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Thread: Choosing a bat

  1. #1
    Checking out the clubhouse d22mom's Avatar
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    Question Choosing a bat

    Looking at buying a bat for my 10 yr old daughter. What is the most important...weight...length...brand...? Is there a certain size she SHOULD be using? She is 10 years old, almost 11 and will be playing on a 12U team this spring/summer. She's 5'1" tall and is about 135 pounds of muscle (I know...big girl for 10!!!) All that to say...any advice in purchasing a bat?

    Her coaches are having her bat with a 33 at practice (that's what she says)...don't know the weight.

    Can anyone recommend a "cost effective" brand??? If she is still gung-ho and improving at 14, cost will not be as much of an issue...but right now...who knows what the future will hold....

    Thanks for any advice you can give me.

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    Softball Junkie SnocatzDad's Avatar
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    Louisville Slugger - Coach's Tips

    Go to this website and look at the chart on the bottom. Looks like they would recommend a 32" length, but 1" either way isn't a huge deal.

    As far as weight, go somewhere that sells bats and has someone there who can work with your daughter, it's not that hard to tell when the bat gets too heavy they can't control it or swing properly, just try different weights and once you get too heavy for her back off an ounce. From your description I would guess she's in the 20-22 oz range. I'd be real hesitant to have an 11 yr old swing a bat any heavier than that. If you're unsure err on the side of a lighter bat.

    I'm pretty brand neutral. Find a bat in your price range that she likes the color of and go with that. You can worry about getting her a composite bat when she's older and has a legitimate chance to improve from warning track power to over the fence power. It's a common phrase among coaches in fastpitch that there are plenty of kids out there with $400 bats and $.05 swings.

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    Crazy Daddy Coach-n-Dad's Avatar
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    SnocatzDad, where were YOU 3 years ago?

    My DD started with a 34/34 when she was about the same age/size as D22Mom's. We learned quickly that it was too long and heavy and went with a 33/23 which was STILL to long/heavy and fianlly settled on a 32/22 - just right. We spent less than $100 for all 3 bats combined.

    Thank God we did what D22Mom is doing, looking for cost effective bats. If we would have spent $250-$400 for the first bat, it would have taken a LOT longer to find the right bat.

    BTW, DD is now 13, 5'10", 230 and still swinging a 32/22 with a lot of success!

    You and your daughter, have fun. Softball can be a blast for both of you!

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    Certified softball maniac Wellphyt's Avatar
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    If she is relatively new to softball I wouldn't go above 32". Also don't be afraid to ask around your park for a good used bat. I sold a Easton Synergy 30/20 used one season for $50 last fall to a parent in our park.

    IMO if you can find a deal like that from someone you know and trust, you would be better off than if you were to buy a cheaper metal bat new.

    The material in the bat does make a difference.

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    Crazy Daddy Coach-n-Dad's Avatar
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    Heck yes, if you can find a deal like that GO FOR IT! The material in the bat absolutely makes a difference.

    When DD switched to the Dimarini CF3 Black she saw a BIG difference!

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    Checking out the clubhouse d22mom's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for all the advice (and of course more is appreciated if anyone wants to chime in).
    She has played since she was 5 and has been on a traveling team out of our small town for 3 years, this will be year #4.
    I will definitely try to find a good bad probably in the $100 range for now then when she's "grown" we can invest in a bat she can use for a long time...unlike now where she swung a 31 last year and they moved her to a 33 this year.
    Thanks again

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    Certified softball maniac SBFAMILY's Avatar
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    Stay away from end loaded bats at that age. Then spend the money on a hitting instructor before you drop it on a bat. If they are good they can tell, what type of bat to buy her. Bustos can take a 2X4 and hit if futher than most kids can with a $300 bat. So the swing is more important than what bat you buy!

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    Administrator StacieM's Avatar
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    Wow, she's as big as I am. I'm so jealous! 32" should definitely be long enough. Just have her swing it and see what she feels comfortable with. I would also go with something more balanced at that age. Both the length and weight have to match her. She can probably use a heavier bat than other 10 yr olds who may not have her size so there's not really any size that she "should" be using.

    It really depends on what feels comfortable for her and what looks good when she swings it. Some bats alter the path of the swing in ways others do not (even if they are the same length and/or weight).

    Good luck!
    Stacie Mahoe
    My Softball Musings

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    Certified softball maniac obbay's Avatar
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    Wow. She's bigger than my 14 YO DD!

    I would disagree with 1" either way not making a difference. A bat can be light but if it's too long it will feel like swinging a shovel. With girls I have coached from 7 to 14, I have found it not uncommon for them to choke up 1" with great results. Not all, but many will get a bat for their birthday that they can "grow into" and they don't want to use any other bat. I'm not advocating choking up, I'm advocating getting a bat that is the right size.

    My DD is using a 32/24 DiMarini 375 (bought 2 for 1 special-$110- at Justbats.com)and having great success with it. prior to that she used a 31/20 Pyrotech (bought previous years model for $99) that, while she had no trouble with contact, didn't seem to get good pop on the ball.

    When she was your daughters age she was a little smaller and used a 28/19 or 29/20 Easton Cyclone ($35) and this was when she first showed an ability as a power hitter. I think the Easton Cyclone is the best bat value for your money.

    Justbats.com seems to be a good place to buy bats if you already know what you want (because it's online).

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    Certified softball maniac SBFAMILY's Avatar
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    From a book, Keep Your Eye on The Ball by Bahall and Watts

    They use a formula from a program called Bat Chooser

    I recommend reading the entire chapter however hopefully you get the point.

    For fast pitch soft ball only

    Note: Recommended bat weight is in ounces, age in years, height in inches and weight in pounds

    height/ 7 + 15

    example 5' 5" 5 x 12 = 60 + 5 = 65 inches divide by 7 = 9.28 + 15 = 24.28 oz.

    The concept for me when teaching hitting is to put the sweet part of the bat on the ball as consistently as possible to generate maximum force.

    This goes to f = M A force = mass (bat weight) x (acceleration bat speed)

    If you have a good hand path established you should be able to hit the sweet spot more often.

    Next Never chock up on a bat! You change the sweet spot. Good test to prove you take away power. 1. Don't chock up and stop the bat at contact and have someone try to push the bat back with one finger. 2. Same drill but chock up. Feel the difference and then ask why would anyone chock up ! That just means they have the wrong bat! We see it all the time with kids with RT's. Worst device on the Market is the rubber handle add on that is suppose to prevent your hand from stinging. The best knob on any bat is the RT and watch Bustos , she has her little finger wrapped around it for a reason.

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