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Youth Baseball Bats

Choosing The Right Baseball Bat for You!

 

So have you ever thought about it? Does the bat really matter? Does the length, the size, the color, does it really matter in the success of the hitter? The answer to all those is yes. They all can matter. Yes the size can matter. Yes the length will matter. And sometimes, for some hitters, the color will matter also. That’s right the color will matter. When we’re looking down at this bat, we got to make sure we’re confident in it.

So in this lesson we’re going to talk about choosing the right youth baseball bat. We want to make sure that we choose a good weapon because this is our weapon as a hitter. This is what we have when we go to battle and that’s what it is each time we step in the box. We’re in a battle with that pitcher. When we step in the box it’s not against the other team, it’ against that pitcher and this is our weapon. So when we choose a bat, there’s a lot of bats out there. We need to feel confident in this bat. We need to be sure that this bat is right for us.

Now how do you choose one? Well on my website I got a few different charts that will give you a general distance that you want to choose based on your height, your weight, your size, your age. But we need to be confident in this. So we need to make sure that it’s the right length for us. That it’s not too short. That it’s not too long. How do we choose that? Well we want to swing something as long as we can control. The longer the bat, physics tells us, with that same bat speed maintained, the ball will go further.

So we want to make sure that we have something that’s long enough for us, yet we can maintain bat speed. This is going to be determined based on your size, your age, your weight, what you can handle at the plate. This is going to be different for each of you. Also, make sure you check before you go out and get one. These things can be expensive sometimes. You want to choose one that’s going to be ok with your league. Bats are changing a lot right now because of rules. There always trying to protect the kids on the field.

So make sure you check the league rules before you go out and make an investment in a bat because it will matter. And yes I did say that the length and the size, does matter, and like I said the color can. Because if you look down at a bat and you’re not confident, well you have less chance to succeed. I played with a lot of teammates that would only swing black bats. I liked the traditional colored bat. Sometimes I would swing a black bat. Little side note. I have been told by umpires, they have a tougher time seeing a black bat on a check swing. Just a little something for you to remember.

But when you choose your weapon, test-drive them. Swing some of your teammate’s bats. Find one that fits right for you. We need to make sure we can maintain bat speed. That we can still cover the inside pitch, that it’s not too long. We don’t want something too short where we can’t get to an outside pitch. So test-drive other teammate’s bats. Make a good selection. This is your weapon you’re going to battle with. The next time you get in the box, take your weapon, trust it and have a great game.

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Proper Baseball Bat Grip

 

Your Bat Grip – What You Need to Know

 

So we’ve made our selection on a bat. Now how do we hold our weapon? To some of you this may seem a bit remedial at first but it is very important. Let’s start at the basics for a proper baseball bat grip. First off we got our weapon. If you’re a right handed hitter, our left hand’s always going to be at the bottom, our right hand’s always going to be at the top. If you’re left handed, well it will be vice versa. Our right hand will be at the bottom and left hand will be at the top.

Once we have it in our hands and we have our hands in the right position, we always want to make sure there’s not a gap in between our hands. Also, we want to make sure that we hold the bat in the callous part of our hands. We want it laying right along here, we want it to feel in our fingers. We don’t want it deep inside our hands. They call that choking the bat. We want to have it right in the callous part of our hands. You can see on my hands right here. My knuckles are almost lined up. I basically like for the top of my knuckles to be going right through the middle. This gives your hands a nice feel. Let’s you control the barrel of the bat which is very important, that we can control this thing.

Be careful not to choke the bat, to get our hands too wrapped around it like this. You can see what happens to my elbows. They come up. As soon as my hands turn this way, my elbows come up. As soon as my hands turn back and my knuckles start to align, my elbows automatically go down. This is going to give us a much better chance to take a consistent swing. When I’m in this position, it’s tough for me to get through. I want to have my hands nice and loose. Nice and relaxed on the bat. I promise you, when we get to contact, our hands are going to get tight. But we want to keep them as loose as we can at this position.

The tighter we grip our hands, the slower our bat’s going to come through the zone. We need to be loose. We need to relax. We’re playing a game. Enjoy it. So have your hands loose. You got your weapon in your hands. Get the right grip. Get a hold of that bat. You’re going to use this thing in battle. So the next time you get in the box, take a good grip, line up those knuckles and have a great game.

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Batting Stances In Baseball

Baseball Hitting Stance – Where to Put the Body

 

My teammate with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers, Craig Council, used to have one of the strangest stances. Guess he’s changed it now, but he used to stand up there, his hands pointed so high. He was standing as straight up as he could and then he’d come down, and then he’d go back up. They were all reminders for him. They’d remind him different things. Keep his hands up, be flexed, who knows. He was doing so many things up there it was so confusing and if you asked him, he’d be the first to tell you, it was exhausting.

So when we want to choose a stance. When were in the box we want to find batting stances in baseball that are comfortable. We’ve talked about where we should be in the box, but where should our body be. We’re not going to talk about the head and our hands in this segment. We’re going to talk about our body. We want to start off with an athletic position. Well what’s an athletic position? Use this as a guide. When you get in your stance, are your knee’s flexed? Could you jump from this position or would your knees have to bend more to jump. So get in an athletic stance and jump.

Now where you find yourself now is going to be your athletic stance. We need to have a little flex in our knees. We don’t need to be down here and we don’t want to be standing straight up tall. We want to have a little flex in our knees. We also want to make sure our front shoulder, our chest, our knees and our feet are all square to home plate. We don’t want to be turned too far this way. We don’t want to be closed off too far this way. We want to basically be square. We have this line right here. We want to basically follow this line with our chest, our knees, our feet. From this position, we’re going to give ourselves the best chance to succeed.

Be careful with your chest. Leaning over too far is going to change the mechanics of your swing. We want to have our chest basically stacked up underneath us. I’m in a nice strong position right here. My weight is basically distributed 50/50, so half my weight is on both my legs. We want to be somewhere between 50/50 and 60/40, where there’s just a little bit more weight on the back foot. We need to be in a nice comfortable position like this before we get started. We know where we want to be in the box. But we got a good stance. We need to have a firm base under us.

Also, make sure we always want to keep the weight on the inside part of our feet. We don’t want weight on the outside part of our feet. That’s going to cause problems. It’s going to cause tipping over, so keep the weight on the inside balls of our feet. Spread those feet out a little bit. Nice firm foundation. We always need a strong foundation. We’re balanced, our chest is stacked, our legs are under us, were comfortable. So the next time you get in the box, get a good stance, get an athletic position. Be comfortable up there. We’re hitters, we’re about to go to war, and have a great game.

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Baseball Hitting Stance – The Hands

How to Place Your Hands in Your Hitting Stance   

 

So as in our previous lesson, we talked about the baseball hitting stance. In this lesson I want to talk to you about where our hands should be. We talked about where our feet, our chest, our legs should be in our stance. Where our weight should be distributed, but let’s talk about where our hands should be. There’s a lot of places we can put our hands and there’s a lot of places we don’t want to have our hands. We want to find a place that’s going to give us the best chance to succeed.

Let’s be honest, hitting’s difficult. We got a round bat, trying to hit a round ball, being thrown at us extremely hard and we don’t know at what speed it’ going to come at. This is a difficult game. This is a difficult part of the game. So we want to put ourselves in the best chance we have to succeed. When we talk about where we want our hands, let me give you some guides.

First off, let’s go right off our back shoulder. We want to have a little space in here. We don’t want our hands too tight to our body. We don’t want them too far away. These are extremes. These are going to lead to other problems. We want right off our back shoulder. We want our hands basically stacked above our back leg. Use those guides right there. We’re above our back leg. We’re right off of our back shoulder. Take a look at my bat. We basically want to have it at a 45 degree angle. If we have our bat pointed straight up, this is going to lead to problems with our swing looping. If we lay our bat too flat, we’re going to have a problem with wrapping the bat around our head, also creating length.

So keep this bat at about a 45 degree angle. We’re right off our back shoulder. This is a good place to start from. Yes you’re going to tinker with your hands. Don’t have them too low. This is going to lead to problems trying to get ready.  We always got to get back to the same position before we swing. Every hitter will start his swing from the same position, right here. So we might as well start closer to that position. Let’s make this easier on ourselves. This game’s difficult enough.

So give yourself a chance. Have the bat around a 45 degree angle, right off our back shoulder, stacked above our back leg. Right there, that’s comfortable right there. You can move it around. You can be comfortable right in this position. This is going to give us the best chance to succeed most often. So the next time you get in the box, don’t hold your bat up straight. Don’t lay it down too flat. Find a nice spot for it right off your back shoulder and have a great game.

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Batting Stance and Your Head Placement

Hitting Stance Head Placement

 

Like we talked about in the previous segment, a lot takes place up here in our head, a lot of things that can screw us up at the plate. We’re not going to talk about that in this segment. We’re going to talk about is the batting stance and our head placement. The spot where our head is can affect a lot of things. If our head’s tilted, that’s going to lead to problems. If we’re closed off too far and I’m only using one eye, that’s going to cause problems.

So use this as a guide. You want to have your head turned all the way around so we have two eyes level on the pitcher. My head is square in this position. It’s not tilted over. It’s not turned this way. We want to use two eyes. Have two eyes facing that pitcher out there. My chin is up. I’m nice and square in this position. This is going to give me the best chance to read that pitch coming into me. When I get turned sideways, this leads to other problems.

Let me show you. Our head is basically like the top of the axis. Whatever our head does, the body’s going to follow around it. My head starts to turn. I’m now going to follow around this way. You can see how I’ve now lost the angle of my bat. When I only have one eye on the pitcher, it’s always going to be more difficult. If my eyes are sideways looking out at the pitch, it’s going to be more difficult. This game’s tough. We all know how difficult it is. We need to be in a position where we have the best chance to succeed.

So we want to actually use our eyes, and both of them. So from here, my head’s square, I’m looking directly out at the pitcher. My chin’s up. It’s nice and level right there, not tilted. Remember, this head starts to tilt, It’s going to affect how everything rotates around it. There’s no way we can come down on a ball when our head’s turned sideways. It’s always going to be in this motion. You can see the difference when my head’s turned square, how I can immediately rotate down through the ball.

So the next time you get in the box, this is such a simple fix. Check your head, make sure it’s up. Make sure your looking square at the pitcher. Yeah, make sure you can see that ball. That way we can make sure we drive it, and have a great game.

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