Learn two critical slapping keys that one of the best slapping coaches in the country recently shared with me.
Having slappers in your lineup can wreak havoc with the defense, but only if those slappers can put the ball in play, consistently. If you’re struggling with your slappers I might have the answer for you.
At our recent Hitting Summit, Karen Weekly the Co-Head Coach at University of Tennessee, spoke on Slapping. This is definitely a specialty skill and Karen’s one of the best in the country at teaching it.
What I found really interesting was that she didn’t focus so much on the pace of the slapper’s cross-over step, but instead, really drilled down on 2 points that for her are non-negotiables:
- The Nose of the Slapper needs to stay over the Toes of her crossover foot (picture (1) to the right).
- The left Knee of the slapper must be over her toes in order for her to have her maximum burst of speed toward 1st base (picture (2) to the right).
This focus on posture for the slapper is a very interesting teaching point for me, and something I’d never really thought of before. Karen said that the pace of the cross-over step needs to be controlled, but not too fast – and I can see her point. Too often slappers run too fast in to their slap which results in them being too early and thus having to wait, or slow down, as they enter contact. Instead, focus on a relaxed cross-over step and keep the nose and knee over the toes.
For more help teaching and developing your slappers, check out the following:
- Teaching the Running Slap (eClinic)
- Beginner’s Slapping Progression (3 eDrills package)
- Intermediate Slapping Progression (2 eDrills package)