We are Keep Swinging Stix. We are a wood baseball bat and apparel company based in The Chicagoland area. Our goal as a company is to provide the amateur baseball player with the best, most durable baseball bats and equipment, at the most affordable prices possible. With over 100 years of baseball experience, and a network the spans all the way from the youth levels to the Major Leagues, Keep Swinging Stix is positioned to change the way you look at youth baseball equipment. Our team of industry experts is working diligently on a daily basis to source the best materials, research the newest technologies, and use state of the art equipment, all in an effort to bring you the best baseball bats and apparel, at the most reasonable prices in the industry. We are excited to introduce our company to the baseball world, and we feel confident that you will like what you see. Thanks for visiting our New website. This is the first of what will use as our blog. This is where we will share ideas and philosophies about our products and baseball in general. This week we examine an often asked question at this time of year.
As a wood bat manufacturer, we are often asked why players should use wood bats instead of aluminum bats during their off-season training. This question could have a really long answer delving deeply into many aspects of hitting and off season training. For the sake of this first Blog entry, we will keep it fairly simple. Please know that as we continue to update and add new entries to our blog, we will dive deeply into this topic, but for the sake of our first entry we will focus on two simple aspects of hitting with wood.
The first reason is one we call the purity factor. When a player is hitting in a tunnel, working on their hitting, the equipment they use provides them with feedback. If a player hits a ball really well, with wood or aluminum, aside from seeing the ball fly, they know how they hit the ball. When a player uses a wood bat during their training, the feedback they receive in their hands is immediate. When a player hits a ball anywhere other than the sweet spot of the bat, the bat may vibrate or “bite” the player’s hands, letting them know they missed the ball, and didn’t not get the ball in the sweet spot of their barrel. This is different from an aluminum bat, where there is much more room for error, and a player can miss the sweet spot and still hit the ball relatively hard and far. In our view, this feedback is missed by using aluminum in their training. There is a purity to hitting with wood and even being off by a little bit when hitting with wood gives you some immediate feedback. Over time, this will help a player train his hands and his mechanics to increase the number of times they are receiving positive feedback from their bat. ( hitting the ball on the sweet spot). With wood this is a very pure feeling, and is sometimes difficult to achieve. There is much less room for error. With a wood bat, you either hit the ball in the right spot, or you don’t, and the bat and how it responds to the hit in your hands lets you know. When that player goes back to using their aluminum bat, the likelihood of them hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the barrel will be greater from the time they spent hitting with wood and receiving that feedback with each swing. In its simplest terms, hitting with wood is harder to do well. The better the players gets at hitting well with wood, will make them more effective hitters when using aluminum bats during their season.
The second component is the overload, or increased weight training that comes with swinging wood.
Youth players benefit greatly from using their wood bats for training for the reason mentioned above, as well as the muscular development that comes from swinging a heavier object. While weight training is something you may not want to have your youth player engage in, the functional strength gains that come with swinging a heavier object are great from a development standpoint. Our youth bats are generally in the -4 to -5 range with our wood bats. Most aluminum bats are -8 to -10 when it comes to the youth offering. If your player spends his off-season training swinging a bat that is -4 (weight to length ratio), when that player returns to swinging a lighter aluminum bat, they will bring with them the increased muscle they built up over the off season by swinging a heavier object. To further demonstrate this point, I recently found out that some major-league baseball players will actually swing 70 to 90oz bats in the off season to build up their functional swing strength. Imagine how light the 33-35 Oz bats they normally swing feel in their hands after swinging something three times heavier in the off season. The last part of this equation is the solidifying of mechanics that come from swinging a heavier object. The difficulty of swinging a heavier object, that is harder to hit with, and the challenges their mechanics face by doing so, further engrain those mechanics to the players’ mind and body. The result most often is that the finish their off season better hitters than they were before. We believe the chances of this only increase by using wood baseball bats during this period of their development.
Hopefully that was a quick explanation of two of the benefits of swinging a wood baseball bat during the off season. Thank you very much for reading our blog as well will continue to explore different aspects of hitting with wood baseball bats for both the youth and higher level amateur players.