Thursday, February 12, 2015

What is Bat Speed?

Today's post is on the topic of bat speed. What is bat speed? Is it important to have a good bat speed? How can I improve bat speed? What can I use to monitor my bat speed. Lets start by saying that having a solid foundation to work from is the most important thing in a young players swing. Good mechanics and a good understanding on their own swing before you try to add anything else to the mix. Once you have that then you can try to improve the other aspects of the swing.

What Is Bat Speed?
Bat speed is the measure of how fast a bat travels through the zone from point A to point B. Point A is when the bat is in the loaded position ready to swing. As in the picture below.

The speed is measured by how quickly the bat head gets from that position to where it makes contact with the baseball. The faster the bat speed the further the ball will travel to an extent. Meaning if you do not make quality contact with the baseball it does not matter how quick your bat comes through the zone. Which goes back to the previous point of good mechanics and good contact points on a baseball. So from A to B is how speed is measured. 

The greater bat speeds are found around the front stride leg of a hitter and about 40% of their height. The problem with that is we don't always get a pitch that is hips high down the middle of the plate as if it was setting on a tee. So we need to try an strive for bat speeds that are the same from the tee and from a pitch coming from a pitcher.

How Can We Improve Bat Speed?
Bat speeds can be improved with countless numbers or swings from pitcher and off a tee. Also with a quality strength and conditioning plan. one that focuses on getting total body strength as well as lifting explosively. You can expect to lay on a bench press up weights and that transfer to a baseball swing. but that is for another day. You need to preform exercise that mimic a baseball swing using Med Balls, Plyo, Balance exercises just to name a few.

Is Bat Speed Important?
This goes back to everything we have been talking about. If you can't square a pitch up then bat speed is not that important. Though developing bat speed will allow you to wait longer on pitches like breaking balls and changeups. Which will help the batting average if you have learn to hit the ball the other way. Here is a video from Zepp Labs (More Info On Zepp Baseball) that explains bat speed and its importants.

How Can I Monitor Bat Speed?
There are many different tools on the market today that can help you monitor you speed from rader guns to swing senors. Zepp Labs the producer of the video above has created a swing senor that monitors your baseball swing. 

"Zepp is a powerful training platform that includes a multi-sport sensor and free app.You can get started right now by downloading the free app to get access to our new video tools and pros swing features.Of course, these new video analysis features together with the Zepp multi-sport sensor deliver the most powerful platform for capturing your 3D swing data to analyze and improve your game" -- Zepp Labs

In conclusion bat speed is important in a baseball swing because it is one of the major factors in how hard and far you hit the ball. But along with bat speed you have to have the quality mechanics and right bat path to the ball to make solid contact on a pitch. As mentioned in the video bad mechanics, poor pitch selection, and timing are all factors of good bat speed. If you swing out of your shoes to hit a ball and do not square it up bat speed doesn't mean a whole lot!

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