Congratulations. You just took a big step in improving your softball game. Your decision to buy a great new fastpitch bat will definitely pay off. Here are some tips to get the most out of your new fastpitch bat for many years to come:
Ideal use is in warmer weather. Softballs become much harder when the weather is colder (under 60 degrees F). This could damage a high performance bat.
Only use regulation Softballs. Don’t use any softballs that exceed 525 pounds of compression.
Do not use your bat with Cage balls. These balls are typically harder and could damage your bat. In many cases, this could void your warranty.
Bats have a longer life when used solely for individual batting. Team use may decrease the life of the bat.
Composite fastpitch softball bats may require a break-in period.
Rotate the bat after each hit by ¼ turn. This will even the distribution of the hits which the bat will take. This will help to reduce flat spots that could occur.
For cleaning, use a soft cloth, warm water and any mild dish soap. Avoid using any solvents or products containing ammonia. These could damage the finish of the bat.
Store your bat in a Bat Bag or Bat Pak so that it remains protected when not in use.
Following these simple tips should help you to get many years of use out of your new bat.
Breaking-in your new fastpitch softball bat
While Aluminum bats are ready to be used immediately, composite bats (without NanoTek technology) typically require a break-in period. During the break-in period, the materials in the bat will break down. This will create a better trampoline effect for greater distance when the ball hits the bat. Because of this, composite bats are more forgiving if you don’t hit the sweet spot of the bat. While there are many different schools of thought in regards to the break-in steps, the main goal is to simulate hundreds of hits on the bat before its ready for peak performance.
Suggested steps for breaking-in your new bat:
First, verify that your bat requires a break-in period. In many instances, newer technology eliminates this need. If the manufacturer suggests that it’s not needed, you should be ready to play ball.
With a light soft mallet, lightly hit are the areas in the bat. Work your way around the entire bat. This will help to break down the material of the bat.
Hit around 25-50 softballs from a batting tee using around 25% of your power. By using a tee, you’ll have control over where the ball will hit the bat. Turn the bat after each hit to use a different area each time.
Continue with 100 more hits off the tee, increasing your power to about 50%.
Continue hitting with additional balls either pitched from a friend or a pitching machine. Again continue to rotate the impact spot of the bat.
The number of hits required will vary depending on the bat. Sometimes it can take up to 500 hits to get the most optimal performance from your bat.
Experienced players will admit that their bat definitely performs better after a proper break-in period. They experience amazing results which are well worth the effort of the break-in.
If you can follow through with the break-in steps above, you’ll enjoy this type of peak performance as well. If you’re not willing to put the effort into breaking in your new fastpitch softball bats, consider a model that does not require a break-in period.