How to Break in a Fast-Pitch Softball Bat

Learn how to break in a fast-pitch softball bat from softball coach Erin Goettlicher in this Howcast video.

Transcript

I'm Erin Goettlicher, and I'm a professional softball coach. After I played through high school, I went out and played for college level, and then spent a cup of tea at the professional level. I'm self-employed, and own Pro Softball Training. Pro Softball Training offers instruction in all kinds of softball. You name it, we can do it. Today, I will be talking to you about softball. First of all, we have to know what breaking in a fast-pitch softball bat means. In order to break in a fast-pitch bat, we're trying to increase the performance of the bat. Or what that means is increase the trampoline effect of the ball off the bat. Most manufacturers will tell you that it's not necessary to break in a bat. Simply by using the bat is going to break it in or create a little more flexibility in the wall of the bat to help increase the trampoline effect. There are several different ways that you can do this. The simplest form is just go out and use your bat. Using it right away in a game is fine, but if you want to take the extra time to break it in, you can simply hit the ball off of a T or off of live pitching. It's important to try to break in the bat what we call evenly. So, when we have the opportunity we want to try to turn the bat in our grip with each hit. That way we can make sure to hit the ball off of all sides of the bat. If we're really trying to work on increasing the entire sweet spot of the bat, we want to work to hit in all sections of the bat up and down the length of it as well. Some people go to great lengths to break in their bats. Some have become even illegal ways to do it. It's become quite the subject of our sport in the last few years. And in order to protect the integrity of softball, a lot of organizations have went to great lengths and put a lot of pressure on bat companies to make bats safer and not be as dangerous as some have become. That is determined by the exit speed of the ball-which means how quickly the ball comes off of the bat. Some of those illegal ways you may have heard of are called rolling a bat or shaving a bat. Rolling and shaving bats can make the bats very dangerous and almost become a weapon. Breaking in your bat just by using it is the best way to do it. A lot of manufacturers will tell you that after about five hundred swings, your bat should be broke in and ready to go. If you'd like to decrease the time it takes to break in your bat, you can actually take a rubber mallet or a ball attached to the end of a wooden handle, and strike the bat in all different spots of the barrel. Or, again, it's just as easy to go out and hit softballs. Might as well-you're getting some practice at the same time.

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