We know you can turn to a quick google search and quickly find 150 opinions about how to hit a softball – and many of them will have very different suggestions! We’re here to help you cut through the noise. We want to give you science and evidence-based answers as to what elite players actually do and don’t do, and help you to understand a challenging skill. We will start by identifying a common hitting myth.
MYTH: Squish The Bug
“Squish the bug” means to turn on the heel or toe of your back leg, keeping your weight on the backside, thereby “squishing” any bug that would be underneath your foot. The reality is, the movements of elite players don’t match this cue. Fortunately, this phrase is beginning to fade from softball instruction, but you’ll still often hear it in younger age groups.
So what’s the fact?
FACT: Your weight moves forward into your front side as you initiate your swing
As a result of this weight shift, as well as a strong rotation of the middle of your body, your back heel should come off of the ground as your back foot turns. In fact, in some elite hitters’ swings, their back foot may momentarily come entirely off the ground! During this “shift” or “initiation” phase, your weight will move forward, past the center of your body, while still staying behind your front leg. You can think of it as your center of gravity being directly behind your front leg, rather than on your backside, and then rotating around that point. One important thing to note is that your back foot turns as a result of the weight shift and rotation, not the other way around.
We want to help you become the very best ballplayer you can be. That starts by modeling what other great ballplayers do. Our myth series can be a great help in your journey!