Wood bats and softball may seem like an unnatural fit, but the truth is that wood bats can improve any softball player’s game. Aluminum bat technology has advanced to a point where almost any player can look like a softball hero as long as they put the bat on the ball. As a result, many softball players have an undisciplined approach at the plate and simply rely on the strength of their bat.
Players who want to take their game to the next level can do just that by training with a wood bat. Here are four surprising reasons why a wood bat should be in your softball bag.
1. It forces you to be honest with yourself
Much like golf clubs, aluminum softball bats have advanced to a point where it seems like the entire bat is the sweet spot. Wood bats have a much smaller sweet spot and require a more disciplined swing. Practicing with a wood bat will force you to acknowledge and correct your swing’s deficiencies.
2. It requires a faster swing
A wood bat’s smaller sweet spot means the hitter has to have a quick swing to drive the ball. Consistent practice with the wood bat will force you to shorten up your swing and get your hands through the strike zone as quickly as possible.
3. Your aluminum bat will feel light
Wood bats are heavier than aluminum bats. After practicing with a wood bat, your aluminum bat is going to feel like a feather, which will lead to a faster, more controlled swing.
4. You’ll be more selective with pitches
You can probably hack at almost any pitch with one of the newer, technologically-advanced bats because the bat’s sweet spot is so large. However, a wood bat requires you to hit the ball true. That means you can’t hack at every pitch. A more selective eye will help you wait for the pitch you really want.
Your teammates may wonder why you’re using a wood bat for softball practice, but they won’t question it when they see the results. Wood bats require discipline and precision, two traits that are helpful in hitting regardless of what kind of bat you use on game day.