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Wood bats at lower levels are a welcome game-changer for teams that know how to play the game. Puts the focus on solid fundamentals, defense, and pitching -- as it should be (and the game sounds as it should sound, too). Gappers must be earned and bogus big-flies don't exist. Poor mechanics have little chance. Can't wait 'til it all comes full circle and kids learn the game with wood again.
Amen Coach! Wood bats are all about teaching the real game of baseball.
I agree coach!
I admit I am biased, since I make wood bats, but I agree. It's also safer - 12 year olds should not be swinging -12oz bats.
It was interesting that my 13-year-old son took particular interest in his wood bat; different than his other bats. I still remember my Rico Carty autograph Adirondack. Anyway, it was pretty cool he had some unusual affinity for his wood bat. He got it last week for weekend tourney. A C271 style with a red-dipped barrel and navy handle. He had it out of the bag constantly. Rubbing Tiger Stick quasi pine tar up the handle. Checking for the label up at contact. It was great. Maybe it was just the novelty or maybe even some kids can innately tell that real sticks are a big part of what make the game special.
At the High School level, we've had to re-educate the hitters because most of the hitting coaches grew up on juiced bats. At the college level, it's amazing to see how many of the kids still think they can muscle it out.
Teddy: YOU ARE SO RIGHT on the HOW TOO! Coaches that are younger than 45 most likely NEVER EVEN SAW A WOODEN BAT let a lone use one. Yet how can they teach label up & not know what it means! But for those of us under 45 and know the how too and why: well it's up to US TO TEACH. GREAT COMENT! about the learning curve starting at the coaching position.
When it was taught to me I remember the coach picking up a stack of business cards and said "How would you want to hit a ball with this stack of cards?" He then showed us with the grain and how much stronger it was, and that was with about 3" of business cards. SIMPLE is easy, EASY is FUN!
As a coach wood bats are such a great tool. As at best you might get a drop 6 the kids can't make up for poor fundamentals in their swings. Unlike a drop 10 or 12 they can long arm the swing and manage to get it around. Wood bats is where its at to teach kids a good fundamental swing.
Wood is the way to go and this is why I have many wood bats at my house for when I teach kids in the cage. Been doing it for years.
Good for you, Kip!
This picture is from June of 2012...my 9 year old barreling up a belt-high fastball on the inner half. the bat was 29" long and roughly 24ozs. While there could be some improvement in the overall mechanics, I believe he loos pretty good there. He told me that tournament was the most fun he had last season. His team won that tournament with good pitching, strong fundamental defense, and solid understanding of the approach needed to play small-ball. While we did have several doubles and a couple of triples, most of the runs were scored with smart baserunning, great situational hitting, and a few well-placed bunts. It was tremendous fun watching a team of 9 & 10 year olds realize the beauty of real baseball played with wooden bats.
"...good pitching, strong fundamental defense, and solid understanding of the approach needed to play small-ball...smart baserunning, great situational hitting, and a few well-placed bunts"
Nice. Agree 100%! That requires good coaching on the practice field and a selfless team effort come game time! (not a bunch of flails with hot bats that result in 225' "bombs". Ugh.)
Baserunning, in particular, is one of my most peevish issues. Without even getting into good instincts, anticipation, and reads, I see so many kids on the base paths that clearly have had little or no training seeing their bad habits and lack of good ones. It downright irks me. For some reason, baserunning seems to be glossed over or outright skipped in many practice plans. That is a travesty in my book. Baserunning skills/acumen is one of the key items I fixate on to differentiate the truly good ballplayers/students-of-the-game. And it's absolutely the difference-maker in many a close game.