Hitting the ball in that sweet spot is every softball player's dream. Developing as a hitter requires lots of practice, good coaching, and the right bat. Whether your daughter has just started playing softball, or has been building up her hitting skills for a while and is ready for a new bat to help her reach the next level, here are the things you should look for in buying a softball bat:
Choosing the Best Length
Age, weight, and height determine bat length. To find the best length for a player:
- Put the knob in the middle of her chest and stretch the bat out in front.
- She should be able to just touch the end of the bat with the tips of her fingers.
- If the bat goes past the fingertips, it is too long.
Choosing the Right Weight
Body style affects what weight of bat works best. A player should try swinging a bat to make sure it is comfortable. It is important not to choose a bat which is too heavy because that will make her swing at an angle. She wants a bat that gives quick, fast contact, and a good pop. Remember that too heavy a bat will make her swing too slowly and the pitcher will beat her. Moreover, trying to swing a heavy bat faster can cause injuries. A good weight test? A player should hold the bat in one hand with her arm extended for 30 seconds. If that is comfortable, the bat should work.
The two most popular types of fastpitch bats are composite and aluminum. Aluminum bats have:
- Greater bat speed and maximized trampoline effect.
- Easier swing weight because they tend to be lighter.
- A more balanced feel with a more even and controllable weight distribution.
- Durability but they can dent easily and have sweet spots that wear down.
DeMarini offers some of the most popular composite bats. Composites bats:
- Have more "pop" when you hit the ball.
- Can have a more targeted trampoline effect.
- Can have a soft barrel and stiff handle to minimize sting when hitting.
- Have larger sweet spots but may take a longer break-in time.
- May not be best for very cold weather.
Find a wide selection of composite softball bats here.
Mistakes in Choosing
Girls can be tempted to choose a bat based on their favorite color or whether it matches their uniform. Avoid letting color be the focus of her choice because it is the performance which matters most. Be sure to focus on whether the bat feels right when swinging. Another mistake some girls make is to assume that bats their friends like are the best. No one bat is really best for everyone. Try out a variety of bats to find out which performs best for her.