In the market for a new Fastpitch softball bat? Among the many factors to consider is the break-in period. Bats that are 100% alloy or with an alloy barrel are game-ready right out of the wrapper and will not require a break-in period.
Composite bats, on the other hand, require a break-in period. The carbon fibers in the barrel are stiff out of the wrapper, and need to be loosened up before they will reach peak performance. Due to the break-in period, many players shy away from purchasing a new composite bat mid-season; but a break-in period can easily be knocked out in one hitting session. Here’s how.
A break-in period consists of 150-200 swings. It’s important to work your way from 50% to full power as you approach the 200 swing mark. The best way to transition slowly into full power is to take the first 100 swings off of a tee, the next 50 swings off of short or soft toss and the last 50 off full-length pitching.
To ensure that the bat has an even break-in, it’s important to rotate the barrel a quarter turn after each swing. Many bats have a rotational index printed on the end of the bat to guide you. If not, it’s very easy to use the labels on either side as a rotation guide. Be sure to use real leather softballs when breaking in your bat, as dimpled cage balls can damage the bat and decrease the lifespan.
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