How do I take care of a Slow Pitch softball bat?
If you are buying an aluminum bat, there is no break-in necessary. Aluminum bats are generally as hot as they are going to get as soon as you take them out of the wrapper. With composite barreled bats, you will have to spend some time getting them ready to perform at their peak. Generally composite slow pitch bats are going to need around 100 - 150 hits on them to start performing up to their potential. When breaking in a composite bat, it is important to start off at about 50% power and gradually increase as your swing count rises. It is also important to rotate the bat about a 1/4 inch on every swing. This ensures that your bat gets evenly broken in.
Many composite slow pitch bats produced today will not require much in the way of a break-in period due and can offer "hot-out-of-the-wrapper" performance.
Regarding temperature and bats of different materials, many people believe that Composite Slow Pitch Bats tend to be much more sensitive to temperature than Alloy Slow Pitch Bats. However, a bat of any material will run a higher chance of becoming damaged when its used in lower temperatures. Many manufacturers have their own suggestions on minimum temperatures that their bats should be used in. However, as a rule of thumb, we recommend that you avoid (or attempt to limit) using your bat in temperatures below 55 degree Fahrenheit. There isn't a maximum temperature that you should avoid using your baseball bat in.
- Limit the use of your game bat in the batting cage. Save the wear and tear for when it really matters: in the game.
- Do not use dimpled balls to practice with. These balls can have damaging effects on your bat.
- Limit the number of teammates that use the same bat. Bats DO break. The fewer hits on the bat, the better chance you have at lasting durability.
- Do not use your bat to knock dirt off of your cleats. This can damage the bat.
- If using a wood bat, swing with the label facing toward you. This is a common mistake and often will lead to a prematurely broken bat.