Choosing a bat for young players is a decision that can make a huge impact on their love for the game. And, should be given as much consideration as any pertaining to a budding career in baseball or softball. Because younger players often are more concerned with getting on the field than worrying about weight ratios and balance. It is important for parents to understand what his or her child needs for consistent and confident hitting.
Choosing the right youth bat for young or beginning players
There are several rules that have come about over the years that provide a blueprint for players looking for bats. One of those rules pertains to the height of the child. Most people consider a 26-inch bat for player’s who stand anywhere between 3 and 3 1/2 feet tall. Most experts recommend that you go up an inch for every 4 to 5 inches a child grows. This accommodates an increase in strength and wing span.
It is important that parents measure their children while they are wearing their game cleats so as to get an accurate sense of a player’s height when the bat will be getting the majority of use. A good rule of thumb is to stand the bat on its handle next to a player’s leg; the bat should not exceed the top of the hip but should instead be at or near the same height.
Weight is also a critical factor when choosing the proper youth bat and parents should have an accurate assessment of a child’s weight to better chose a youth bat that fits their individual needs. The general consensus is that any child under 70 pounds should be swinging a bat anywhere between 26 and 28 inches long to ensure optimal control. A bat that is too heavy or too long will inevitably create a long, choppy swing, which will lead to a flurry of harmless pop-ups and soft ground outs.
Ways To Find the Right Bat
Another way to determine that you have selected the proper youth bat for your child is to measure how it relates to his or her wingspan. To measure this, take the bat and measure from the center of your child’s chest extending it out towards their palm with his or her arm outstretched to the side. As long as the child’s palm can easily reach the handle of the bat, it should be the proper size.The most common misconception for amateur players at nearly every level is that the heavier the bat or the longer the bat - the farther the ball will go after contact. In fact, the truth is, the actual determinant of how much power a player has and how much force is supplied to a baseball or softball is bat speed.
Factors To the Right Bat
Far too many young and beginning players equate power with weight and size without full comprehension of the physics at work when striking a round ball with a round bat. Bat speed is the most critical and important factor for any hitter and that is why the lighter the bat, the better, when it comes to choosing one for your child. A proven test to make sure a bat is the proper weight for you child is to simply have them hold it out in front of them by the handle for 30 seconds. If he or she can not hold the bat steady and parallel to the ground for 30 seconds or more, the bat is simply too heavy.
The good news about tests like these is that they can be done using any bat of the same weight or length. Using an old bat or a different model from the store, players and parents can determine the correct metrics and specifications in order to make the appropriate selection online or through a catalog.