While others consider bunting as a lazy skill, this technique can significantly affect a team’s winning or losing odds in a game. Executing a successful bunt is important when you have a dominating pitcher on the mound. The goal here is to allow the players to move by getting the ball down on the ground.
Regardless of the position, all players must know how to properly execute a bunt and its variations such as the drag bunt and the sacrifice bunt. Bunting a base hit, will allow you get on the base while also allowing your other teammate to advance to the next base.
Types of Bunt
Slap bunt - also called the moving bunt which is use from the left side of the plate.
Drag bunt - also done from the left side, the bunters goal here is to drag the bunt up to the first base line.
Push bunt - can be done from the left or right side to push the ball past the fielders.
Fake Bunt - is when the batter squares to bat, but either leaves the bat out and take a strike or pulls back at the last second. Either way, the batter has really no intention of making contact with the ball.
Below are the basic steps to properly execute a bunt.
- Step 1. Get in your athletic stance and stand all the way up in the box.
- Step 2. Rotate your hips and make sure that your chest and both your knees are facing toward the pitcher.
- Step 3. Bend your knees while holding the bat with your bottom hand. Hold it halfway through the barrel for better support. Make sure your bat is at an angle and is not flat.
- Step 4. Notice that the bat is horizontal; place your bottom hand, down at the knob of the bat. Your top hand should be positioned behind the bat. Make sure to cut your fingers as seen on the image to avoid injury if the ball makes contact with the bat.
- Step 5. Keep your hand on top of the strike zone, which is just the level of your chin. If you will start the bat around your waist or dropping the bat may result to a pop-up.
- Step 6. Sustain firm grip and set your eyes focus on the level of the bat.
- Step 7. Your weight will shift to your front leg. Instead of dropping the bat below the strike zone use your legs and knees to go down and move the bat.
Pointers in Bunting
- You should start with your hands out and away from your body. Give in when the ball makes contact with the bat. This will soften the contact and prevent the bunt from being too hard and popping up.
- Bend your knees so you can bunt a low pitch. Do not reach down your arms for the ball. Always keep the bat near your eyes then move down your knees. Keep your body in order to avoid missing or popping the ball.
- To successfully bunt, the bunter should absorb the impact of the ball so keep your feet wide to support your balance.
- Remember that your goal here as a bunter is to get the ball on the ground. Don’t get too focused as to where on the side of the field you will bunt to. Just get the bunt in a fair territory. As you get better, you will be able to bunt in different locations depending on the defensive coverage.
- Always practice under pressure. This will help you go far in learning the mechanics of bunting.
Bunting for a base hit is a skill to master. This is a helpful technique to help your teammates to advance on the bases. Technically, the batter gives himself up with a sacrifice also called the sacrifice bunt. However, if you are able to execute a bunt for a base hit, there’s no need for a sacrifice bunt.
This video from National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) Youtube channel
Practice bunting to get the bunt down, help move the runners and help yourself get to the first base. The more runners on the bases, the better chance to score. Make it a habit to learn new techniques and strategies on how to bunt in softball.
More softball drill here