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Emily Mueller Biomechanical Analysis The Softball Swing

Nicole Shedd
Basic Rules and Activities
o Objective: to make contact with the ball
o Main goal: put the ball in play between the two foul lines away from the defenders to be
considered a hit
o Rules:
o 3 strikes in at bat
o 4 balls in an at bat
o Both feet must be in the batters box when contact is made with the ball
o Throwing the bat after contact is made
o To be successful:
o Grip the bat with both hands
o Line up the knocking knuckles up on the bat
o Make sure the bat can cover the entire plate
o Feet are slightly outside of the shoulders
o Both elbows are bent and angled towards the ground
o Knees are slightly bent
o Eyes are focused on the pitchers release points
o Hands are close to the back ear, just slightly off the back shoulder
Other beneficial skills
o Core strength is essential to being a good hitter. This kind of rotational movement needs a
strong core and a strong back. Some beneficial exercises are any type of planks, glute
bridges, and medicine ball throws.
o Leg strength is complementary to core strength. Having a strong, stable bottom half helps
with the torque of the rotation in a swing. It allows the hitter to start the power that
creates the torque.
o Flexibility of the body is also necessary for creating the largest amount of torque. It
allows the core/legs to begin to rotate forward, while keeping the hands back.
o Visual acuity this also is connected to patience and discipline. It is important for a hitter
to be able to recognize pitches. They have to know what pitch they want to hit and if that
pitch is being thrown to them. Visual acuity is important for the hitter to be able to hit the
ball and put it in play.
Biomechanical Principles
o Gravity gravity is acting on the player and the ball that is being thrown
o Weight This is connected to gravity. The weight of the ball that is flying through the air
and the weight of the bat that is being swung.
o Concurrent forces the baseball and bat may not act on the same line, but they are trying
to act through the same point (the point of contact)
o Angular motion when the batter swings the bat, they are performing a rotary motion
around a central axis
o Velocity there is an exit velocity of the baseball when it leaves the bat
o Speed there is a bat speed during the swing (it can be measured using a radar gun)
o Projectile motion the ball when it leaves the bat it goes in a projectile motion towards
the ground due to gravity.
o Inelastic collision after collision of the ball and bat, they both begin to go together in
the same direction if the batter hits the ball enough to put it in play
o Work a batter uses force to hit the ball and the ball travels (displacement)
Emily Mueller Biomechanical Analysis The Softball Swing
Nicole Shedd
o Kinetic energy this is energy due to motion (the physical swing itself causing motion
when it hits the ball)
o Power can be measured in the specific amount of time it takes for the batter to swing a
o Torque the turning effect of the swing
o Moment arm the bat and the extension of the hands and arms
o Centric force this is the force a batter uses to change the motion of the baseball. It goes
through the center of gravity.
o Center of gravity where the batters weight is centered at when she is in her batting
o Base of support the batter having bent knees and being lower to the ground gives her a
good, solid base
o Angular displacement the rotating line that the swing makes from start to finish
o Angular velocity how fast the swing is rotating from start to finish
o Longitudinal axis the axis about which the batter rotates anatomically

Personal Performance

o Strengths of my softball swing:

Center of gravity- during swing, body stays up right and stable
Velocity- good bat speed generated mainly by legs and core with quick hands
Power- fast hands, time taken to swing the bat is quick. The bat does not drag
through the zone.
Moment Arm- good extension through the zone after the point of contact until
follow through
Base of Support- always consistent with every swing, does not vary. Knees are
shoulder length apart and slightly bent.
Angular Velocity: consistent, only slows down during the follow through at the
o Weaknesses of my softball swing:
Torque- not always at the level needed for desired result, inconsistent, length of
time given for torque and when torque is released is not in sync with the rest of
the swing
Concurrent Forces- the point of contact constantly varies between the top and
bottom half of the softball
Angular Displacement-is too great, rotates too quickly causing to pull the bat off
the ball
o What could be improved:
The work put into each swing becoming more consistent.
The longitudinal axis not becoming tilted during slower pitching (lunging for the
Core strength to generate more power in the torque.
Back Flexibility to help with torque and allow faster bat speed
Visual acuity and the timing of when to start swinging for each pitch.
Emily Mueller Biomechanical Analysis The Softball Swing
Nicole Shedd

Practice Plan
o How to improve performance: The best way to see improvement in a swing is through
practice and repetition of essential technical skills and seeing live pitching with various
speeds and pitches thrown to the batter.
o When: To be a successful hitter, the batters swing must be consistent every swing. This
means repetition of quality swings is necessary. A hitter should practice hitting at least 5
times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes.
o What:
Tee Drills:
1. Feet facing towards pitcher, batter twists hips to be in line with plate and
hits without stepping. This helps the batter know the torque needed for
each swing. (10 reps)
2. Set up two tees on the same line, the batter must extend through the zone
with moment arm to hit both balls up the middle. This helps the batter to
not rotate off the ball and lose force generated into the hit (10 reps)
3. Walkthroughs: walking though the swing to help with timing and force
generated into the swing. (10 reps)
4. Set up tee at the different points of contact for inside, outside, and middle
pitches. ( 10 reps at each point)
Side Toss Drills:
1. 2 balls tossed in air, the person tossing the ball tells the batter to hit the top
or bottom ball. This drill helps with visual acuity and makes them focus on
the point of contact. (10 reps)
2. Quick toss: A person rapidly tosses balls to the batter and the batter must
attempt to hit each one. This works on bat speed and visual acuity. (1
whole bucket of softballs)

Live Pitching (if available) with batters team: Allows the batter to immediate
results of their swing and if their swing is successful. At least 3 at bats would help
the batter the most because that is comparable to an actual game.

o Where: A batter can do any of these drills at a softball field, batting cage, or backyard.

o How: The batter needs at least a couple of softballs, a tee, a net (if in a confined space),
and a bat.