As it often happens in baseball, hitting with incredible frequencies coupled up with accuracy will ultimately win the game. Any true baseball fan knows that hitting speed is often the game-changer of baseball. As such, baseball players often strive to make the bats feel both lighter and friendlier. To an expert-level baseball player, the bat is not just a gaming device but it is more like an extra body part whenever playing baseball.
Thus, one can feel the hit, the vibration and even predict the miss immediately after a swing. Most players though, face a challenge of improving this discerned speed. This edition is a researched edition on tips that seek to improve the bat speed of a baseball player.
Q1. What is the bat speed?
According to the Bio-Kinetics Research and Development research paper, the bat speed is the pace a bat moves from its initial position to the contact with a ball. Bat speed is measured in fractions of 1/100th of a second.
Q2. What main factors affect the bat speed?
Most players’ bat speeds are usually affected mainly by mental and physical strengths of a player. These two factors are highly influenced by the type of work-outs and diets that players engage. The Diamond Kinetics online Publication proposed that a player ought to engage workouts that are suited to develop the muscles of the legs, the core/waist as well as the forearm muscles. Some of the most commonly listed exercises by the publication that are likely to develop the muscles include:
- Frog jumping.
- Bench Pressing
- Wrist curling
Common practices that Boost Bat speed.
- Rotational drills: The BatSpeed Research found out that baseball players who train with rotational drills have a relatively higher bat speed when compared with the popular linear training drills counterparts. It also urged that good baseball drills should always focus on rotational/circular motion of the arms and an accompanying boost through a forearm push. To train with a rotational drill, one will first ensure that the bat is held slightly above the shoulders. The barrel of the bat is to be slanted at an angle that is approximately 45 degrees with the holding hands. Such an angle is should often leave some averagely wide margin between the top-head of a player and the bat barrel. Unlike the normal drills that emphasize on almost lateral swings when hitting, such a position will allow a hitter to rotate before making a hit.
- Keep the hands a little curvy: often, when the hands are straightened completely after a hit, the bat will lose its speed and this practice also works to tire up a player. So, such a popular practice is only good in golf, not in baseball. The publication, also advised that if there exist a chance to make another hit, it is better to keep the hands in some slow curvy swing to retain the momentum.
- Keep firm grip: That is rather obvious, firmer the grip the faster the bat will rotate. Sadly, many players neglect this important tip. As such, it is always an important hold it firmly always.
Other Important Workouts /Drills:
- Improving the Rate of Muscle Contraction Workouts: as observed from above, the rate of muscle contraction is important to the determination of a player’s bat speed. Both the arm and the feet muscles play a great role to achieve this goal. The common practice of weightlifting is the main drill to accomplish this. However, this type of weightlifting should encourage a fast expansion and contraction of the legs/arms or both. Besides weightlifting, deadlifting can also serve this same purpose.
- Firming the Torque: the other important driving power in baseball batting is the torque. The torque is a product of both a push and a pull of the forearm and the hands. The ultimate capability of the toque can best be achieved by regular practicing the rotational drills discussed above. When the drills are done regularly, the forearm and the hand muscles adapt to give a player an ability to hit that cannot be matched.
- Overload and Under-load Training: The drill also takes more on regular practice. The only difference being that here a player may be required to exercise on different bats with different designs and weights. One should opt for bats that weigh at least a (+/-) 20 percent of one’s regular bat weight. With this bat shifts, one can be able to determine the best bat to use and the one to avoid. In addition, an article on The Livehealthy website argued that such shifting of bats is also able train a player into gaining a faster pace of using different bats.
Through the research, I could establish that the main drawback to high-speed bat usage is really inadequate training. Reading on drills is surely not enough, one should venture to practice, practice again and practice without ceasing.