One of the essential “tools of the trade” in baseball is the bat(stick, lumber, club). In order to hit the ball with any proficiency, your bat must be a perfect fit for YOU. Selecting a bat is a personal thing and a player should not be influenced by other players’ bats or by the ones used by professionals.
Factors in selecting the proper bat for YOU:
- Weight: Your bat should be one that you can hold out in front of your nose(hold by the knob and parallel to the floor) for 10-15 seconds without it sagging or putting stress on your arm. It needs to be light for maximum bat speed. A light bat can be swung faster with more control. Swing it before you buy it!
- Length: Your bat must be long enough to cover the plate but short enough for maximum bat speed. A bat that is too long will slow bat speed and negatively affect contact. See chart below. Swing it before you buy it!
- Cost: The more expensive bat does not mean a better bat. The key is one you can swing quickly and make good contact. Metal bats are not an investment as you will outgrow it and they do deteriorate. Garage sales and Goodwill stores have bats at very reasonable prices.
- “Feel”: The player must feel comfortable with the bat. It must “feel” good and be easy to swing with force. Swing it before you buy it!
- Bat Speed: The key to being a hitter is hand and bat speed. The bat should be one that creates the quickest path to the ball! SWING IT!!
The key to becoming a good hitter is to choose a bat that you can swing and does not swing you! Most young players do not use a suitable bat. Test a number of bats with 5-10 good swings to be sure you can control it and not vice versa. Your bat must be the right size, weight, length, within a reasonable budget, and comfortable to swing!
Note: Practice with a wood bat as it will reap rewards!
Basic Rules for Bat Size: Age 5-7: 42-26”; 8-9: 27-28”; 10-11: 28-30”; 11-12: 31-32” These are guidelines as the real test is to find a bat that YOU can swing and control!
“Only a poor carpenter blames his/her tools!”