When you hit an outside pitch with an aluminum bat, you can very well hit it beyond an infielder even though you swung at a bad pitch. On an inside pitch, you can manage a flare-single over the 2nd baseman's head. With wood you learn the strike zone and which pitches you should lay-off.
In the old days (before 1972) every bat you bought was wood and you sure didn't want to break the only bat you owned, so you learned to lay off bad pitches (Not to mention the "bees" you felt in your hands when you swung at bad pitches on cold spring days)!
Maybe you will now begin to learn the strike zone and the value of pitch selection. You just might gain one more weapon in learning to become a better hitter! Remember, if you learn these great lessons by hitting with wood, think about what a powerful and smart hitter you can become when swinging with aluminum!
A wood bat will train you to hit with good mechanics and will tell you right away when you are dragging it through the zone with incorrect mechanics. The sweet spot is a bit smaller and the barrel diameters tend to be smaller as well, so to be successful you start the hands early, select good pitches to hit and accelerate right through the ball with a flat, level swing. It just won't let the bad swings turn into cheap hits.
The bottom line is, the sooner you begin training with wood, the sooner you get over whatever it is that makes some good hitters struggle. Keep in mind that I am not limiting this potential problem to youth league and high school players.
The rookie leagues are littered with 1st year pro players who have been extremely successful in high school and the college ranks but 30 days into camp are ready to jump off buildings because of the wood bat transition (relax…it's just an exaggeration).
You start now, training with a wood bat, not then. You start your swing with what the scouts call "live hands" and avoid what they call, appropriately enough, "dead hands". You learn the strike zone; I mean really focus on good pitches you aim at the art of perfecting the flat swing. Not sure how? Check out Coach Rob Ellis's Complete Video Series or even begin with reading his article found on this website entitled, "The Lost Secrets of Hitting".
The earlier a player begins training with wood, the better hitter he will become. Likewise, the more consistently he trains with wood, the better hitter he will become. You can "cheat" with aluminum. Instead of breaking the bat of a hitter who swings at an inside pitch, the aluminum hitter gets a flare just over the second baseman or shortstop's head. Outside pitches end up as grounders ,which split the infielders for cheap singles.
"Baseball in general is not rocket science but is rather the dogged pursuit of learning the correct mechanics and then duplicating them hundreds and then thousands of times…correctly. This fact alone may be the biggest reason why so many of the best Little League age players that you know did not turn out to be the best players as they got older." -- Coach John Peter
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