Composite softball bats allow batters to get more distance and power from their hits. Composite bats are expensive, however, and if they aren't broken in properly you won't get the performance or the durability you're looking for. There are many myths associated with composite bat break-in, but the only sure way to break in a bat without voiding your warranty is to follow these steps.
Things You'll Need
- Composite bat
- Bucket of softballs
- Batting tee
Breaking in a Composite Softball Bat
Hit 20-30 balls softly off the tee. Only use about 25% of your power with these first hits. Turn the bat slightly after each hit to cover the entire barrel.
Hit at least 100 softballs off the tee with moderate force. Turn the bat and make sure each part of the barrel comes in contact with several balls.
Hit 50-60 balls with full force. The balls can be hit off the tee or they can be thrown by a pitcher. Rotate the bat after each pitch to ensure even break-in along the entire length of the bat barrel.
Use the bat in a few games, but make sure to alternate the bat with another bat for a few days.
Tips & Warnings
- Breaking in a composite softball bat can take several hundred pitches. Don't rush it or try to do it all in one day.
- Never take your composite bat into a batting cage. The balls and the force can crack your bat or shorten its lifespan.
- Keep the ball you're hitting over 60 degrees. It is a common misconception that the bat should be kept warm, but it is a cold ball that damages the bat.
- Do not "roll" or use a mallet on your bat.
- Do not hit a pole or a tree with your composite bat. Most major manufactures will void your warranty if your bat is used to strike anything but a ball.
- Altering your bat by striking it with a hammer or mallet can result in your bat being declared ineligible for game use.
- Do not let your bat become a "team bat." This will shorten the lifespan of the bat.
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