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Hello Coaches and Instructors. What is your opinion on the bat itself? Do you think there a significant difference in what bat is used? There are so many different choices out there, but is a higher price equal to better performance? Obviously, the hitter has to do his/her part, but is there a "better" bat out there? If so, which one? (In particular for HS baseball) Thanks.

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So far from the responses I have read to this big bat question is that weight is the biggest key. I too agree that if a bat is too heavy the player cannot control it properly, making weight the most important factor when choosing a bat. Try a few bat sizes out and if you are unsure place your bet on the lighter bat. 

HOWEVER!

How do know what bat weight the player is truly in control of unless their swing is some what refined? I have watched and helped many little league teams and I think anyone that has also will agree that many kids that age have swings that are out of control, regardless of the bat you put in their hands. 

My recommendation for the best in game results is to spend your money preparing the player before dropping triple digits on a beautiful baseball bat. Refine your players swing and it won't matter what bat you throw in their hands.  

I wrote my comment above to stand on its own so please don't treat what I wrote as anything other than wanting to talk baseball with you all. I own The EDGE Bat though and truly believe in the tool. I started selling it after designing it to coach my own players and felt that it needed shared after seeing the success my teams had with it. Check it out if you agree with what I have shared above. Thanks 

www.theedgebat.com

     Kagan,....Mike,

          I'm operating on the assumption you agree with the following.

          (a) Interest in baseball among young people has dropped to the point it's 

     has the attention of M.L.B.

          (b) The sport(s) are getting the reputation of being a rich kids sport.

           I'm wondering if you agree with the following.

          All youngsters should participate in some form of physical activity. 

          Baseball and softball have less risk of injury than most other sports.

          Baseball and softball provide more career opportunities than most other sports.

          So (to use your # s ) when the number of kids who participate ''for years'' decide to

           quit prior to entering high school,one has to question why the loss of interest.

           I point out ''quit'' I didn't say ''try out and don't make it.''

           If the rational is......''They know they can't make the team'' the question has to

           become......'' Why after years of play they think that way ? "

            All of the above is rhetorical..  

            Let's get technical regarding how a player should select a bat.

             I should point out .............I don't believe there is a right way or a wrong way to

             train a player to hit,.......just different ways that produce different results.

            I believe the handle of a players bat has to allow the players hands to grip the bat

            securely enough to completely negate the driving force of the ball.

            I believe the weight of the bat should allow the barrel of the bat to travel faster than 

            the fastest pitch the player will be challenged with that season.

            I believe the length of the bat should allow the player to deliver the sweet spot of the bat

             to every travel lane of their strike zone,with the bat swing execution that is embedded into their

            motor skill memory.

             The absence of any of the aforementioned provides a season of  hitting pop-ups and in-field

              grounders.

             If you ever wondered why young players hit so many pop-ups and in -field grounders.

             They practice hitting them over and over again..................that's why.

          Rod

    

 

       

           

 

OK Rod, I will bite one more time. First, yes the interest level in baseball does appear to be reduced at the youth level. In my opinion, a big issue is the overall cost issue of playing the game at a higher than rec level. With equipment costs going through the roof, tournament entry fees being ridiculous, travel expense to find better levels of competition and year round training costs, there is no doubt baseball is quickly becoming an elitist sport, just like golf and tennis. 

The issue with youth not playing beyond the 12 year old LL level has as much to do with a lack of God given talent and ability as anything else. Competitive baseball is not a sport that can be played by everyone. It is the most difficult sport on the planet to play well at higher levels.

Selecting the correct bat to swing is actually quite simple. A player should swing as many different bats as possible with different weight, balance points and lengths. The one that feels the most comfortable to them IS the correct bat for them to swing. Confidence is everything in hitting. Let's face it, the best MLB players are going to fail 7 of 10 times. Failure works on the mind faster than anything else. Having confidence in the stick in your hands is critical to achieving any level of success. 

Baseball like life, just doesn't have to be complicated.

   KAGAN,

    OK ....OK

    WHAT THE HELL IS TROLLING ????

    ''YOU'LL BITE "!!!!!!!

    I'M FISHING   ???????  

    WHAT  THE .....?????

    ANYWAY.......... IT WAS A PLEASURE WHILE IT LASTED.

    I GUESS YOUTH LEAGUE BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL ISN'T THE ONLY ELITIST GROUP.

    

  Since you Prima Donnas wouldn't grace me with what I was being accused of,

   I ask my daughter......She tells me I was posting ''OFFENSIVE-PROVOCATIVE

  THINGS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PISSING YOU OFF !!''

   Is that some type of joke ????

   Asking you to support your position.....Asking you to explain why you're training

   a child in a particular manner...IS OFFENSIVE AND PROVOCATIVE ???

   I thought the reason for this think tank was to better the way young players are trained.

    No wonder you teach opening the hips prior to the bat to ball contact,...produces power!!

    Even though you don't know how it does.

    Rod Haney

Rod,

For the record, I didn't accuse you of anything.  I answered all of your questions very thoroughly.

Like I wrote earlier, I don't take offense, because I enjoy talking baseball.

I think the side conversation was based on the appearance that the questions may have been provocative.  Not intended to piss off necessarily, but provocative in the way a salesperson's questions may be.

To be honest, I did wonder if some of it was in jest, and I couldn't understand why it would be.

If you say it wasn't, then I take you at your word, and sincerely apologize for any offense I may have caused.

Kagan

Now to reply to your earlier post with the rhetorical questions.  Though I really wouldn't consider them rhetorical.

For me, there's a few different elements at work.

Firstly, IMO youth coaching is horrendous.  I don't just mean that coaches don't know what they're teaching, though that may be true in some cases.  More tragically, I think coaches don't care.  We're talking about "Daddy ball" here.  Most LL and rec. coaches are there to help their own children get a leg up.  To play politics within the leagues to give their own kids an advantage over others.  I see it every year, and it's rotten from the top down.  There isn't even any shame in it for many.  For others, the kids are just pawns.  I can't tell you how many times I had to go to bat for a player who was ranked lower by other coaches.  Once they realize I'm right about that particular player, and see the advancements they've made, they do everything in their power to pull him away from me and onto their teams.  Even working the parents on the side.  They don't really care about helping the kid, they just want him to help them win.  Others that don't shine, simply get ignored by coaches.

So, the kids that don't have advocates within the league, don't get the attention and coaching they need to succeed.  They quit.

In other cases, kids and/or parents want immediate gratification.  The road to real success in baseball is a long one, no matter how athletically gifted a player may be.  It requires a lot of work.  Many just don't have the desire to put in that much work.  They may still have the desire to play, and be good, but they're simply not willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen.  As coaches, we can give them all the instruction in the world, if they don't have the personal burning desire to take that instruction and put it to use, they will flounder and quit.

Like I wrote earlier, there is no easy path in baseball.  There is no such thing as a "natural".  Some may be more naturally gifted than others, but no one gets to be the best of the best without tons of hard work.

And to reiterate my earlier post, baseball is emotionally draining.  It really does require a certain type of personality who WANTS to be put in the spotlight.  Who WANTS the ball at crucial moments of the game, or to be the guy who comes up to bat with the game on the line.  Many just dream the dream of being a hero, but can't hack failing 70% of the time.  That failure eats them up.  Baseball players are like quarterbacks - good ones.  There may be 50 football players on a team, but only a handful can really be a quarterback,  Likewise, there may 100 players who WANT to make the high school team, but only a handful have the emotional makeup to do it and be successful.  These are the ones who aren't afraid of failure and aren't afraid of hard work.  They let the failures roll off their backs, and get back to work with more vigor each time.

Around the ages of 13-15, baseball is like a guillotine coming down on all the players.  Only a few survive the cut.  And, it isn't always about talent.

Rod, Prima Donnas? Yep, I guess that is me. I'm not 100% in agreement with your daughter's definition of trolling, but whatever. I'm more of a "try to keep a conversation going without adding to it" explanation of trolling kind of guy. Sorry if I hurt your feelings, but I have seen far more trolling on this site by folks wanting to sell something or just argue about things without listening to others' view points or sides of a conversation. Like Kagan says, if that ain't you, then I am sorry also.

Here's a point of view of someone that coaches the age group that is the edge of the "quitting" group. I am a school ball coach. I am the mean SOB that has to tell 11 – 15 year olds that they can’t cut it and won’t be playing at the next level without a lot of work on their part. I am a 7th & 8th grade middle school baseball coach. I also help with our high school JV and Varsity programs. For over 25 years I have coached baseball, from tee ball to college. During the summer and Fall I coach travel teams at the 12-15 year old level. Because I have a successful real estate business that allows my schedule to be flexible, I am pretty close to a "full time" volunteer youth baseball coach. The only income I derive from coaching is from the school, which is strictly a liability coverage issue on their part. Every dime I am paid goes right back into the program through my booster club donations. Working with these teams allows me to be on the field for roughly 200 every year. By the way, private lessons are completely free as long as the player gives me 100% and parents don’t try to re-teach what our staff teaches.

Every August, right after school starts, I hold tryouts for our Fall development programs with 6th - 8th graders. Typically we will have 120 -150 young men attend tryouts. They are attempting to be a part of our group which has a total of 28 - 30 roster spots available. The first 75 cuts are pretty easy. These are the guys that have played LL or rec ball and are looking at competitive ball for the first time. They either can't or don't know how to properly throw (can't hit a target from 20'), have no idea how to run bases (no clue on leads, stopping right on 1B instead of running through, etc.), can't field a ground ball or fly ball for that matter and couldn't hit with a BBCOR bat if their lives depended on it. 

Keep in mind that these first cuts are coached by the same coaches that when invited to attend a coaches' clinic or seminar (for free and food furnished) have better things to do. They are coached by the same coaches that when you attend one of their practices, have  guys standing in the field while the coach attempts to to throw batting practice to one kid standing at the plate swinging at everything the coach throws because the coach can't keep the ball near the plate, nor does he do have a plan or any instructing while the BP is going on. These same coaches couldn't tell you the last time they saw their tee or even if the league furnished them with one. Same coaches that do side toss instead of meaningful hitting work. This is, of course, the same coaches that attempt to hit 3 fly balls to each outfielder and then hit a few fungos to the infielders and call it a practice.

The second group of cuts is the young men that are typically daddy ball kids. Their dads were either head coach or assistant coaches and drove their kids to think they are better than they are. Work ethic is limited, they think they know more than they do because they are the coach’s kid and while they are athletic, they haven’t developed their abilities into skills.

Yep, I’m the SOB that gets to tell them that while I appreciate their coming out and attempting to make the teams…… What I would really like to say sometimes is that “I am sorry that your dad didn’t take advantage of the opportunities to learn from other coaches or instructors so that he could help you develop your talent. I am sorry he was too busy to bring you to one of our camps or clinics where real coaches could teach you.”

So yes, I do have a quick trigger on folks that ask the same question and try to dig further and further into subjects that are very subjective and individualized. Don't feel bad, I also have a quick trigger on the "professionals" that come on this (and other) sites to do never ending dribble conversations about rotational vs. linear vs. whatever, when it comes to hitting. There is no such thing as a "perfect swing". Every player is different and so is every swing. There is no one certain sure fire way to teach hitting, pitching, base stealing, or most other parts of baseball. 

So again, if I hurt your feelings, sorry. I'm old, don't have enough time left in life to still waste it and am far more tired of hearing about the "next great thing" when it comes to teaching hitting, than I care to share. If you are not trolling, then add to the conversation rather than asking the same questions with different language. If you are trolling, then good luck with it. By the way, where did the "No wonder you teach opening the hips prior to the bat to ball contact" comment come from? As far as I know, you have never been on the field with me seeing how I coach anyone doing anything. Secondly, the concept of a think tank is for everyone to share ideas and participate. So far, you have questioned but not added to the conversation.

 

By the way, Bill Stanton, I apologize if I have crossed the line with this post. But you know how much I can't stand trollers or salespeople that use the site for their personal agenda. If Rod is neither than I will extend my apologies to you, him and his daughter.

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