“What bat should my daughter swing?”
We hear this question almost every day. We also know there’s no shortage of opinions and theories floating around the softball world.
So which is right?
We’re addressing this age-old question with a series of short discussions to help you make an informed decision about what size and weight bat is right for your player.
Why is bat speed important?
There are several big benefits to increasing bat speed. The good news is that you can get those benefits through proper training, like:
· Technique training
· Strength training (use of heavy bats or a complete strength program)
What can your player gain?
Power. The faster the bat is moving at contact, the more power is transferred into the ball. When you can combine greater bat speed with a heavier bat, the ball will really go for a ride.
Now when we talk about power, we don’t just mean home runs. We’re just as excited about the ball that goes through the infield so fast that the players barely even get to move.
Seeing the ball longer. This is going to feel like one of those word problems we all hated in math class, but please, stick with me!
Most hitters have to make their decision to swing very early because their bat speed, or lack of it, forces them start their swing sooner to have any chance of hitting the ball.
Every mile an hour that bat speed goes up lets your hitter watch the ball longer before starting her swing, because the increased bat speed will get the bat to the contact point more quickly.
When you consider the total time from the release of the pitch to the ball passing through the hitting zone is a few seconds, gaining even fractions of a second in decision-making time is big.
I’m not going to do the math, but I think you get the point.