Breaking in your New Bat
Back in the day, you used to run to the store, buy your bat, and it would be ready for in-game play. That is still pretty much true for any alloy bats you get, and then same goes for wood bats. With alloy and wood, they come hot out of the wrapper, and you can take them into games with ease. Now, as technology has advanced and changed in our bats, composite bats are not like their mates. These kinds of bats take time to reach their full potential and get better and better the more they are used.
It is definitely a common question to ask, “why don’t these bats come ready to go from the manufacturer?” and to be honest, it is a valid question. Some of these bats come with a hefty price tag and some aren’t at their “full potential” until at LEAST 100 hits. It all depends on the metal used in your bats. Some people are always worried that the more you hit with a bat, the less power it will have over time, but we are here to say that isn’t the case. Here are a few ways you can break in your bat to make sure when you step up to the plate, it is ready for action.
#1: Tee Work:
Tee work is not one of the best ways to work on the fundamentals of your swing, but it is a great way to begin the process of becoming comfortable with your new bat and a great way to break it in. Making contact with the baseball is exactly what your bat needs – not dry swings. It is important to continually spin your bat around each time you hit to ensure that all sides of the barrel wall are being worked on.
#2 Soft Toss and Regular BP:
The next step is to increase the threshold on the bat. Start with some easy soft toss to start making real contact with the bat, and once you feel it’s taken a good amount, have a parent, teammate, or coach start to throw actual batting practice and begin to really put some power into the swings. Odds are you will begin to see a difference in the power output of the bat!
#3 ALWAYS USE REGULAR BALLS:
This is something I cannot stress enough and when I coach, there is a reason I am a huge advocate for taking batting practice with actual baseballs and not rubber or dimpled baseballs. Those batting cages and other facilities that use machines like this are great ways to get reps in, don’t get me wrong. But, they are definitely NOT good for your new bat. For a while, a lot of manufacturers would void your bat warranty if they sensed that your bat was used to hit dimpled balls. Point is, if you are going to swing in those cages, use an older bat or use a cage-provided bat. You can still work on your mechanics and other hitting tools, but let’s save that gamer for when it really counts and make sure it lasts!