Should you train with metal or wood? If you are in high school or play competitive travel baseball, then you should be training with wood. Why? Wood bats are not as forgiving as metal bats, so you will be able to feel and recognize mistakes with ease. Metal bats are designed to dampen the shock to your hands. This makes it harder to tell if you have not hit the ball in the sweet spot. Using a wood bat will also make it easier to see if your ball has backspin. Backspin is necessary for the ball to travel as far as it can.
Wood bats are typically heavier than metal bats at the same length. While training, you want to gain strength. You will gain strength even if your wood bat is only .5 ounces heavier than your metal bat. This will increase your overall bat speed. This increase in bat speed and strength will keep you feeling comfortable at the plate. After a while, you may even be able to swing up a bat size.
Training with a wood bat will prepare you for wood bat travel tournaments and the next level. The more comfortable you are with a wood bat will only benefit you in the long run. College coaches love to scout at wood bat tournaments. College coaches like to be able to see that you can handle swinging a wood bat with confidence. Using a wood bat against competitive travel pitching will show your true pop, swing speed, and ability to get the bat through the zone. All of these are necessary skills to play at the collegiate level.
To perfect your hitting form and technique, you should be using a wood bat. Using a wood bat forces the player to hit balls on all areas of the plate with better technique. Players will not be able to simply “grip and rip” on any ball over the plate. They will need to recognize whether the ball is inside or outside and correctly time their swing. Wood bats will teach the player plate discipline. Plate discipline is a necessary skill to have if the player wants to play at the next level. Plate discipline is something that comes with time and cannot be learned overnight.
Using a wood bat to train will help you learn how to drive the ball to all parts of the field. It will especially help with driving the ball to the opposite field gap. Being able to drive the ball to all parts of the field with confidence is what separates good hitters from great ones. It is what separates a .300 hitter from a .350 hitter. Training with a wood bat will give you the feel and patience required for driving the ball over shortstop and second basemen’s heads.