Pitchers don’t walk hitters very often, so your players shouldn’t step up to the plate expecting to get a freebie to first. Instead train them to hit the ball with confidence. But that doesn’t mean they should swing at just any pitch.
Coach India Chiles suggests taking a “yes, yes, no” approach. When the pitch is first released, the batter should think, “Yes, yes, this is my pitch.” If it moves out of the zone, the batter’s thoughts should shift to, “No, I’m going to hold up.”
By being aggressive, your offense exudes confidence. This can make the defense’s self-assurance falter, which keeps the momentum on your side.
Slappers, in particular, will usually get a good pitch. That’s because pitchers would rather strike them out than allow fast runners to get on base. So make sure your slappers are prepared to hit.
Yet it can sometimes be difficult to find holes in the defense. In this case, have your slapper take a pitch ... and watch how the defense reacts. This allows her to find gaps in the field, depending on how individual defensive players respond.
When you train your athletes to go after pitches, you teach them to make decisions on their own. Over time, you’ll develop smart athletes who aren’t afraid to step up to the plate.