Are you familiar with the term break-in? If in case you are not, this is one of the terms that a lot of people use in sports. This is the process wherein you would have to improve the performance of your slow pitch softball bat so that it can reach optimum performance. Once the bat has been broken in, you can hit the ball better and making the perfect swing will be easier to do as well.
In the beginning, I also did not understand what breaking – in meant. I had to do research and I had to ask a few people for me to truly understand what differences it would provide. I will spare you the trouble of trying to gather the right facts. Hopefully, through the things that will be mentioned below, you will realize why you need to break in your very own slow pitch softball bat and at the same time, know the proper techniques that you can follow to improve your game play.
What You Will Learn From This Tutorial
This tutorial is meant to help you understand break – in further and how you can do it. You want to have a bat that you can use as your weapon to be a successful slow pitch softball player. These are the things that you will learn:
- What you need to do in order to break in your slow pitch softball bat.
- How to break in a softball bat.
- Some other tips that will help you improve your technique and skill.
Are you already curious to know more? Read on in order to find all of the details that you are searching for.
Why You Need to Break in Your Bat
If you are still new to playing softball and you have just purchased what you believe is the right bat for you, then you may not initially understand the reasons why you need to break in your bat. You may think that just because your bat is expensive, it can already be perfect the moment that you take it out of the wrapper. The main reason why you need to break in your bat is this: it is not in its full potential yet. They need to take a few hits before they can be perfect.
The bats that you purchase from various stores may be made with the best materials that are meant to improve your game play but they have not been tested or tried yet so they are not at their best until you break them in. Your main concern can be that if you would test and try your bat often, you will reduce the time that you can use it. This is not always true. In fact, some bats just continue to get better with time.
The composition of your bat or the materials that are used to make your bat effective can also play a huge factor on how long it will take before you break in your bat. For example, composite bats can take longer than alloy bats before they can be broken in. Wooden softball bats do not need break in time at all. It is ideal that you will break in your bat before you play in an actual game to improve your game play.
How to Break in Softball Bat
Based on the things that are mentioned above, you have decided that you would like to break in your bat after all. Do you know some of the techniques that you can use to make this possible? Here are some things that you can do:
- 1. Hit Balls Off A Tee
This is one of the first techniques that you can do. With the use of a Tee, you can use your bat to hit the ball all over and over. You are recommended to hit the ball more than 100 times otherwise, you will not successfully break in your bat.
- Rotate the ball about 1/4 turn for every swing that you make especially if you are going to swing for more than a hundred times.
- Do not swing with full power especially during your first few hits.
- Gradually increase your power as the number of hits that you make has increased.
- 2. Soft Toss
Let us say that you are already getting tired of hitting the ball all the time just to break in your bat. Another process that you can do is the soft toss. Doing about 50 of this or more will be enough to break in your bat.
- This can be good for you since you can also practice your stance.
- You can rotate the bat about 1/4 turn for each time that you take a swing in order to hit the ball.
- It will not count if you are unable to hit the ball.
- You can also do front toss if you find this easier to do.
- 3. Live Pitching
This is something that you can do with a friend, a family member or another person in your team. This can be a bit hard if you do not consider yourself to be good yet but this will help in breaking in your bat so that you can be better.
- Make sure that the person who is pitching the ball will throw the ball at least 40 miles per hour.
- You would have to let the ball hit the bat for more than 50 times.
- If the pitcher has already done 50 swings but you barely hit any ball, this will not help your bat.
- Do not forget to rotate the bat 1/4 turn for every swing that you make so that everything will be even.
- 4. Hammer Technique
If you would like to break in your softball bat faster then you can do the hammer technique. This is the process wherein you would constantly hit the bat with a ball hammer. This is known to be highly effective in breaking in without too much effort.
- You can purchase a ball hammer from some specialty stores but you can also make your own.
- Once you have your ball hammer, you can use it to hammer different parts of your bat in a precise manner.
- Make sure that you will go through all parts of the barrel to make the break-in even and successful.
- 5. Barrel Compression Technique
Perhaps you would like to use some compression devices in order to break in your bat. This is easy because the compression device will help exert a certain amount of pressure on your barrel to make it appear broken in.
- Make sure that you have a compression device or you can borrow it from someone else.
- The amount of pressure that you exert should not be too much so you would not risk breaking your bat.
- You can expect that the trampoline effect that makes bats highly effective will be greater after this process.
Bonus: Rolling In
This is a method that has been used to break in bats but is not recommended because some leagues do not allow it. This involves placing the bat in a rolling machine so that it will be compressed and broken in. This is not recommended because of the following reasons:
- This is illegal.
- The moment that you do this, the company’s warranty will be void so if anything happens to your bat, you have to replace it with your own money.
- This is considered to be a “doctored” bat and it cannot be used in several leagues and events.
Some Tips to Remember When Breaking in Your Bat
You may be excited to break in your bat that you would not bother learning more about how you can do breaking in safely. Here are some things to remember:
- Using regular softballs will work best to break in your bat. If you would use the rubberized versions, they will not have the same effect.
- If in case you do not hit the ball when you tried, do not do the 1/4 turn because this will not count. If you do this, one portion of your bat may not be broken in as much as the others.
- You should not swing composite bats because there is always a big chance that it will break depending on how it is made and the other materials used to make the bat.
Other Tips to Help You Out
The moment that you have broken in your bat, you know that you still need to work on your techniques and skills in order to become the player that you always wished you would be. Due to the different bats that are being sold right now, you are required to check if the bat that you have truly needs a break-in. If it does not, then you can use it for your games if it would be allowed. If you have a composite bat, you truly need to let your bat undergo the process of breaking – in.