’ve all have heard the old saying about there being no such thing as a stupid question. While some of these ballpark comments aren’t stupid…

Nice easy swing!

Really? Isn’t the whole idea of hitting to hit the ball hard?

As with many of the ballpark classic sayings, I am most troubled when I hear this shared with young players. Youngsters who hear this will probably try to swing the bat with less force, which, is always counterproductive.

The origins of this thought do come from a sound principle.  Many people assume that a nice easy swing means the hitter stays loose and fluid. These folks think a player who swings hard must be over swinging.  In effect, trying too hard.

Tension is a bad thing, but telling a player to do something that doesn’t make sense isn’t the best way to send that message.

A hitter should swing with the highest intensity they can on every swing they take.  There is no such thing as a practice swing, or a drill swing, or a just to work on my mechanics swing.

Any time you take a swing at anything less than the maximum you are practicing a different skill. If you hit on the tee at 75%, and soft toss at 80% and dry swings at 90% and then live swings at 100% you are practicing four different things.  That’s not the most efficient use of your practice time.

A hitter who swings hard will learn to make adjustments at that intensity level.  It’s much better for a player to learn how to swing the bat hard, and then control it rather than to learn how to swing easy, then try to make the swing harder later.

What do you think?

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