Choosing the right bat is important. Several things to consider are weight, length and type of bat. Once you select the right bat for you, you will also need to know how to break it in.
Bat speed is probably the biggest factor that should sway your decision in purchasing a baseball or softball bat. A heavier bat will give the ball more momentum, but the heavier the bat usually means a slower bat speed. With a lighter bat you are much more likely to make contact because you will have a higher bat speed. You will find that most players with high batting averages use lighter bats.
Swing as many different bats as you can. If your team doesn't have a wide variety of bats to try, try a sporting goods store. Try not to select a long bat that will allow you to hit pitches that may end up going into the opposite batter's box. Consider where you stand in the batter's box to make sure that you can extend through the whole strike zone. If a pitch is outside of the strike zone, don't swing at it.
Aluminum bat VS. Wood baseball bat? Aluminum bats are more durable and less flexible which makes the ball jump off the bat. Wooden bats have a classic and more flexible feel and are usually a little safer for the pitcher, less of a worry about those comeback here line drives.
Head to a batting cage to see how comfortable you feel when trying to make contact. Don't be afraid to have a friend or family member video record a number of swings so you can examine your swing to make sure that the bat allows you to reach through the whole strike zone. Once you feel comfortable in the batting cage, you'll know that you've found the right bat for you.
Now that you have selected the right bat for you, it is time to break it in. Aluminum bats don't really need any breaking in. Instead, there are things to do to break yourself into your new bat and make sure you didn't purchase a dead bat. Hit about 20 to 30 balls off a tee, rotating the bat a little bit each time making sure that the entire barrel of the bat gets touched. Then during a game switch between your trusty stand by and your new bat to make sure your new bat is performing properly.
To break in a composite bat you should hit 200 to 500 actual bats during infield practice or use a tee if necessary. Continuously turn the bat slightly after every time you make good contact until the entire barrel of the bat gets good contact. Avoid hitting the bat against a tree, or putting in vise grips, for these practices will void the warranty.
Wood bats don't really need to be broken in either. A few rules that you should follow to help extend the life of your wooden bat are storing your bat in the house and avoiding extreme temperatures such as the inside of a car or in your garage. Also, there are 2 spots on a wood bat with the greatest possibility of failure, the logo and the area opposite of the logo. Do not hit the ball in these 2 areas. If you do, you are almost guaranteed to break the bat.
Bats these days are expensive. If you take care and break them in properly, the bat will last you a long time. In the long run, this will save you money and more importantly you will become a more consistent and feared hitter.