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How To Tell The Baseball Bat Is Too Heavy

Updated on July 20, 2012

Can you tell if the baseball bat is too heavy for your little guy (or little girl)? Can you tell if the bat is too short or too long? Too wide at the handle? Should it be the new "Composite Bats" or an aluminum one?

As a youth baseball coach I teach kids baseball to not only the players but the parents too. I hear these same questions all the time and do you know what I tell them? Bat weight, height, composition - it's all hype!

The truth is - baseball bats are a lucrative business. Companies pay a lot of money in marketing to get people to doubt what they currently have is not good enough. We are constantly being conditioned to believe you can't compete without the latest and greatest (and costliest). It's all Bologna!

Come on folks, what kind of bat did you have as a kid? I go back to the wood bat days and you used what was available. Sometimes we had one bat and if it was too heavy we would choke up on the handle.

The bottom line is youth baseball bat types are pretty much the same. If a bat is going to make a ball go 2 feet further - who cares - they ain't the pros! If you want to buy your kid a bat, find a bat that he uses at practice that he can handle and find out how much it weighs. Then go to buy the least inexpensive bat (at that weight).

What truly matters about hitting in youth baseball? Is the bat too heavy for your child. Well here is a REALLY, REALLY GREAT TIP for judging if a bat is too heavy. I've used this technique for 35 years and shared it over 100 times.

  1. First, determine which hand to use. It's going to be the one that's at the bottom of the bat when swinging: for right-handed hitters it's the left hand; for left-handed hitters it's the right hand.
  2. Wrap the index finger and thumb just above the knob at the end of the bat. The knob should be in the palm of the hand with the barrel of the bat pointed out.
  3. With a firm grip of the index finger and thumb, extend the arm out completely so that the bat is touching the ground in front of you. The arm and bat should make a perfect line.
  4. Next, with arm fully extended, raise the bat straight up until it's at a 90 degree angle with the body. If done correctly, the arm will be parallel with the ground.
  5. Now hold that pose for at least 5 seconds. If you can't hold that pose the bat is too heavy. IMPORTANT NOTE: It's imperative NOT to support the knob of the bat with the palm of the hand. Only the index finger and thumb should be in contact with the bat.

Simple as that.

So don't believe the hype about what type of bat is best. Focus on whether the weight of the bat is appropriate for your child.

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