Bats are expensive, trust me I know. A great glove and a bat are going to be the biggest equipment investments you are going to make. We have to take care of our equipment if we want it to serve us well.
Here a couple bat care tips:
Cold weather? Keep your bat warm.
You can’t prevent cold-weather games. If you play this game, almost everywhere in the United States, you are going to play some cold-weather softball. Cold weather is bad for your bat. The colder it gets, the more damage it can do.
Keep your bat as warm as you can, as long as you can. Don’t leave it frozen solid in the trunk of your car overnight! Bring it into the house or hotel when you know you are going to have a cold morning. Have a back up bat to use for practice or pre-game. You can wear out your old bat in cold weather conditions and keep your game bat for the games!
Pitching machine? Back-up bat!
Hitting heavy, dimple pitching-machine balls is bad for your bat. they are too heavy and are likely to damage your bat. Again, use you back-up bat when hitting on the machine!
Shoe cleaner? No!
Stop using your bat to knock the dirt out of your cleats. Everyone of those scratches and nicks creates a weak spot. Stop hitting your cleats with your bat!!
Rotate your bat as you hit.
Common sense tells us if we constantly hit the ball with the same area of the bat we are going to wear out one area more. Once upon a time, we were taught to never hit a baseball with the trademark of the wood bat. You paid attention to where the barrel was in relation to the hitting zone. Same holds true now. Rotate the bat.
Keep it clean!
if your bat has gunk on it, clean it off! If there are chunks of dirt, rocks, goo from pitching machine balls, whatever. Clean it off. Windex and a soft rag works wonders.
You have spent a bunch of money on this bat, treat it with respect and it will last you a lot longer!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.