Building a Championship Hitter

  • Develop consistency as a hitter by being short to the ball but long through the ball
  • Learn how something as simple as the batting stance can set a hitter up for success – or failure
  • Teach your hitters to shift their weight through the ball to increase power
with Howard Dobson, LSU Assistant Coach;
2014 USA Women’s Softball National Team Assistant Coach;
Assistant Coach for the 2012 USA Softball Elite Team; former Southern Mississippi Head CoachNot every hitter is the same, but to be successful, every hitter needs to master the basic fundamentals of hitting.

USA Softball Elite Team assistant coach Howard Dobson explores every facet of the swing, showing some of most common flaws that hitters exhibit, while demonstrating his overall philosophies on hitting to develop the correct mechanics a hitter needs to be successful at the plate.

The Stance
As elementary as it may seem, the batting stance has a significant impact on the swing, setting a hitter up for success or failure. Coach Dobson develops the swing from the ground up, because power and force come from the ground. He covers every detail of an effective set-up for the lower body – an athletic, balanced position with the body stacked.

Bat Placement
By starting with your body in the correct position, there are fewer moving parts that can break down. Dobson delivers an essential demonstration lecture on gripping the bat, bat placement, body posture, head angle, and more. Each technique relates back to minimizing bat movement to create a quicker, more effective swing.

The Stride
Coach Dobson takes on a somewhat contentious topic in softball, the linear weight shift. He begins by discussing the load and stride, and also explains when to load based on the pitcher you are facing. He also explains the correct technique for the stride, which part of the foot should land first, and purposes of the stride. A proper load is necessary for good weight transfer, and a well-timed stride will help enhance timing.

Learn why it’s important to keep the hips behind the barrel and the hands close to the body. Good hip movement helps batters deliver strong contact on an outside pitch. Learn how to extend through the ball to stay in the zone and develop consistency in your swing.

At times, too much emphasis is placed on the finish of the swing. According to Coach Dobson, the finish of the swing should happen naturally. He also tackles questions like where to stand in the box and how to make adjustments to box position based on the pitcher. Each pitcher throws differently and will dictate a somewhat different approach.

It is easy to see why Coach Dobson has produced some of the best hitters in the game. His passion and enthusiasm for the art of hitting are contagious!