Fungo, Training, Coaching Bats, X-Bats
11-22-2015 / By:
Practice and training makes solid baseball players. Players and coaches who take baseball training seriously know this, which is why they want (and use) reliable, effective, and well-designed fungo, training, and coaching bats—for a variety of training functions and purposes. But figuring out which fungo or training bat is right for the situation and task at hand takes some knowledge and experience.
Smart teachers and coaches make sure they have the right teaching tools. So, here’s a quick overview.
Fungo Bats — for Coaches
Not all fungo bats for coaches are the same. These long lightweight bats are generally used by baseball and softball coaches for hitting practice balls to fielders—they are longer, lighter and thinner than regulation bats but feature a larger barrel. Great fungo and training bats are made of rock maple because it is strong and dense compared to other wood bats, thus ensuring high durability and longer life. Rock maple’s tight grain prevents the wood bat from flaking or separating. The bat is crafted for heavy, repetitive use in non-pitch training.
Designed to hit balls tossed up by the batter (not pitched balls), they allow coaches to consistently and accurately place grounders and pop flies, and are available in different lengths suited for particular types of fielding drills. Shorter fungo bats (33” and 34”) are designed for infield drills while the longest (35” and 36”) are for outfield drills. 35” fungo bats can be used for all fielding drills. You may say “c’mon, hitting balls is hitting balls,” yet these subtle differences are worth noting because they make a big difference in a coach’s effectiveness, comfort, and precision. Fungo bats allow coaches to repeatedly hit balls with high accuracy for better, more consistent training.
Fungo bats are also available with large, flared knobs, a design feature that enhances comfort and balance, makes the bat very easy to swing while maintaining great control, and lets coaches hit long, accurate fungos that players of all ages find hard to field. For coaches doing extended fielding drills day after day, comfort and balance are important to reducing fatigue and injury.
Another option in fungo bats is a version of the traditional coach’s fungo that has an extended barrel—which means more hitting surface area and more balance.
Training Bats — for Players
While fungo bats are used by coaches in fielding drills, other popular wood training bats are designed to train players in batting technique and enhance their batting skills and capabilities.
Heavier bats with oversized barrels (e.g., the LOG) and short-barreled training bats are designed to work in combination for “overload/underload” training hitting drills—a training process in which a greater-than-normal stress or load on the body (a heavier bat) is used to gradually increase muscle strength and endurance, while lighter-than-normal bats are used in the training rotation to develop greater speed, accuracy and consistency. The alternate training bats used over time maximize power and performance.
Short training bats (26” – 28”, e.g., The Shorty) have a full-size barrel and are designed to improve hitting technique, while strengthening hands and wrists. They are often used by players to practice with one-handed swings off a tee or short toss.
Flat-sided training bats (the “RS Backspin”) are specially designed to teach backspin and bat-path techniques. Developed by batting expert and Major Leaguer Reggie Smith, these bats train proper palm-up palm-down hand positioning in one-handed and two-handed drills. They also help batters develop a smooth path through the hitting zone. The shape of these bats enables immediate feedback on whether the batter’s hands are in the right position for effective hitting. RS Backspin bats are made in standard, Shorty and Youth versions.
Easy to Order and Customize — Online
Fungo and training bats are available in a number of sizes and shapes. You won’t have a problem or waste any time creating your perfect training bat—it’s is easy to customize using our user-friendly online “xbat configurator.” We’ve made it as simple as it can be with the website tool. Even better X-Bats’ state-of-the-art laser engraving equipment gets your training bat order details right every time. It’s easy to add your team or coach’s name or logo, season, championships, etc.
Now that you know how easy it is to identify, select and customize fungo and training bats, we hope you’ll let us help you help others train properly and become the ball players they want to be.