A fungo bat is a specially designed bat used by baseball and softball coaches for practice purposes. The bat is designed to hit not thrown or pitched balls, but rather balls tossed up in the air. Typical fungo bats are 35–37 inches long and weigh 17–22 ounces. Coaches hit many balls during fielding practice, and the weight and length allow the coach to hit balls repeatedly with high accuracy. The small diameter of the fungo bat also allows coaches to easily hit pop-ups to catchers and infielders.
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How to Hit With a Fungo Bat
Every good baseball coach knows that hitting with a fungo bat is critical when preparing your team for game situations. But lofting fly balls to eager fielders takes practice and skill. Avoid looking like an amateur by reading the steps below. Your team will be glad you did.
Choose a bat for your needs. Fungo bat are lighter than regular baseball bats and come in metal and wood varieties. The idea is to find a bat that you can swing repeatedly without getting tired. In addition, pick one with a comfortable grip to avoid blisters.
Place your bat on your back shoulder and toss the baseball up with your front hand. Toss the ball high and far enough away from the body so you don’t get jammed. Grab the handle with your free hand bringing the bat back a few inches. Hit fly balls at shoulder level, grounders at chest level and line drives at waist level.
See the baseball as being divided horizontally. During practice, aim at the lower half whenever you want to add some loft to your fly balls. Conversely, aim at the top of the baseball when hitting grounders.
Let the bat do all of the work and relax when hitting. If you are a coach, you know how tension can negatively influence performance. To be consistent, your swing should be confident and free of tension.
Perfect your swing. Hit each ball with purpose and visualize where you would like it to go or gather some players after practice for extra work. The more you hit, the better your Fungo Bat will be.
Things You’ll Need:
- Bag of baseballs
- Fungo bat
- Baseball (or large) field