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How Does the Aluminum
Bat Hurt Your Swing? by Dave Hudgens
Every kid today
uses an aluminum bat. Through the years, the aluminum bat has developed into a
high tech, light weight lethal weapon, with which kids really have a tremendous
amount of success. Recently I read an ad that sang the praises of the "large
sweet spot" on the aluminum bat. What the ad doesn't tell you is that this large
sweet spot could keep you from maximizing your success as a hitter. Let's see
how the aluminum bat affects your swing:
The Aluminum Bat
Increases the Habit of Creating a "Long Swing"
of kids that play baseball at the youth league level have long swings. They can
get away with it for a while, but it eventually catches up to them as they
advance in their playing career and face better pitching. It's unfortunate
because with the proper instruction, many of these kids could have a shorter,
more explosive swing which would lead to success.
One of the
reasons most kids today have a "long swing" is the muscle memory they've
developed through the years of using an aluminum bat. Years of using an aluminum
bat creates a "sweeping motion" in most kids' swings, which causes them to
actually drag the barrel of the bat through the strike zone. When you sweep the
bat through the strike zone, you are incorrectly training your hands to take the
wrong path to the ball. You do not want to incorporate any of these bad habits
into your swing!
How Can the
Aluminum Bat Ruin or Delay Your Career?
year, I see newly drafted players with both an extremely long swing and an ego
to match. These guys have been fooled into thinking they are professional
hitters when, in reality, they merely had an aluminum bat swing.
with whom I worked had a typical aluminum bat swing. He had great success in
high school and college. He was drafted, by our scouts, in the first round.
Unfortunately he was determined not to change his swing.
For the first
two years he would not listen to instruction. After two years of struggling in
the low minors (when he thought he would be in the big leagues), he started to
He realized he
had to change in order to have some success as a professional ball player. He
eventually advanced to the AAA level, but he never attained the success to which
his potential could have carried him. His lack of instant success was because of
the development of an improper swing and the years of training muscle memory
incorrectly. He fell short of reaching his potential.
What if 99% of your
practice time created a bad habit that could cost you a college scholarship or
Big League career? When would you want to change that habit?
- Dave Hudgens
has been involved with the best of baseball for
over 30 years. He
is currently the Minor League Hitting Coordinator for the
Cleveland Indians. Prior to that he was
hitting coach in the Oakland Athletics' organization.