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transitioning to a wood bat

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  • transitioning to a wood bat

    I’m a dad, so all advice is welcome.

    My son (13) is looking at some changes this year. His current Spring team allows a -5 bat, his summer travel team requires -3, and his fall team will be wood.

    I have been pitching BP to him twice a week since mid-March. He hits 15 off the tee with the -3, then hits 100 at BP with the -5. He started hitting some of his BP with the -3 switching every 25 pitches or so, but this seemed to do more harm than good, so we’re back to just the -5 for BP.

    He loves the -5, and regularly gets extra base hits. I figured that he would switch to the -3 for the last 2 weeks of the Spring league. Then I would have him hit 15 off the tee with a (-3) Baum bat I just bought for him, and toss him 100 at BP with the -3. We would do this until 2 weeks before the fall league starts. All these bats are 32 inches.

    Are there any comments, suggestions, additions to this plan? Thanks.

    John’s Dad

  • #2
    Have him do his tee and soft toss work with a wood bat no matter the season. His hands will tell him when he's made a mistake and when he moves to his metal bat he will be all the better for it.

    And you are right on not switching back and fort on the -3 and -5. The only switching I would do is maybe the first round with the wood then move to the metal for the rest.

    As far as switching to the -3 for the rest of the spring league, I'd only do that if you think he can have success and not hurt his team by doing so. If he can manage it, switch as soon as you can.

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    • #3
      Your son should always practice with wood. Wood has a small sweet spot. It will make him focus on hitting properly. Metal gives false reinforcement. A fisted ball can be driven with a metal bat. Then when the hitter kids to the next level and pitchers are quicker, he's just jammed and can't hit.

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      • #4
        You could just wait till like 2 weeks left in each of the seasons and then start migrating to the next bat. It is kinda crappy having to switch to 3 different types of bats though but the biggest jump is -5 to -3. As far as weight goes -3 and wood isn't too much of a difference .. its more of pitch selection so you can hit the ball good as opposed to getting fisted and still getting a hit with an aluminum vs a weak ground ball with a wood bat. One problem that I have with hitting wood and going back to aluminum is the timing. Wood requires you to generate quicker actions and then if I were to go back to aluminum everything would be way ahead.
        “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.” - Ted Williams
        "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit." - Hank Aaron

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        • #5
          Originally posted by johnnyc View Post
          My son (13) is looking at some changes this year. His current Spring team allows a -5 bat, his summer travel team requires -3, and his fall team will be wood. .......... Are there any comments, suggestions, additions to this plan?
          Get him a 31" -3 bat and have him use it. I am betting it will swing like the -5 32". He will get similar bat speed and make the adjustment to a heavier bat without changing his mechanics. I would also have him use the 31" wood in a LS Pro Lite during the fall. He can always pick up the longer bat once he gets comfortable.

          http://www.justbats.com/products/detail_view.asp?i=6613
          Have Fun and Play Hard!

          Chuck Faulkner
          Tazewell TN 37879
          The Glove Medic

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          • #6
            I have always heard a good rule of thumb is to use a wood bat a half inch to one inch shorter.

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