Choosing a correctly sized baseball bat is absolutely critical for anyone trying to be a successful hitter. It doesn’t matter if you’re 4 years old or 40 years old, if you don’t have the right sized bat, then you’re setting yourself up for failure at the plate. There are a number of factors to consider when sizing bats, but before going through the process of actually selecting a bat, you must have an understanding of the basic objectives when trying to hit a baseball.
The first objective is contact. When a hitter is in the batter’s box, he has to be able to consistently make good contact with the ball. A baseball bat, above all else, must allow the hitter to have the control necessary to consistently hit the ball solidly. If a bat is chosen that causes the batter swing late or it causes him to make poor contact, then the purpose is defeated. A poorly selected bat can easily lead to strikeouts, pop flies, and weak grounders that lead to outs and frustration. The ultimate objective is to make solid contact leading to line drives, hard hit ground balls, and balls hit in the outfield gaps. Contact is critical.
The second objective is power. Power is what separates a good hitter from a great hitter. If you can make good contact, then adding power will only lead to more base hits because the defense has less time to react to very sharply hit balls. Power is generated through the conservation of momentum as energy is transferred from the bat to the ball. Momentum is dependent on mass and velocity. In simpler terms, the faster you can swing a bat of a given weight, the more power you create. Likewise, the heavier the bat you use at a given bat speed, the more power you create. So for every person, there is an ideal balance of bat weight and bat speed that creates the most power.
Now that you know that contact and power are the two objectives when hitting a baseball, the task of sizing a bat becomes much clearer. Bats should be chosen to maximize your ability to make consistent contact with good power. There are many, many different guides out there to help players choose a bat size, but the reality is that every individual has to choose the bat that helps him feel comfortable at the plate.
Most hitters choose bats that weigh too much or are too long. This is truly a major error because it can only hurt a player’s ability to achieve the primary goals while batting. A smaller bat can help achieve both contact and power at the plate.
Better contact is achieved because a shorter and lighter bat can be better controlled at the plate. If a bat is too big, then it can become unwieldy and it becomes extremely difficult to hit the ball with the sweet spot of the bat.
Better power is achieved because a shorter and bintang4dp lighter bat can increase bat speed. If you remember from above, a bat of a given weight swung at a faster speed increases power.
A common bat selection guide states to use a 24-26″ bat for ages 5-7, a 26-28″ bat for ages 8-9, a 28-29″ bat for age 10, a 30-31″ bat for ages 11-12, a 31-32″ bat for ages 13-14, a 32-33″ bat for ages 15-16, and a 32-33″ bat for ages 17-18.
To achieve the goals of making good contact with power, it is a good idea to begin with the shortest bat length listed for each age. This will be a great starting place and will likely be the optimal bat size to achieve perfect contact and head-turning power.