The break-in period for a baseball bat is an important time; this is when you’re making it suitable for play and optimizing its performance. But to get the best results and avoid any potential issues, you need to know how to properly break-in your baseball bat without significantly altering it in any way. Be aware of what you’re doing to your bat before you get started and avoid any potential complications, whether those are questions of legality or damage to your bat.
Alternatives To Break-Ins
You do have other methods if you don’t want to break-in your bat or if you just don’t have the time. The most popular option is to purchase a rolled softball bat, where retailers sell them already broken in. Just know that rolled bats can work just fine for casual play but may be illegal in official league games and tournaments, if you intend to participate in those.
The Break-In Process
To begin, it is best if you use an official game ball during this process to ensure the best and most consistent results. Using other types of baseballs may not produce the same results as game balls, causing wasted time and effort.
Once you have your bat and official ball, start by hitting the ball off a tee 50 times with roughly 50 percent speed and strength. After each hit, make sure to rotate the bat a quarter-inch to cover the entire surface.
After you complete the first round of 50 hits, you need to do the same process again—this time with 75 percent of your typical speed and strength. As in the first step, you should hit the ball off a tee 50 times and rotate the bat a quarter-inch after every hit.
Following this, you need to remove the tee and hit the ball from soft-tossing 50 times. At this stage, you should still use around 75 percent power and continue to rotate the bat a quarter-inch.
This is when you can finally stop holding back and hit the ball as hard and as fast as you can handle. Continue with the soft-tossing, as well as the quarter-inch rotations.
After the previous 200 hits, you need to move on to a pitching machine to begin finishing up. Set the speed of the pitches to 50 percent of the normal fastball speed you typically hit. You need to hit the ball 50 times under these new circumstances—and, as always, remember to rotate your bat.
Finally, to finish up, you need to hit 50 more balls from the pitching machine, continuing the rotation after every hit. This time, you need to set the speed to 100 percent fastball speed at which you normally hit.
Ready To Use
Once you know how to properly break-in your baseball bat and go through the process, you need to take special care of that bat from then on. Your bat will degrade over time, which makes saving it for when you really need it essential. After all that work to break it in, you don’t want to waste it for every little occasion.