Learn how to hold a baseball bat properly and watch your swing and speed improve. Baseball is often thought of as sluggish and steady. But while innings move slowly, the baseball does not. In fact, Ted Williams often claimed the hardest task in all of sports was to hit a baseball, which is why learning how to increase your bat speed is an essential part of the game-one that requires considerable effort and focus before your season even begins.
How to Hold a Baseball Bat
But before you focus on speed, focus on form. After all, what good is doing something quickly without doing it right? Get started by studying the mechanics of your swing. Make sure you are bringing the bat around smoothly with your hips staying back, your back foot pivoting and your front foot stepping forward towards the pitcher. Even use a camera to videotape your swing and compare it with the pros. What are they doing or not doing when they make good contact?
Swing, Swing, Swing
After you pop the tape, put what you learned to work: Try swinging as many times as you can in 30 seconds. Keep your head down each time, as if you're watching the bat connect with the ball, and see how long you can go without feeling tired or having your form break down. Then, try doing the same thing for 60 seconds. This will improve your stamina, and make it easier to get the bat off your shoulder.
Bigger Is Better
Think you're all set? Not so fast, Mr. Boggs. Now try using a heavier bat than the one you use in games to repeat these exercises. This will build up strength to match that locomotive-like endurance of yours. But don't overdo it; the last thing you want is to go straight to the DL-or be relegated to water boy.
Now the season is beginning, and it's time to bring the swing to a real ball. Have a coach, teammate, friend or clergyman act as your soft-toss partner, and work on applying the skills you've developed to making good contact with the baseball. Again, start with one bat, then move on to a heavier one.
Now, the game has started, and as much as you've bonded with your soft-toss partner, it's time to show the fans how to hold a baseball bat. Put a donut (a rubber weight, not a jelly or glazed) on your bad when you get in the on-deck circle. Take a few swings to get loosened up. Once you start "feeling the burn," take the donut off, take a couple more swings, and you're ready to step up to the plate.
By following all these steps, you should now know how to hold a baseball bat and you will be the proud owner of some enviable bat speed. But remember, you can never let up. Once the season has started, your time and effort will mean nothing if you don't continue to hone your skills. Get in as many swings as you can in batting practice.If you don't, that sweet swing will disappear-faster than the very ball you're trying to hit.
These softball batting tips will help you improve your game, to the delight of your teammates and your fans.