Last updated on August 2, 2023
Do you ever feel like your mechanics are good, you’re seeing pitches well, making consistent contact, but aren’t getting the results you’re hoping for in the hits column? One important factor to consider is your bat speed. Bat speed refers to the speed at which the bat is traveling as it makes contact with the ball. A higher bat speed can result in a more powerful hit and increase your chances of getting on base or even hitting a home run.
So, what is a good bat speed for fastpitch softball? The answer to this question can vary depending on factors such as age and skill level. According Torque-Hitting, the average range of bat speed for high school players aged is between 50-75 mph. However, elite players may have bat speeds upwards of 80 mph. It’s important to note that while a higher bat speed can be beneficial, it’s not the only factor that determines success at the plate. Proper technique and timing are also crucial.
- 1 Understanding Bat Speed for Fastpitch Softball
- 2 Ideal Bat Speed for Fastpitch Softball
- 3 How to Improve Bat Speed for Fastpitch Softball
Understanding Bat Speed for Fastpitch Softball
What is Bat Speed?
Bat speed is the measure of how quickly a batter can swing the bat through the hitting zone. It is a crucial factor in fastpitch softball as it determines the force and power with which the ball is hit.
Why is Bat Speed Important?
Bat speed plays a significant role in the performance of a fastpitch softball hitter. A higher bat speed results in more pop and better contact with the ball, leading to higher batting averages and more runs scored. The faster the bat speed, the more time a batter has to react to different variables such as pitch speed, spin, and location.
Ideal Bat Speed for Fastpitch Softball
What is a Good Bat Speed for Fastpitch Softball?
The ideal bat speed for fastpitch softball depends on the player’s level of competition and position. For high school players, the goal should be to achieve a consistent bat speed ranging between 50 to 60 mph. College hitters can reach as high as 80 mph (or even a bit more for the most powerful hitters). However, every high school player should have a goal to reach 70 mph exit velocity, which is an excellent bat speed.
Bat Speed Recommendations by Level
A general rule of thumb is the higher the level of competition, the lower the drop weight, which means the bat feels heavier. A -8 fastpitch bat will feel much heavier than, for example, a -11 bat. Players with more experience are more likely to have the strength required to not only swing, but control heavier bats.
Here are some bat speed recommendations based on the level of play:
- Youth: 40-55 mph
- High School: 50-60 mph
- College: 70-80 mph
- Professional: 80+ mph
How to Improve Bat Speed for Fastpitch Softball
Improving your bat speed in fastpitch softball is crucial if you want to hit the ball harder and farther. Here are some exercises and factors to consider when trying to improve your bat speed.
Exercises to Increase Bat Speed
- Hip Thrusts: This exercise targets your glutes and hips, which are essential for generating power in your swing. To perform a hip thrust, lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and knees bent. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement. Lower your hips back down and repeat for several reps.
- Medicine Ball Rotational Throws: This exercise helps improve your rotational power, which is important for generating bat speed. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball in front of you. Rotate your torso and throw the ball as hard as you can to a partner or against a wall. Catch the ball and repeat for several reps.
- Romanian Deadlifts: This exercise targets your hamstrings and lower back, which are important for generating power in your swing. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell or dumbbells in front of your thighs. Hinge at your hips and lower the weight down towards your shins, keeping your back straight. Lift the weight back up and repeat for several reps.
- Band-Assisted Pull Up or Chin Up: This exercise targets your back and biceps, which are important for generating power in your swing. Loop a resistance band around a pull-up bar and place one foot in the band. Perform a pull-up or chin-up, using the band to assist you if needed. Repeat for several reps.
Factors to Consider When Improving Bat Speed
- Proper Stance and Position: Your stance and position at the plate can greatly affect your bat speed. Make sure you have a balanced and athletic stance, with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Keep your hands back and close to your body, and your eyes on the ball.
- Softball Bat Weight and Length: The weight and length of your softball bat can also affect your bat speed. Make sure you choose a bat that is the right weight and length for you, based on your size, strength, and swing style. Look for a bat with a drop weight that feels comfortable and easy to swing.
- Finger Grip and Bat Swing: Your finger grip and bat swing can also affect your bat speed. Make sure you grip the bat with your fingers, not your palms, and use a relaxed grip. Swing the bat with a smooth and powerful motion, using your core and hips to generate power.
- Practice: The amount you practice, the focus you put into it, and the tools you use when practicing are all going to be factors in how quickly and drastically your bat speed improves.
Importance of Proper Bat Sizing
Choosing the right size and material for your fastpitch softball bat is crucial if you want to improve your bat speed. Look for a bat that is made of high-quality composite or aluminum material, and has a length that feels comfortable and easy to swing. Make sure the bat is approved by ASA or USSSA for high school players. By choosing the right bat size and material, you can improve your bat speed and hit the ball harder and farther.
Hunter Tierney is a passionate writer, loving dad, and true sports fanatic. His experience helping his two daughters through softball, in addition to playing baseball at the collegiate level, gives him a fresh perspective on all things softball. He earned his business degree from the University of Phoenix where he also took writing and journalism courses.