Tips on How to Choose the Right Softball Bat
It is important to buy the right type of softball bat that suits your personal style no matter which league you belong to. Recent advances in technology has enabled manufacturers to bring out a wide variety of bats which can not only enhance the performance of the player but also can be tailor made to suit each person's individual style, strengths and weaknesses. Hence choosing a bat is an entirely personal experience and should be based on the player's body configuration, height, weight, hitting strength and skill set.
Softball bats are now available in different types of materials, two important ones being aluminum and graphite/titanium lined. Though earlier popular, bats made out of wood are not really sold anymore by manufacturers. Aluminum bats are a favorite with most players this light weight material provides increased control and speed. Though slightly expensive, these bats are highly durable and hence players can save up on money as these do not crack or break easily. Aluminum bats are also available with various alloys which can make the bat thinner and lighter thus increasing the 'sweet spot' which is the main hitting zone on the bat's barrel.
Graphite/titanium lined softball bats are even lighter and stronger than aluminum and can be used to achieve a higher swing speed. It is also more durable than the former type and can reduce the vibration and sting of ball shock that is felt by the player if the ball misses the bat's sweet spot.
Body configuration is another criterion that should be considered while purchasing a bat. The first important factor is age which is a major influence for deciding the length of the bat. Children starting out early in the age bracket of five to ten years should choose bats between twenty-four to twenty-nine inches and those between eleven to sixteen should choose between thirty to thirty-three inches and the above seventeen players should go for a bat length of thirty-four inches.
Every softball bat manufacturer will have a height and weight chart which should be consulted before making the purchase. Weight of the bat is another factor and is usually measured in ounces. Most bats have a compatible height-to-weight ratio and choosing the right one should depend on your hitting strength and style. Bigger players generally opt for heavier ones to achieve more swing power and smaller players should go in for a lighter bat if they want to generate a quicker swing.
A softball bat is basically divided into three regions, barrel, bat taper and grip. The barrel size is the length of the bat and generally, the longer the barrel, the larger the sweet spot for hitting the ball. Most good players prefer a bat with a smaller barrel to decrease weight and enable more swing power. The diameter of the bat's handle is the taper and should ideally be narrow to rotate wrists faster during swing. The bat grip is usually made from leather or rubber; the latter are more beneficial in reducing the shock felt by the player.
Now that you have learnt the basics of choosing a softball bat, keep these in mind while out shopping for the next league season.
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