Aside from baseball’s objective to hit a pitched ball, you can’t win a game if you can’t have a nice bat swing. Learning how to increase bat speed will make the ball faster when hit with the bat.
Before knowing how to improve bat speed, this article will discuss the importance of bat speed and its effect on ball speed. We will also introduce you to the five tips to implement right away.
By the end of this article, you will understand the dynamics of hitting to make your swing a success!
Why Is Bat Speed Important?
Bat speed is defined as the speed of the barrel of the bat at the time of impact. A good bat speed has greater chances of hitting the ball hard and improves our swing mechanics and efficiency.
The harder you hit the ball, the higher chance you get a hit and get points. In the context of baseball, it increases the chance of getting hits which move baserunners further from their starting point.
A bat sensor is used to measure bat speed. The sensor measures the velocity of the sweet spot below the end of the bat at contact. Bat sensors are typically used by competitive and professional baseball teams to objectively measure and track bat speed.
The ball speed varies in the age, skill, weight, experience, and strength of a batter. However, the following are the typical ball speeds according to Blast:
- Professional: 63-75 mph
- College athlete: 58-70 mph
- High school varsity: 47-63 mph
Why Do We Need To Hit The Ball “Hard”?
A well-hit ball means the hitter swung the bat such that the simplest part of the bat made the truest contact with the ball while moving as fast as possible.
While bat speed has received an excellent deal of attention associated with its importance in hitting, it’s but one among many pieces to the puzzle.
There are only a few who question that bat speed is vital, ball exit speed is directly proportional to the relative speed between ball and bat, but getting the opposite variables right can produce beautiful results with a home run derby bat speed.
Making contact with the ball faraway from the sweet spot, which is defined many various ways, but generally considered to be the optimal segment of the bat for impact to occur, supported vibration characteristics, barrel mechanics, and mass distribution, may result during a notable drop-off in ball exit speed.
Hitting the ball equally involves alignment of multiple factors, trajectories, round surfaces, and great timing with the pitch. A minor misalignment also can greatly affect ball exit speed and path.
This means that tons of things must happen correctly within the batter’s box to “square up the ball” and hit it hard, with or without high bat speed.
A player can swing a really light bat in no time, but that won’t provide the maximum amount of momentum to get a higher exit speed after impact than a heavier bat swung at an equivalent speed. Conversely, at some point, a bat becomes too heavy to swing fast and control well.
How Does Bat Speed Affect Ball Speed?
A faster bat speed produces higher batted ball exit velocities. Using heavier bat results in faster hit balls, meaning the hit ball will travel farther. If a player maintains the same bat swing speed using a heavier bat, it will produce higher batted ball velocity and longer distance.
A bat vibrates at certain frequencies when it collides with a ball. The amount of energy transferred to the ball depends on the location of the collision.
The average MLB exit speed is 103 mph, and bat speed ranges from 70-85 mph.
The swing of a bat is approximately 150 milliseconds. For the first 50 milliseconds, the batter stops swinging and by the 110 milliseconds, the bat has already reached 80 mph. It can take roughly 25 milliseconds for the brain to signal the pulse through the hitter’s body.
How To Increase Bat Speed:
Turn the barrel
If you want the bat to move quickly, the ideal way to do it is to turn the barrel when swinging. Most of the greatest hitters of all time are familiar with this technique.
From Ted Williams to Babe Ruth, what they do is tip the barrel of the bat forward and then rotate it back and around the ball.
This is the foremost efficient secret to getting the barrel of the bat to maneuver quickly.
By tipping the bat this way, it gives you bat speed very early in your swing, and this extra momentum that you simply are generating will offer you many extra bat speeds. The good part about this tactic is that you simply don’t have to be extra strong to do it.
Turning the barrel is about the form rather than its strength. you’re using gravity to assist you to swing the bat with more speed, by starting the whole motion early.
Once you tip the sweet spot of the bat at the start of your swing, you’re ensuring the barrel starts to hurry up behind you, which then allows you to hold that speed through the baseball once you make contact.
Place Hand Behind The Shoulder
Keep your hands back at your shoulder to have a better position. A misconception is that pushing the hands forward and through the ball is effective, but it causes a few problems. First, it doesn’t allow you to place the bat behind the ball as early as you can.
Ideally, creating energy that starts from the ground to your upper body allows the larger muscles in your legs to move ahead. This pulls the upper body through the swing, similar to a golf swing.
The key point here is keeping the hands at your shoulder while swinging, which will help you have better bat control.
Shift The Weight
Using your weight to enable you to generate bat speed instead of relying simply on the upper body is an effective technique. Shifting the weight from back to front while swinging will help generate more power, which will generate extra bat speed.
Shifting the weight of your body allows your arm to have more power to swing faster. The weight will be centered over your back leg as you stride and move forward.
The key to this is leaning back a bit and pulling back from the elbow. This will ensure you stay back in your swing as you create momentum going forward.
Adjust Bat Position
It is a misconception that in order to swing fast, the body must also move fast. However, this is not always true. It is not how fast the body moves, but how effective the body utilizes its motion.
To employ this secret, your back leg will start pushing off the bottom before your hands barely move forward.
It’s the same concept as throwing a baseball, but players often have difficulty grasping the concept once they are hitting.
The upper body will remain back while the lower body moves forward toward the baseball, allowing the sweet spot of the bat to be positioned behind the ball early. Not only will this enable the batter to generate additional bat speed but will also put him in a ready position.
Since you never know needless to say what pitch is going to be thrown your way, hitting is all about putting yourself within the best position possible in order to make adjustments on the fly when needed.
Pull Elbow Back
This is the part of your swing that is also called the “load”, as it involves the hands. In order to do this, the matter must create tension between his upper and lower body. Then, the batter must pull the elbow back as the arm is moving forward to swing.
The hands will not be pulled facing the umpire. Instead, the elbow will drawback towards the backside. This makes a load that is rotating around the back leg by pulling the elbow back while the back knee moves forward.
This will make the range of motion smoother and more powerful, therefore connecting the energy that was created with the back leg and using it while swinging the baseball bat.
Batters can control two factors in hitting the ball, those are the bat speed and the hot of the ball flush on the sweet spot. If two batters hit the ball flush with the same ball speed that was pitched, using the same ball, bat, and field at the same time, the batter who hit the ball with the barrel of the bat will have generated a higher exit velocity.
Increasing the bat speed is not only effective through agility. Rather, the technique in which you control your body and motion is key to increasing your bat speed. Using the bat to hit the ball quickly is a combination of body positioning and technique.