Living where the seasons change can create problems for any ball player. An outdoor, spring/summer sport usually becomes an afterthought when snow is on the ground. But an afternoon at the batting cages really makes the winter blues melt away.
When heading to the cages there are a few things that I always do in order to make it a successful and fun trip. The first thing is remembering my batting gloves. Nothing will tear your hands apart quicker then 200 rips in a short amount of time. The most important step is making sure that I am using a well taped wood bat. The vibrations and recoil from an aluminum bat can do terrible things to your wrists at the batting cages. Wood bats not only provide the perfect training tool but it will allow you to keep cutting, without feeling like your arms are part of a tuning fork.
In order to keep your wood bat in the best shape, tape it up well. I suggest putting a generous layer of athletic tape on the handle where breakage can be an issue. Well made wood bats, like those produced by Phoenix Bats, are as durable as wood bats get, but make sure you also tape the barrel. This will help in two ways. Wood bats can tend to flake on the barrel when you make solid contact over and over. Tape will keep this from happening during a good day at the cages. But more importantly, taping the barrel of a wood bat creates the ultimate training tool. When a good ballplayer, and his or her coach, can see where the contact is being made on the bat, any necessary improvements can be made quickly and the rest of the time at the cages can be used to repeat that swing. A day at the batting cages with a good wooden bat will not only make you a better ballplayer, but it just might bring spring a little closer as well.