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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2007 > Coach's Box - Feb/Mar 2007 > Michele Smith - February 2007

Michele Smith - February 2007

 

   Volume 2, No. 2

February-March 2007

 
   
      
  

Picture 1 - correct grip

Picture 2 - correct grip, slightly off center

Picture 3 - incorrect grip

Bats: How to Pick ‘Em
and Grip ‘Em

By Michele Smith
Olympic Gold Medal Pitcher
As the season approaches, it is that time of the year to look at purchasing new equipment. One of the questions I get asked quite often is ‘how do I know what length bat I should buy for my daughter? Here is an easy way to determine what size bat will work for your little ball players. Good Luck and remember to see the ball and hit it!

The correct length of a bat is found by:

 - Having your athlete stand upright with her arms hanging       straight down by her side.

 - Resting a bat along side her arm, with the head of the bat on the ground. A good length bat should find the knob of the bat reaching between the middle of the palm of the hand and the wrist. If the bat reaches above the wrist, it is too long. If the bat reaches below the middle of the palm, it is too short.

 - The weight of the bat is determined by the length. Today's bats are mostly 10-ounce, 9-ounce and 8-ounce drops. For example, a bat that is a 10-ounce drop would have a length of 32 inches, and 22 ounces. A 9-ounce drop would be a 32-inch, 23-ounce bat, and an 8-ounce drop is 32 inches and 24 ounces.

The correct grip, so you can let it rip:

- As shown in pictures 1 and 2, the knocking knuckles should be lined up. Slightly off center is acceptable as in the second picture.

- The knocking knuckles are the knuckles used to knock on a door.

- A proper grip is the first step necessary for starting a proper swing.

- Using this grip will help keep the bat in the fingers and allow
for a greater amount of bat head speed in the swing.

- An incorrect grip is shown in Picture 3. Notice that the correct knuckles are not lined up. This will allow the bat to be too far back in the hand, and decrease wrist movement. The result is the ball will not "jump" off the bat at contact.
 

For more information, visit Michele Smith's website at http://www.michelesmith.com .
 

 
 
 
 
 
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