When contact is made with the softball, it will often have a rattling or vibrating feel. The vibration can be felt in the hands of players who both wear gloves and who don’t wear gloves.
Softball bats will rattle and vibrate due to missing the bat’s sweet spot, which causes rattling and vibrating frequencies to be sent through our hands. This rattling typically stings the hands and causes pain to the batter.
This vibrating feeling will often feel stinging or painful to the batter. The batter will feel pain in their hands if they catch the part of the bat that causes the vibration.
In this article, we’re going to show you what causes the softball bat to vibrate and how you can avoid the stinging feeling in your hands when making contact with the softball.
What Is The Sweet Spot When Swinging A Softball Bat?
The sweet spot is the dead center of the softball bat that causes the least amount of vibration. Players who make contact with the softball, hitting the sweet spot of the bat, will often feel “almost nothing.”
This is because all of the energy generated from the batter is then transferred to the softball. No vibration, rattling, or stingy will occur when the ball is hit in the sweet spot.
Why Does The Softball Bat Rattle Or Vibrate?
The impact of the ball on the softball bat is what causes vibration through natural friction of contact.
As shown here by the Pennsylvania State university’s study of physics and acoustics of baseball and softball bats, we see how the ball affects the bat through contact.
Here are three different phases in connecting with the sweet spot and the dead spots of a bat.
In the first image above, we’re seeing a player hit the ball in the sweet spot. Notice there are no vibrations throughout the bat. All the generated power from the hitter is transferred into the bat and the baseball. The bat stays consistent throughout the entire swing.
Power hitters will often say they feel “nothing” when the sweet spot is hit as the ball travels 300+ feet.
Missing The Sweet Spot Outside
Below are two images (again, courtesy of a study done by the Pennsylvania State University) of the player missing the sweet spot.
The above image shows the players swinging and completely missing the sweet spot of the bat. Due to the miss of the sweet spot, we can see vibrations be sent throughout the bat, all the way to the player’s hands.
Whether it’s softball or baseball, science rings true to both sports. Especially in softball, the bigger ball and bat have a wider surface area to miss the sweet spot.
See Our Complete List Of Helpful Softball Articles Here.
Missing The Sweet Spot Inside
We see similar results in the image below, as the ball hits closer to the player’s hands. The ball, upon contact, will cause the same vibrations throughout the hands.
The ball catches the inside (closer to the hands) part of the bat, which immediately sends vibrations to the hitter’s hands. These types of hits are often short or shallow due to the lack of power that’s generated.
These images are great visual representations of how the ball impacts the bat when making contact with the ball.
Without getting too scientific ( check Pennsylvania’s study for more of a scientific explanation), below is a visual of the vibration shapes when the ball makes an impact with the ball.
Notice where the speed spot in the bat and where the vibrations affect both the top and bottom hand.
How To Stop The Vibration Or Rattling In A Softball Bat
There are a few ways to stop the rattling or vibration in a softball bat. One way, and the easiest/most cost-efficient way, is to take batting practice consistently.
Softball is a hand-eye coordination sport. Consistently hitting the dead spot of the bat means the player doesn’t see the softball clearly through the sweet spot of the bat.
Hitting off a tee or having a coach do soft toss is one of the best ways to improve hand-eye coordination and ensure the sweet spot is contacted.
Bat knobs are made by Easton Sports and are used to reduce the vibration made throughout the course of a swing.
The knob is said to reduce the friction, as the knob will give you a better grip, but the rubber piece will reduce the friction caused by the softball hitting the bat.
The softball bat will vibrate mainly because it either hitting or missing the sweet spot. The dead spots in the bat will cause a vibration to be sent down through the handle of the bat into the hands, which ultimately causes vibration or a “stinging” feeling.
To combat the dead spot, there are two things the softball player can do. First, they can practice their swing on a T or slow pitch from their coach. This will help improve hand-eye coordination, which will help with hitting the sweet spot more frequently.
When batters learn how to hit the sweet spot, they will consistently try to pull, push or place the softball where they need to. Learning how to hit the sweet spot, combining it with bat velocity and hand speed will make the ball travel farther.
The second option is to purchase the bat knobs that we featured above, which will help eliminate the vibration. However, for the long term, we recommend you take as many swings as possible to find that sweet spot every time. Great hitters, where it be in little league or professionally, understand this concept and try to hit it every time.
We recommend doing soft toss or any close-range swinging to ensure the sweet spot is met with every swing.
How do you feel about hitting the sweet spot? How have you been able to replicate not making the bat rattle or vibrate? Let us know in the comment sections below.