The Home Run.
It’s the ultimate achievement in what is widely considered the toughest thing to do in all of sports. Not too long ago, there was even a marketing campaign from Nike with a “Chicks Dig the Longball” theme, a phrase that is often spoken amongst baseball players still to this day. Anyone who has ever stepped foot in a batter’s box (or a boardwalk batting cage for that matter) can appreciate the challenges that lie with hitting a round ball with a round bat square, and knows how truly difficult it is to consistently make solid contact.
George Brett had one of the greatest sayings when it came to hitting for power. He said, “Don’t try to hit the ball far. Try to hit it hard, and it will go far.” A simple statement that makes unbelievable sense. When people talk about hitting for power, the first thing most think of is the home run. While that may be power to one player, to another it may mean going from a singles hitter to one who can drive the ball in the gaps for doubles and triples.
In an age of expensive, and quite useless gimmicks that frequently offer unrealistic promises and results to players, we present to you the penny bat- an inexpensive and quite useFULL training tool for hitters that costs no more than $1.00 (that isn’t actually paid to anyone). It may very well be one of the best investments hitters can make for their future success.
Weight training has evolved into a highly beneficially part of becoming a complete athlete in all sports, when done correctly with a program that is designed specific to becoming better in a particular sport. Dealing specifically in baseball, the best conditioning programs out there are the ones that result in improved baseball-skill. Essentially, the penny bat is weight-training of the baseball swing, working the exact muscles used to get the bat around. Over time, with proper use, those muscles are forced to strengthen, and when a normal-weighted bat is back in the hitter’s hands, he should enjoy a stronger swing with more bat speed. Increased bat speed equals increased power.
In addition to the strength gains that the penny bat will offer, just swinging it alone will help use the entire body, getting the much needed lower half involved in the swing as well. The added weight of the pennies should prevent the hitter from swinging it with just all arms and rotation.
Here’s the easy how-to make one:
1) Take an old bat that is no longer used in games (preferably wood, but metal will also do), and tape the barrel with the sticky side of athletic tape sticking up.
2) Begin adhering pennies across the barrel as if you were tiling a floor. With the sticky side of the tape up, the pennies will have no problem staying on. Older/stronger players can add more pennies, younger/weaker players can use less. One hundred adds a significant amount of weight to the bat, so continually get a feel for the bat as the pennies are being added, and stop when you think the bat is heavy enough.
3) Tape over the barrel covered with pennies, this time with the stick-side down, and that’s it- you’re done!
Once completed, the penny bat can be used in a variety of ways. We suggest using it mostly in the batting cage, during tee-work , side toss, or front toss. Controlled settings as those noted above are best because the focus is on getting the barrel to the still or slow moving ball, as opposed to regular BP with an increased velocity of the pitch. Developing a routine that begins with the penny bat and moves to a game bat is optimal, and will enable the hitter to feel the results immediately. Ideally, the goal is to use the entire body the same exact way when swinging with the regular-weight bat as it was used to get the penny bat around. Additionally, it’s a great bat to warm up with prior to batting practice, or in the on-deck circle during games.
Pennies for your thoughts??