So You’ve Never Hit a Home Run

screen-shot-2013-03-27-at-11-31-17-pmHomeruns! Can you just imagine what Kaylee Puailoa felt after she hit her walk off, two run bomb over the fence – with two strikes and two outs, to cinch her teams place in the WCWS? That’s a moment she will never forget, and a moment that many players dream of having. It seems when you watch college ball, and cruise the fastpitch internets you see tons of pictures of girls of all ages and sizes holding home run balls.

And then there’s you – the girl who has never hit a home run, right?

You go to practice. You take batting lessons. You work hard. You have the WANT and DESIRE to hit a homerun? So why is it you just cannot seem to reach the fence? You might lay in bed at night, hands folded – asking God to bring in just a little wind, to get that ball finally over the outfield fence.

But here’s the thing! Not everyone is a home-run hitter in fastpitch softball. Just like not everyone is a red-head.  Fastpitch softball takes all kinds of players with all kinds of abilities to make the team work.

And while you may not have hit an outta the park homerun in your lifetime (yet), chances are that your dingers and line drives, and bunts and sneaky slaps and perfectly placed shots right over the infield that land in no one’s land and get you a base – not only help move runners around the bases, load the bases up with potential scores, BUT ARE ALSO the keys to WINNING in your softball game.

The reality is that it takes all kinds of plate performances to win ball games. And while the home-runs seem to get a lot of the attention these days, it is the girls with the speed, and the contact hitters that are CONSISTENT at the plate, who hit well and are versatile and can place the ball and make contact at just the right times during a game – that enable coaches to have an offensive strategy that help them win.

Trust us, while a coach looks for good hitters on his or her team, the reality is that the best home run hitters, don’t hit a home run every at bat, every game. (This isn’t slow-pitch for goodness sakes)

In other words, when it happens – its fantastic and wonderful, but it’s not something coaches rely upon solely to win games.

What they do rely upon is the girls that are consistent at putting the bat on the ball, who makes things happen, who force the opposing teams defense to work hard and make errors. Who can sacrifice themselves to move runners into scoring position by placing down a pretty bunt.

They look for plate aggressiveness that challenges pitchers, and girls who have a good eye for the ball and who make GOOD contact on a regular basis. A hard hit ball, is a hard hit ball whether it soars over the fence or not! And that, is exactly what makes things happen on the softball field. Batting percentage and OBP are huge factors to consider when you look at the overall value of a hitter!

So while the home run may make all noise and the headlines, it’s the girls on base in front of the homerun that often win the games!

Our advice for those of you dying to hit one out, who may not have done it yet – is to keep swinging your bat. Be smart at the plate! Don’t place all the value of your batting ability on whether or not you hit home-runs! There are some very successful players that have never hit a home run in their entire career, yet they find themselves in the batting line up each and every game. Keep your faith at the plate. Be grateful that you are versatile at the plate, and continue to work on your consistency and stand tall and proud that you are offensively a team player that does a lot to make things happen for your team!

When the home-run does happen for you, it will likely be a beautiful accident and a surprise. And we hope that your home-run comes at a moment as spectacular as Kaylee Puailoa’s did!

Whatever you do…..keep swinging that bat girls!


 

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