MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s a staple at all levels of softball: slap hitting. What is it, and why is it so popular among players and teams of all levels of play?
Slapping is when a player makes contact with the ball while moving forward enabling them to reach first base quicker using speed as a weapon.
Softball players from ages 8 to 18 came out to hear instruction on slapping from CG Sports coach Lyjah Heddy and University of Tennessee Volunteers assistant coach India Chiles.
“It’s hard to play defense,” Chiles said this week. “It’s hard to play fast against these kids. So with the slapper nation and events like these to see these kids come out and do it younger and younger only helps draw attention to the sport. They like to see the windmill pitchers on the mound but they also love to see those fast kids get up the first baseline.”
“This is something that has blown up in the softball world,” CG owner and coach Lyjah Heddy added. “You might have three, four slappers on a team, and we have them here learning from the best in the country on how to do it. So to have someone from this little area come in and show how to do it, and say, hey this is what we’re doing, it’s big."
The game has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade, and this fast-paced game has zero plans of slowing down.
“It does blow my mind,” Chiles added. “And the bigger piece is that they come out. These kids are already playing travel ball, just finished school , just finished high school, middle school, rec ball, they’re already in travel ball season and they’re out here on a Monday grinding it out to get better.”