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How do you know if you should switch over to the left side? What are the reasons why you should make that change? What are college coaches looking for in a slapper?

Coach Lisle answers these important questions in this week’s video!

When to Consider Making your Hitter a Slapper

I’m wary to move someone from the right side to the left side as a slapper unless they are incredibly fast. If the person is incredibly fast- faster than anyone on the team, you can tell this person has incredible speed and maybe they’re not getting the job done from the right side, then I would consider making them a slapper.

I would tell you that as a college recruiter, and someone who coached at the college level, if I have someone who can slap–a one-dimensional slapper who can just soft slap–to me, that’s not really a person that I am looking for. If they can slap and hit the softball for power, that person I want to have.

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I think that a lot of people switch their hitters over to a slapper, and they become one-dimensional slappers who can just soft slap. They just try and put the ball in play, they can’t bunt and don’t like to swing away. And when they get to the college level, those players are easy to defend.

Now if you watch someone like a Natasha Watley, someone who can look at the field and go, I’m swinging away. Boom. If the defense is playing back, she’ll lay down a drag bunt.

I would just say that slapping is not a short-term thing. Like, “hey, I think I’m going to do this now and see what happens.”

Slap Hitting Should Come Natural

I would say that it has to be something that comes really natural to them or something that they’re going to really invest their time in getting better at.

I would prefer to take that same hitter and figure out how do I make them better from the right side? What do I need to do to get them to the right side?

Related reading: How to Train Switch Hitters

Again, unless they’re incredibly fast–and I’ve had the conversation with them about being a slapper, I generally don’t recommend it. However, here is what  I ask my softball hitters if I’d like to look at them as a slapper:

“Hey, I want to switch you over to your left side I want to talk about slapping. Are you willing to really invest in your swing, bunting, the entire aspect of slapping?

If they are open to putting in the work necessary, then I’m open to that too! As a coach, our job is to put our softball players in the best position to be successful. If they are lightning fast, then becoming a slapper might be a good idea for them to reach success. But I would never want to give up on hitters that are looking to hit for more power. Regardless of size and strength, the proper swing movements we teach in The Hitting Vault can produce a powerful swing.

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