Choosing The Right Baseball Bat
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Choosing the Right Baseball Bat

A key factor to playing baseball is being successful at the plate. Hitting the ball takes practice and proper technique. But the bat plays a big part. Choosing the right bat can make a big difference between success and failure at the plate. Many parents and coaches mean well but are uninformed when choosing a bat younger players. The wrong length or weight will just add difficulty to hitting. When choosing a bat there are many things to consider. Bats come in different materials, lengths, weights, barrel sizes, and different models base on leagues.

A good tip is find the lightest bat in the proper length that you can get. The lightest bats are going to cost the most because they are made from a higher quality alloy. This allows them to make the walls thinner and lighter while still providing strength and durability. The less expensive bats are made with a cheaper aluminum. Because these bats lack strength they are made thicker and heavier to maintain durability. Thinner wall bats give a better performance. Players who are just starting need to learn basics such as making contact and utilizing the sweet spot on the bat before higher performance bats become important.

An important factor when choosing a bat is the length to weight ratio. This is represented by a negative number. If a bat is 32 inches and weighs 22 ounces then the ratio would be -10. A ratio of about -12 is the greatest you might find. Greater ratios are found in youth bats. Senior League ration average around -7, where high school would be around -5.

Another important factor to be aware of is the barrel diameter. Bat diameters are usually 2-1/4, 2-5/8, and 2-3/4 inches. Larger diameters give more pop allowing for harder hits. Make sure you understand the league requirements before purchasing a bat. The size of the barrel will also affect the length to weight ratio by adding weight.

What is the best bat weight for players? A simple test can help determine the weight of the bat a player should use. Take a bat into your hand that is at the top in your batting stance. Hold the bat straight out with that hand to the side of your body. A player should be able to hold the bat there about 20 seconds without shaking or dropping the bat. The bat needs to be heavy enough to hit the ball with some power but not to heavy where a player cannot swing the bat with speed and control. Bat speed is critical to hitting because it allows power transfer to the ball. The higher speed and weight the less power that is lost in this transfer. The ideal bat is the heaviest bat you can swing without sacrificing bat speed. Players might even switch to a lighter bat when facing a pitcher that throws the ball faster.

It can be tough to find the right bat in a store. Even if you can swing it around, it is different than swinging at balls that are pitched to you. Try finding a batting cage that provides various bats you can swing. This can help determine what you are looking for before you even go to the store. Another idea would be borrowing a bat from a teammate, friend or relative. It’s easy to determine which bats are obviously too small or big. Finding the ideal match can be tricky but by the process of elimination you should be able to get a bat that is close to perfect. Finding the right equipment just takes time and research. You can learn more about baseball hitting at Baseball Training Aids Plus.


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