One of the most frequent questions parents ask is, “How do I know which bat to buy my son or daughter?” If you go into a sports store these days, you will see rows of metal and wood bats and it can be difficult to know what you need. Here are some tips on how to choose the right bat for you!
Which store should I go to?
We recommend you go to a store which specializes in baseball, as opposed to a department store. Bats can be an expensive purchase, so it’s nice to speak to sales staff that have more experience to provide appropriate advice. For example, Home Run Sports (http://www.homerunsports.info) is an excellent source for both metal and wood bats.
Aluminum vs. Wood
The decision to buy an aluminum bat vs. a wood bat is generally determined by the level your child plays and the specific rules for that league. For example, if your son or daughter plays below bantam (12 years old), they likely use aluminum bats. However, if they play at the rep level above bantam, they likely use wood bats.
How heavy should it be?
This is the most important question when selecting a bat. Similar to how long it should be, the bat should be a weight that allows you to generate enough bat speed to successfully hit a fastball. If the bat is too heavy, it will be difficult to hit an inside (or high) pitch. Generally, bigger or heavier player prefer a heavier bat so they can achieve more power. Conversely, smaller players prefer a lighter bat so it is easier to swing. We recommend leaning towards a lighter bat so you have maximum control.
Test: Hold the bat so you are pointing it directly away from your body at shoulder height; bat is parallel to the floor. If you are able to hold it in this position for 5-10 seconds without shaking or feeling fatigued, it is likely an appropriate weight. If not, then we recommend selecting a shorter or lighter bat.
How long should it be?
Generally speaking, the bat should be long enough that you are able to successfully hit an inside pitch as well as hit an outside pitch. The shorter the bat, the easier it is to hit an inside pitch; the longer the bat, the easier it is to hit an outside pitch. Of course, longer bats are usually heavier than shorter bats. We recommend leaning towards a shorter bat so it is lighter and easier to control.
Lastly, the bat has to feel right for you. Every bat has a different grip and different weight distribution, so try out several options and choose the one that feels the most comfortable when you swing.
Enjoy your new tool and keep working hard!