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Softball Hitting Fundamentals: The Load

Whether you are a beginner or perfecting your swing the load is great place to start, literally. Having a good load and beginning of your swing is essential for timing and gathering up power to put behind your swing. It also just sets the tone for the rest of the swing and if something is wrong in the load then something will be wrong with the rest of the swing. In this article we will be talking about when to shift your weight, how your body should be lined up, and the arm movement.

Shifting Your Weight

Not does the shifting of weight indicate the beginning of the swing but it is also a timing mechanism. A good rule of thumb to start your load is when the pitcher has already done this arm swing backwards and is starting to swing back into the pitch. Of course, it is up to hitter to adjust this according to whether the pitcher has a fast motion, slow motion, and/or is a slow/fast pitcher. The trick is not to start the motion to early because you will lose your momentum but also not too late because it will cause the overall swing to be late.

How to Line up Your Body

When shifting your weight backwards your foot, knee, and back shoulder should line up. This is also the point where some people choose to pick up their foot slightly.

 Also, it is important to note that the load should be short and sweet. This is because the hitter needs to almost immediately shift their weight back and if they are taking too long then that will make their swing late and it won’t be as easy to swift the weight back.

Arm Movement

There are a lot of different ways that coaches teach arm movement during the load. Some say that it should stay in the starting position (hands by the ear) and not move. Others say that as you load back your arms should also load back (this is also preferred among slappers). Jessica Mendoza, Olympic gold medalist, even suggests starting the hands high and shifting them down towards your ear as you load. A lot of this is preference but also arm movement can also cause errors in the swing if not done correctly. If you are a beginner or have problems with consistency, then having very little arm movement in the beginning of the swing would be the best.

The load seems like a simple part of the swing and it should be, but it is also a huge fundamental that can determine the rest of the swing before you even take it. Having good fundamentals, learning to control your body, and timing are significant when it comes being a successful hitter.

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