Wooden bats have a certain amount of sturdiness, making them dense and solid pieces of equipment. But it’s this resilience that can inhibit your ability to send a ball flying and decrease your overall performance. Be aware of the benefits of breaking in your baseball bat and how to do so correctly without destroying it. There’s a fine line between making it suitable for competitive play and compromising its integrity.
The Advantages of Breaking It In
Here are the main advantages of breaking in a baseball bat.
Inside the barrel of a baseball bat is a layer of resin. This layer keeps the bat solid, preventing it from flexing. This lack of flexibility limits the trampoline effect on your bat. The greater the trampoline effect, the more power you have behind every swing. By breaking up this resin layer, you allow the bat to bend more every time it makes contact with the ball, thus increasing the overall trampoline effect.
Breaking in also has the added advantage of increasing your bat’s lifespan. If players don’t break the resin layer in after purchase, it can break apart unevenly during play. That unevenness can render the bat useless and reduce the effectiveness of hits.
How to Break It In
Breaking a bat in manually can be a time-consuming process, but one that’s necessary to increase a player’s performance. You’ll need to hit a regulation ball off a tee about 75 to 100 times to begin the break-in process. After every hit, you need to rotate the bat about a quarter-inch to ensure complete coverage all around the bat’s surface. Otherwise, you risk uneven breakage.
The next step is to move to a pitching machine. Set the machine to about 40 mph for every ball. Continue the process of hitting and rotating the bat for about 75 to 100 hits. Each of your swings needs to be at about half-strength.
The final step is to repeat the last step, hitting the ball 75 to 100 times at 40 mph, but this time, at full strength. After you finish up the last set of swings, the bat will be ready for competitive play.
Don’t Waste Time on Inadequate Bats
The bat you break in is the same one you use for games, so it’s essential you know how to select the correct one from the beginning. Find one that’s comfortable for you and enhances your play style. It should highlight your strengths and be proportional to your size. Knowing the advantages of breaking in a bat and going through the process is useless if you have an unsuitable bat from the start.