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Bat Angle - Sac Bunt

Mar 2, 2009
311
0
Suffolk, VA
Anyone have a strong argument for how you teach Bat Angle on Sac Bunt?
I coach with a pretty good coach, though we differ on bat angle. He feels approx 70-80 degree angle and I'm more of a 45-55 degree angle as my argument is more Bat Surface area to make contact and still ensure downward angle.

I also feel strongly that the batter when Sac Bunting should get BOTH Feet, knees, belly, chest, and BOTH EYES facing the pitcher when the batter squares to bunt so she gives herself the best look and opportunity to get the ball down. Too many bunters are squaring only about a 1/4 turn which to ME means their eyes are further from the bat and making coordination that much harder. I like the elbows close to the body and the barrel close enough to the eyes (Top hand at top of strike zone).
I personally teach just to pivot from her hitting stance Front Foot Heel and back foot ball of foot, so we can pivot to Bunt and from Bunt BACK to hit on a Fake Bunt-Hit and Fake Bunt-Slap.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
There are many different ways to bunt. IMHO, all the methods can be equally as good.

The key to teaching bunting is consistency and practice. While one method is not better than another method, a coach should teach one method to the entire team. It is too hard for a coach to correct players if they are using two or three different methods within the team. Most coaches don't practice bunting enough. You should make bunting part of every practice, where every player bunts several pitches.

Finally, during a game, a coach and the team have to treat a sacrifice bunt like any other well executed play. If a batter fails to get the bunt down, then the player should be benched. If a batter does get the bunt down, then the player should be treated like she just made a diving catch in the outfield.
 
Jan 15, 2009
585
0
I've always taught a horizontal bat that starts at the top of the strike zone and the whole bat moves down horizontal and will actually tilt downard rather than upward to go after a low enough pitch. I haven't seen problems with pop ups but I the level I'm playing at there are probably 5% of the pitchers that can put any rise spin on the ball, while most can easily throw a drop curve. Not sure how you maintain that upward bat angle when the ball is dropping out of the zone and you need to react.

When I get a kid that has been ingrained with that upward angle on the bat, I wouldn't necessarily change them because I think anything can be succesful if you practice at it enough and consistency is sometimes more important for the player than congruity with the rest of her team or teaching philosophy. This isn't syncronized rowing, hitting/bunting is an individual action and there is room to allow different mechanics for different kids as long as they are successful mechanics.
 
Dec 28, 2008
393
0
Ken - I couldn't agree more about how pathetic bunting has been in college for years now. As I watched the TN-AZ World Series 2 years ago I watched a TN team that continually got girls on bases and couldn't get a bunt down to win the National Championship. On the final day Coach Weekly was interviewed and his response was that they had worked 2 1/2 hours on how to hit Mowatt's changeup. I literally screamed at my TV .... "how about working for 30 minutes on not dropping the head of the bat on a bunt instead and then let them rest for 2 hours".

Sluggers - I agree 100% that bunts have to treated like the great plays the are.

I have the luxury in my teaching bunting that college coaches don't have ... my students all wear face masks. So we go through a little science 101 that their head is the safest part of the body and their is NO reason not to have their eyes right on the contact point. That the more they poke the bat away from their body without also taking their head to the contact point the more susceptible they leave themself to the ball coming up and getting under the mask and hitting their throat and/or neck. Once they get over the "duh" factor, I have them hold both hands about 8 inches from the end of the bat and make them bunt the ball. We start with wiffles to let them practice the eye contact needed, then move to softies then to real balls. I guarantee you a girl is going to give you 100% focus with her eyes and see the contact point if she thinks her fingers are going to be crushed. Then they start learning through the practice that the easiest pitches to bunt are actually the ones coming closest to them because they can get their head closer to contact point, and then see better so they start crowding the plate on bunt opportunities instead of standing away from the plate like some do for hitting.

Angle of bat --- Now to answer your question .... A ball proceeds off a bat at a perpindicular angle to the contact point. Regardless what angle you hold the bat at, if you contact the middle of the ball with the middle of the bat ... it will go perfectly straight. Per my drill and practice girls learn that they can hit with just 6-8 inches at the end of the bat and their fingers right next to it if necessary, so I don't really need the entire bat length for them to guess at where the ball is, that just gives them a false sense of security. I do teach to hold the bat at an angle, and not lower the head of the bat, just for those cases where the ball has some incredible movement and contact isn't made perfectly middle of the bat to the middle of the ball. If the ball comes off the top 1/3 of the bat it is going up into the air. And we all know the worse scenario in the game is a flat bat when that happens and an easy popup on a bunt for the catcher to just reach out and catch. That kind of thing could cost you a National Championship or something.
 
Mar 2, 2009
311
0
Suffolk, VA
Druer,

Appreciate your input and teach same, Bunts "Ball Angle" MUST be DOWN, can't be line drives and can't be popups, so ONLY way to ensure downward angle is bottom of the bat contacts TOP of the ball and the barrell should be as close to the eyes as feasible.
I teach to keep the elbows close to the body, so we have a better chance to see the ball contact the barrel.
** I guess I am trying to get feedback for whether 45-55 degrees is not angled enough and whether 70-80 degrees is better? I watch TONS of DIV1 games and have never seen a bunter's bat angled so great, though I have seen some with flat barrels (Which I HATE).




Amazingly enough, U of A lost 2 years prior to that to Texas as they rarely bunted in what seemed OBVIOUS bunt situations, Bunt
 

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