Selecting the a best softball bats is a difficult task, failure to choose the right bat translates to poor results on the pitch. The main question therefore is which method or criteria to use to ensure you select the right softball bat. For simplicity, let’s breakdown the whole process into three questions
• How heavy does the bat weigh
• How long is the bat
• How does the bat drop
The weight of the bat directly affects how easily (or not), you hit the ball. A heavy bat will more likely than not to be difficult to swing and accurately make contact with the ball, this is mainly because the extra weight of the bat tends to pull it downwards. A heavy bat affects the speed with which you hit the ball and also the velocity of the batted ball. In most cases a heavy bat leads to inaccuracy, fatigue and consequently poor performance on the pitch.
On the other hand, a very light bat tends to affect the speed at which the ball moves once it’s been hit. In scientific terms, the contact between the ball and the bat is a collision of two objects, like in all collisions; both objects will move towards the direction of the lighter object- in this case the ball. The speed at which the ball moves will depend on how hard the bat swings and most importantly the weight of the hitting object. A heavier bat will hit the ball harder and for a longer distance.
How then do you select the perfectly weighing bats
The simplest way to select a bat of appropriate weight is to swing the bat. The golden rule is that a bat of the right weight for you tends to move it on a horizontal axis; a heavier bat will drag downwards and cause your swing to tilt upwards at an angle. Furthermore, holding the bat for over 30 seconds with your arms open and stretched is an indicator that the bat you are holding is of the appropriate weight.
The length of the bat contributes to how harder and further you hit the softball, a very long bat, longer than the recommended length for a person your height will often lead to lower speed of the ball once hit. A shorter bat is likely to hit the ball harder due to easier control and better hit, the simplest way to select the right bat is to place it on your chest with your arms wide open, if the bat goes beyond your fingertips, it’s too long, on the other hand if it does not get past your wrist, it’s probably too short for a person your height. There is however the aspect of balancing the length and the weight for better impact. This is where the bat drop comes in.
This is simply the ratio between the length and weight of the bat, the higher the drop the lighter the bat will be and consequently it will be easier to swing. Normally, if you are a big player you may tend to prefer heavier and longer bats, however, such bats may not always be perfect for you. It’s important to try different bats and settle for the one which feels most comfortable.
Finally, other aspects such as the material used to make the bat and the price (in case you are buying) should also be carefully considered to get the right balance of a great bat and a not so great effect on your credit card.