Today’s athletes have access to a wealth of sport-specific data that can offer insights on strengths and weaknesses. With this wealth of data, you should start with these three metrics.
Swing plane refers to a hitter’s ability to match the ideal angle for contact throughout the course of their swing. The longer a hitter is able to reside “in-plane” throughout their swing, the more likely it is he or she will make consistent hard contact with the ball.
Connection for a hitter is the relationship between a player’s bat angle and their body tilt. Great connection for a player means their upper and lower body are working together to drive the softball. Being able to do this across varying pitch locations provides hitters with the ability to make powerful contact throughout the entire strike zone.
Rotation measures how quickly a player is able to sequence their swing. The faster a player can rotate their bat through the strike zone, the greater the impact they can drive the softball with. Additionally, fast rotation ability gives a player additional time to internalize the type of pitch, the location of the pitch, and to determine whether or not to swing. Hitters with fast rotation are able to stay behind off-speed pitches and catch up to fastballs.
Hitters who are adequately able to perform all three aspects of the swing have the ability to hit for average and power and are dangerous every time they come to the plate.
|Baseball Youth||Softball Youth|
|Bat Speed||40 – 56 MPH||32 – 46 MPH|
|Attack Angle||0° to 15°||-2° to 15°|
|Vertical Bat Angle||-10° to -40°||-10° to -40°|
|Time to Contact||0.17 – 0.23 sec||0.18 – 0.25 sec|
|Peak Hand Speed||17 – 23 mph||10 – 18 mph|
|Power kW||0.90 – 2.50 kW||0.60 – 2.05 kW|