There are obvious reasons that increasing bat speed is key to becoming an elite hitter. Increased bat speed leads to greater exit speed, which translates to more power, more distance, more hits, and more bases. Basically more of everything a hitter wants. If you have a good bat path and the correct body movements to contact, increasing your bat speed will NEVER hurt you as a hitter.
In this post, we are going to break down why bat speed is important and give you a sneak preview into The Hitting Vault’s Bat Speed Training Program that is available to all of our current members.
If you are already familiar with your baseline bat speed, have the equipment needed from SKLZ, and are chomping at the bit to start the program today, sign up for a membership with The Hitting Vault and you’ll find our Bat Speed Training Program in the resources section of the website.
Bat Speed: Why it’s Important
As mentioned above, there is no doubt that an optimal bat speed will help you unlock your power as a hitter. But I wanted to start this section off with a little disclaimer about bat speed.
It’s very important to realize that bat speed is not the end all be all when it comes to being a powerful baseball or softball hitter.
The first step to increasing and implementing a bat speed training program is to have the mechanics of your swing solid. Increasing your bat speed will not help you if your bat path, hip rotation, and body movements aren’t firing properly. You will only be solidifying your poor mechanics, making it more difficult to go back and fix later. If you are currently a member of The Hitting Vault, a great place to start with the proper swing movements is the SwingBuild program and our Swing30 training program. These programs will help you get your mechanics in line, and then you can focus your attention on improving bat speed.
We can’t stress this enough, solid swing mechanics are the key to increasing bat speed.
Equipment: What Equipment Do You Need to Improve Bat Speed?
At The Hitting Vault, we very rarely endorse specific products. In this case, however, we are HUGE fans of the Ammo Bats from SKLZ. The Ammo Bat set includes three bats that we like to use with our hitters at The Hitting Vault for increasing bat speed.
Although we are big fans of the SKLZ Ammo Bats, we don’t want you to think that you have to purchase these for improving bat speed. If the SKLZ bats are a little more than what you would like to spend, there are a couple other options available that will work as well. These products include the Hitting Jack-it, or simply purchasing bats at different sizes and weights that you can utilize for overload and underload training.
Overload and Underload training are used across a variety of different sports to train fast twitch and explosive movements. For baseball and softball hitters, this is the most common type of training when talking about improving bat speed. The Hitting Vault Bat Speed Training Program focuses heavily on overload and underload training. For those unfamiliar with this method of training, we want to increase and decrease the weight of our bat doing specific drills so we can train our muscles to explode quicker, or with increased restriction.
Put simply, overload bats are more weight than what your hitter would normally swing. This can be done by purchasing a heavier bat to incorporate into your regular batting practice routine. This can help your hitter develop strength, by increasing resistance in their normal swing movements.
Underload bats will be lighter than what your hitter would normally swing. This will help hitters with explosive movements and develop the feel of moving faster. This will accelerate your muscle firing and fast twitch muscles, having a direct effect on bat speed, explosiveness, and quickness at the plate.
Hand loaded bats will have a thick or heavy handle. This will help hitters gain strength in their hands and forearms. Similar to overload bats the hand-loaded bats will increase resistance in your normal swing movements, causing your normal bat to feel lighter and more explosive.
Frequently Asked Questions for Increasing Bat Speed
We get asked a ton of questions here at The Hitting Vault about how to increase bat speed. Of those questions, we consistently get asked two that we want to be sure to address in this blog post about increasing bat speed.
Is Overload/Underload Training Safe for Younger Kids?
Yes! Overload/underload training is completely safe as long as the athlete is prepared for it. As mentioned above, bat speed is definitely not the first thing you should be focusing on with your hitters, body movements are more important to learn and master first. Once your hitters have their body movements in a good place, then there is nothing wrong with incorporating underload/overload training to increase bat speed, regardless of age! As a coach or parent, stay focused on your young hitter’s body movements and be sure to overload or underload their bat at a weight that is not jeopardizing their proper swing mechanics. It may take some experimenting at first, but be sure to scale back if neccessary so you’re not teaching bad habits.
How Much Can My Bat Speed Realistically Improve in 1-2 Months?
It is nearly impossible to predict how much improvement players will make on an individual basis. A professional hitter with a barrel velocity of 84 mph will have a lot less room to improve than, say, a high school sophomore swinging 50 mph. The bottom line is all players will gain velocity (peak) or average, and most likely both.Most players should be able to make gains of 4–8 mph easily; however, that will again depend on age and skill level. To become fast and explosive, you must train to be fast and explosive. Quality always wins over quantity.
Here is a qoute from Coach Lisle on The Hitting Vault Bat Speed Training Program and results he has seen with his high school and professional hitters.
“I have seen HS hitters gain over 10mph+ in bat speed and exit velocity working on this program and have seen some of my pro hitters gain 5mph+ in both categories as well.” – Coach Lisle
The Hitting Vault Bat Speed Training Program
For members of The Hitting Vault, we have an extensive bat speed training program available for all members. Let’s take a look at an example workout that Coach Lisle uses with his high school, college and professional hitters that has produced great results.
Bat Speed Training Program Example
10 Game Like Dry Swings with very light bat (15oz) – Like broom stick or Wiffle Ball bat
10 Swings Tee with extra-light bat (20-23oz)
10 Swings Tee with light bat (25-28oz)
10 Swings Tee with your bat (30-31oz)
10 Swings Tee with 4oz added
10 Swings Tee with 9oz added
10 Swings Tee with hand loaded bat/weight
10 Swings Tee with 12oz added
10 Swings Tee with 16oz added
10 Swings Tee with your normal bat
There are many ways to implement overload/underload training programs but the example above is one that we’ve seen have the best results. A great way to implement this program is 3-4 days a week with 100% reps in the off-season and 2-3 days a week with fewer reps in season. It’s a great 6-12 week program in the off-season getting you ready right before the season like Spring Training for your swing.
Ready to Get Started with the Complete Bat Speed Training Program?
The Bat Speed Training program provides a detailed plan with drills, equipment and frequently asked questions on improving bat speed. The Bat Speed Training program is the same drills and resources that Coach Lisle uses with his MLB and college players to increase their bat speed as much as 10 mph!
Get started with a Hitting Vault membership to access the complete Bat Speed Training Program.