Baseball was initially played in the U.S. but has since spread to other countries. Today, you'll find that there are more than 100 countries that participate in the International Baseball Federation.
But baseball and softball players need to focus on bat performance. That's why it's so important to break your bat in correctly. With the option of using shaved and rolled softball bats that are already fit to use without breaking in, you might not think this info is necessary. Nonetheless, if you don't own shaved bats yet, here are tips to follow when breaking in your bat.
Ensure the Bat Needs Breaking in
If your bats aren't shaved Miken softball bats, it means they are composite bats. Composite bats are made with carbon fiber that needs to be broken in for better performance. It's essential to note; you need to make 200 hits with your composite bat before it is ready. Also, if you purchase aluminum derived bats, it is not necessary to break it in.
Use a Game Ball
When breaking in your bat, use a regulated game ball. If you use other balls while breaking in your bat, you'll damage it and undermine its performance capability. Also, ensure the softball is under the right temperature, which is 15 degrees Celsius because a cold softball could damage your bat before breaking in.
Use a Tee
Softball typically involves hitting a pitched ball, but when you're breaking in your bat, you should use a tee. Hitting the softball from a tee allows you to use half the strength you would use while hitting the ball thrown by a pitcher. This way, you break in the bat without damaging it. Additionally, ensure you hit the game ball 100 times from the tee.
Rotate the Bat
It is essential to note that you should break in your bat evenly. For example, shaved Miken softball bats are smoothly shaved on the inside to ensure adequate performance from whichever angle you hit a softball. Therefore, if you are breaking in a bat, consider rotating it at 1/4" before hitting so that you break in the whole circumference. However, if you miss hitting the ball, don't turn the bat or count it.
Throw Short Lobs
After hitting the ball 100 times from a tee, consider asking your coach to pitch from a short distance. These are called short lobs, and they help gradually break in your bat over time. While these pitches allow for harder swings than a tee, they should be slow enough that you're not damaging your bat. For maximum results, practice this at least 50 times.
The advantage of buying shaved fastpitch bats is that you avoid the hustle of identifying whether your bat is ready for actually hitting a fast pitch. If you follow these simple steps, your bat should be ready for action in no time.