Batting is an extremely important, and some say the most difficult, element of baseball. Along with strong hand-eye coordination and strength that is gained through age and body mass, having the right tool for the job is something you must keep in mind when figuring out how to make the most of your turn at bat.
Baseball bats come in a variety of sizes, materials and weights. As your baseball player grows in age and size it’s important to change their bat to optimize their batting successes. In order for a child to be comfortable hitting the ball they must be comfortable with their bat. One bat will not work for an entire baseball team; it’s actually a very personal piece of sporting equipment.
One of the first things you can do to match your child up with the correct bat is to measure your child’s height. For this purpose, make sure your child is wearing his/her baseball shoes. Children who measure between 3-feet and 3-feet, 4-inches tall should probably be using a 26-inch bat. If your child is taller than 3-feet, 5-inches start with the 26-inch bat and add an inch in size for every four-to-five inches your child has in height.
Once you’ve got a good idea of where to start with bat length, stand the bat next to your child to see where it measures up against your child’s body. If the bat is too long it may be too heavy and awkward for your child to be comfortable with. With the top end of the bat on the floor next to your standing child, the knob area at the other end of the bat should be hitting your child right at their hip. If the knob area is hitting at your child’s waist the bat is too long and you may want to go back down a few inches.
You can also size a youth bat according to your child’s weight. This is not as effective as sizing for their height, but if you have an exceptionally tall and thin child who may not have the strength for a longer bat, this is a good way to have a secondary option. Children under 60 pounds will typically benefit from a 26- to 29-inch bat. Children weighing between 70 and 90 pounds can start with a 28-inch bat going up to a 32-inch bat if they are also over 5-feet in height.
It’s probably a good idea to measure your child’s bat range both with height and weight and see if they have a common thread where you know you are getting the correct bat for them undoubtedly. And while these are terrific starting points, the ultimate factor will be having your child actually swing the bat and get a good feel if they are comfortable handling the bat before you commit to it.
Most baseball leagues and starter teams use aluminum bats. Professionals and very specific leagues use wood bats; otherwise you probably can’t go wrong with aluminum. If you’re looking for non-wood bats here are some choices:
• Alloy – made completely with aircraft-grade alloys
• Composite – made of composite fibers
• Half and Half – handle is made of composite and barrel made with aluminum, alloy or hybrid
• Hybrid – made of two different materials, such as alloy and carbon
Composite bats are different from alloy in that their hits sound more like a wood bat, and once they are broken in they are able to surpass the ability of standard alloy bats. The break-in period before a composite bat reaches its optimal performance is such that a player should hit roughly 200-300 real leather baseballs while rotating the barrel of the bat so that the barrel’s surface gets broken in. These are more expensive bats, but after getting broken in, they will be worth the extra price.
As your child gets older and joins a league, it is good to research what requirements their specific league has. Most leagues to have specific bat requirements and restrictions, so before you spend the money make sure you know kinds of bats to be looking for.
Source by Christopher Douglas Donohue