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Thursday, March 4, 2010
Baseball Hitting With Wooden Bats
By Jack D. Elliott
There is no denying the power of an aluminum bat. In fact, one reason they are not allowed in the major leagues is to help protect pitchers from having a line drive take off their head. However, occasionally practicing with a wooden bat in batting practice or the batting cage can definitely fine tune your swing and improve your baseball hitting.
A wooden bat has the advantage of encouraging the batter to hit the ball in the sweet spot. If the hitter hits the ball with the inside part of the bat, he runs the risk of breaking his bat or getting a stinging sensation in his hands. If the hitter hits the baseball with the outside part of the bat, the baseball will not travel very far. For these reasons, a wooden bat will encourage a batter to hit the baseball with the sweet spot. The more repetitions you get hitting the baseball with the sweet spot will translate into better hitting when you switch over to an aluminum bat which has an even bigger sweet spot and is slightly lighter.
One caveat: Wooden baseball bats can break very easily. One thing that can be done to help increase the life of a wooden bat is to wrap baseball tape or electrical tape around the sweet spot of the bat. This should help absorb some of the sting of a baseball when it hits the wooden bat in the wrong area. This is especially important because batting cage balls (the ones with the dimples in them) are a little bit harder on bats than a regular baseball.
Regardless of how you treat your wooden bat, you can expect to break a few wooden baseball bats if you play long enough. The good news is they are cheaper than aluminum bats ranging any where from $30 to $100. Another way one can make lemonade out of these lemons is to use the broken wooden bat for other purposes. Depending on how much is salvageable, you may be able to use the fat end of the bat as a club (miniature bat) for additional wiffleball practice by putting baseball tape on the tail end of it. This would allow you to practice your batting swing with your extension hand. This type of exercise helps with driving through the baseball.
Also, the handle of the bat may be converted into a strength training tool as well. You can create this baseball training tool by:
1. Drilling a hole on the bat handle. Drilling a hole through the handle of the bat and tie a very thin rope to it. The rope should have about 3 ½ to 4 feet of slack.
2. Tie a small weight to the rope. Then, tie a small weight to the other end of the rope. This weight should be under 10 pounds. I recommend starting with a 5 pound weight.
3. Roll up rope using back and forth motion. From here, you will want to hold the handle out in front of you with two hands. It should be in front of your body at roughly chest level. Then, you will want to start using your hands in a back and forth rolling motion to start rolling up the rope and weight around the handle.
4. Reverse the motion to control the decline. Once you are at the top, you will want to do the reverse by controlling the decline of the weight to the bottom again.
5. Do enough repetitions until you get muscle fatigue. You will want to do enough repetitions to get to the point where you have exhaustion in your forearms.
6. Add weight to increase resistance. If after doing a number of repetitions, you find that you are not getting forearm muscle fatigue, increase the weight used. This exercise is very good for improving the strength of your forearms. This will be directly helpful with your swing and help strengthen your throwing arm as it will give you more muscle control of your arms.
In conclusion, wooden baseball bats provide another sound way to improve your baseball hitting. Be sure to make the investment in at least one wooden bat to see if it works for you. You will be glad you did.
Jack Elliott, is a former player and fan of the game. To read more tips and techniques like the ones in this article, please click here: http://www.baseballtrainingtechniques.com/Baseball-Hitting/
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jack_D._Elliott
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