Where Is The Sweet Spot On A Baseball Bat

Science of Baseball

Finding the Optimal Position You can identify one of the “sweet spots” on a baseball bat by using a wooden bat and a hammer to hit it with.

What You Need

To locate one of the “sweet spots” on a baseball bat, hold the bat loosely between your thumb and index finger, just below the knob on the bat’s handle, with the bat hanging down between them. As an alternative, have a friend gently tap the bat with a hammer, starting at the fat end and working his way toward the handle. This may also be done alone, however working with a companion is more enjoyable and less stressful.) When the bat is struck, you should feel a vibration in your fingers, with the exception of when the node is struck, in which case you will feel nothing.

What’s Going On?

It is possible to hit a ball on one of the three “sweet spots” on a baseball bat if you hit it exactly so. One of these pleasant places has something to do with vibration. When an item is struck, it produces a vibration as a reaction. This object’s vibrations move in waves up and down its length, as shown in the diagram. The waves always cancel each other out at one point, which is referred to as the node. You won’t feel any stinging or trembling in your hand if you strike the ball on the bat’s node.

When this point is struck, just a small amount of the bat’s energy is lost to vibrations, allowing more energy to be transferred to the ball.

Your hand does not vibrate when a ball strikes the node because there is no vibration present.

The physics behind a baseball bat’s sweet spot

When it comes to wooden baseball bats, there’s a certain allure that fades the moment you take a swing with one. A wooden bat is basically simply a reminder for those of us who aren’t attempting to make it to the major leagues that hitting a baseball may be either painful or irritating depending on whether or not you make contact with the ball. To explain further, the problem with wood is that it vibrates. If you hit a baseball anyplace else than the so-called sweet spot on the bat, you’ll feel all of the vibrations in your hands, and you’ll have a bruise on your hand after approximately 10 swings.

  • Despite the old-fashioned beauty of wooden bats and sweet spots, scientists didn’t know much about the acoustics (yes, acoustics) of a bat until the 1980s and 1990s, when they conducted extensive research.
  • However, it is not as straightforward as that.
  • In terms of sensation in your hands, there’s one that feels wonderful and one that the ball comes off the quickest.
  • And, despite the fact that the phrase “sweet spot” is generally often associated with baseball, the scientific concepts that explain it are applicable to other sports as well, including tennis rackets, hockey sticks, cricket bats, and other bats.
  • “Any solid structure contains vibrational patterns,” explains Dan Russell.
  • A portion of the energy from one item colliding with another is converted into vibrational waves that flow through the objects involved in the collision.
  • Materials have varied inherent vibrational frequencies, and depending on how large or tiny the waves are, there are nodes uniformly distributed along the length of every item where it will not vibrate at all if hit with a hammer.

But what exactly is it that makes it so damned delicious?

The first is the position in which the bat feels most comfortable in your hands as you hit.

The second definition is the location where the ball leaves the bat the quickest.

You’ve already deformed the ball to the point that you’re losing around half of its energy (baseballs squish down to half their diameter as they impact a bat).

A homerun hit directly into the sweet spot should sound significantly different than a pop fly struck off the mark, according to theory.

Try this: dangle the bat gently by its knob, then use a baseball to strike the bat from top to bottom, moving the baseball from left to right.

With the exception, of course, of when you strike the jackpot.

Despite the fact that we amateurs don’t want to take batting practice for more than 10 minutes at a time, it is beneficial to your training program.

Alternatively, you might invest in a composite bat with a vibration dampener built into the handle to alleviate the discomfort of striking outside of the sweet spot when you are playing baseball. After all, we aren’t all headed to the major leagues.

The Sweet Spot On A Baseball Bat

When you hit a baseball with your baseball bat’s “sweet spot,” you will get the sensation of making a strong connection with the ball. (Photo courtesy of Philipottm on Wikimedia Commons) In this Moment of Science, learn how to find the sweet spot on a baseball bat. When it comes to hitting a ball with a bat, there are correct and incorrect methods. It is possible that your hands may be stung and the bat may shatter if you strike the ball with the wrong section of the bat. It gives the impression that you have made a strong connection with the ball if you hit the ball on the “sweet spot” of the bat.

  • Every bat has a lovely area where he prefers to hang out.
  • You may discover the sweet spot by grasping the bat handle with one hand in the same position as you would when swinging the bat.
  • When you tap, you will eventually experience little or no vibration at all.
  • That is the most advantageous location for the ball to collide with the bat.
  • Holding the pencil loosely between two fingers, tap it forcefully against the edge of a hard table will produce a crisp sound.
  • You’ll eventually come across a point when the tapping does not thrill your fingertips.
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The sweet spot, or “center of percussion,” of any swinging item is defined by the engineer as the “center of percussion.” Good hammers and axes are engineered such that, if you grasp the handle properly, the sweet spot is located just where the instrument makes contact with the nail or piece of wood being hammered or cut.

Sources and Further Reading

P. Kirkpatrick, “Batting the Ball,” American Journal of Physics, 31:606 (2001). (1963). The Handbook of Engineering Fundamentals, 2nd edition (1969), by O. Eschbach, is available online at

where is the sweetspot of a baseball bat?

Originally uploaded bydominikView the original posting I’m aware of what a sweetspot is and how it works. However, because there are many different definitions of a sweetspot (one website even claimed that a bat had three sweetspots), I’d want to hear about your experiences. Is it possible to identify the sweetspot of a bat in a realistic way, or is this simply a gimmick? I believe it is beneficial to be familiar with the sweetspot, because I previously attempted to hit the ball near to the end of the bat.

  1. Instead, I used duct tape to designate the claimed sweetspot location on the barrel, which I then wrapped around the barrel and attempted to hit the ball with this region.
  2. If you had read the report from Kettering, you would have noticed that there were eight distinct ones mentioned.
  3. I know what mine was, and it was the time when I felt absolutely nothing, thus I’m guessing it was the first one stated on that Kettering web page.
  4. What would be the point of it if the manufacturer marked the sweet spot according to your criteria and description, if you were to use it as a batter, anyway?
  5. A thrown ball or even a machine-generated ball is very different from hitting a stationary ball, and I’m not aware of any players who have been able to intentionally change their swing in order to have the bat and ball connect at a certain spot on the bat’s handle.
  6. That’s a good start.
  7. However, this time the ball is a 2 seamer up and in on the black, and the following pitch is a slider at the knees and on the black away.
  8. Now, I’m not a batting genius, so I might be completely wrong, but just as I feel it is difficult for a pitcher to place the ball in a certain area at every time, I believe it is equally hard for a batter to achieve the sweet spot to meet the ball on every pitch in the strike zone.

Soon, the pitcher who is frightened to throw strikes will be standing in the shower with the batter who is terrified to swing at a baseball pitch.

The Sweet Spot on a Baseball Bat

Several of us recently traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to attend the American Association for Engineering Education convention. We took advantage of a free day while we were there by visiting the Louisville Slugger Bat Museum. During one of the museum’s exhibits, you were instructed to hold a baseball bat vertically, suspended by its knob, and then to tap it with another baseball bat at various points along the bat’s length. With this game, the goal was to see if you could discover what’s known as the “sweet spot,” which is the center of percussion—the point at which the power of the bat’s rebound is entirely balanced out by the force of the ball.

A teacher who works with us on projects during the summer months came up with the idea of placing one of our Low-g Accelerometers on the knob of the bat and tracking the vibrations while we were tapping away.

A hit at the end of the bat’s sweet spot is considered a successful hit.

4 Inches of Power – The Sweet Spot

The philosophy at BABH has always based on adopting time-tested concepts of hitting from the greatest hitters who have ever played the game and applying them to one’s own style of hitting. Some of these concepts have origins that go back so long in the game that they bring back names like Cobb, Ruth, Mantle, Aaron, and others who were formerly associated with the game. Typically, these hitting concepts are concerned with some part of the baseball swing’s mechanical component. In order for batters to have a successful at bat, we remind them of the right cognitive process and mental approach.

  1. As you may be aware, hitting is a skill that can be learned and improved upon over time, regardless of how long you have been involved in the game.
  2. Or, on occasion, you may simply begin to piece together a critical component of your effectiveness at the plate on your own.
  3. In fact, we developed the Speed Bat Hitting System as a low-cost tool to assist hitters in ingraining these three components into their technique.
  4. We’d want to share that information forward to you.
  5. We had no idea at the time that we had created a training tool that would lead us to the discovery of a secret to the success of some of the best hitters the world has ever seen.
  6. It was impossible to ignore the outcomes.
  7. Top collegiate baseball and softball players, as well as US Olympic softball players and Major League Baseball professional batters, were increasing their output.

The majority of people believe that power hitting is the consequence of a massive, muscle-bound hitter.

Rick Down expresses it in the following way: Power is a function of the relationship between timing and location.

It’s a simple remark, yet it has a great deal of significance.

” Yes, it is correct.

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Aaron Hill of the Toronto Blue Jays is on the line.

You can also tell that he is mechanically sound, as evidenced by the fact that he drives the bat with incredible force.

It’s very incredible.

He also has impeccable timing when it comes to his decisions.

These two images are worth a thousand words on their own.

Power is a function of both time and place.


It was established through our research and development of the Speed Bat that the ball’s most optimal landing spot on the bat is 17-21 inches from the player’s top hand.

I mean, every single time!

What was the location of the ball’s impact with the bat?

The distance between the top hand and the bottom hand is 17-21 inches as you can see.

They are all on the same plane, and they are all in direct touch with the soccer ball.

Two of them were hit hard, but both were singles, while the third was a home run to right field.

What he discovered is the same as what we discovered!

Here’s a picture of the distances that were measured out for you.

Take a look around on your own.

Keep an eye on SportsCenter.

In fact, just here.

See the following Matt Kemp video for a “super slow motion illustration” of the ball striking the bat with the 4 inches of power that every single bat possesses.

Yes, it may be referred to as the “sweet spot.” But you’ve been hearing it for your whole life; did it influence your approach to striking the ball so that you could strike it in the sweet spot the first time?

Because until you realize that the Sweet Spot is unquestionably the Power Source in the bat, it has no significance.

Learning to hit the ball in that critical 4 inches of power on your bat is the key to increasing your overall output as a hitter.

Now, do you get what he’s trying to say?

For better or worse, they are in the mechanically correct position as seen in these photographs.

You must have the appropriate time LOCATION (proper mechanical position) as well as the proper LOCATION on the bat (the Sweet Spot) to be successful.


It’s worth noting that the picture above depicts a successful home run.

ACCURACY combined with TIME means POWER.

You are not need to select a size.

You will have to strike the ball exactly 17-21 inches from your top hand if you want to use the Speed Bat properly.

Simply put, we compel you to place your hands in a specific, mechanically precise area on the Speed Bat in order to function properly.


But that’s not all there is to it!

Take a look at all of the ACCURACY components that the Speed Bat Hitting System is forcing you to consume.


Hand posture that has been determined in advance 4.

When you combine this with the TIMING component provided by the Speed Balls, you get.

So, I’d want to put it to you.

Why would you do anything like that?

Nothing about this makes sense.

Every single bat that you pick up contains a hidden Power source for you to use.

Really paying attention to WHERE you let the ball to contact your bat is what I’m referring about.

You’re in luck since that tool is included in the Speed Bat Hitting System.

It is not necessary to be precise while hitting from a tee; instead, you must concentrate on the LOCATION in which your bat strikes the ball.

The only reason you should ever hit the ball somewhere other than the Power Source that lies within the first 4 inches of your bat’s barrel is because you are wasting your time.

Do It.

Do you require another reminder?

Pay close attention to where the ball makes contact with the bat!

They are simply professional hitters who are conscientious of the Power formula in which they operate. POWER = TIMING + ACCURACY + PERFORMANCE! 4.85 out of 5 stars from 485 users (1votes)

The physics of the elusive ‘sweet spot’ unraveled

What exactly is it that creates the “a sweet place in the middle “Dr. Dan Russell’s pioneering study into the physics of composite baseball and softball bats is centered on the sweet spot of the bat. Professor Russell of Applied Physics at Kettering University began using baseball and softball bats to engage students in his acoustics and vibration course in the early 1990s. “I needed something easy for students to test in the lab to demonstrate the mechanics of vibration,” he explained. “Baseball bats are simple to test yet give intriguing properties at the same time,” he continued.

  1. After proving successful in the production of composite hockey sticks (ballistikhockey.com), the firm is now expanding into the production of composite baseball and softball bats (combatbaseball.com), and was seeking for a means to increase bat performance in the process.
  2. Russell’s study, which is based on the way a bat vibrates, helps to explain some of the mechanics of the sweet spot.
  3. He agreed to do so.
  4. The second part involves applying our results to new bat designs, which is now underway “Russell shared his thoughts.
  5. “It was a great learning experience,” he said.
  6. For this purpose, he taps the bat at 1-inch intervals indicated over its surface in order to calculate its vibrational frequency.
  7. Aspects of the mode shape and frequency that he looks for during testing are as follows: The way a structure vibrates and the pattern that it produces when it is vibrating are referred to as its mode form.
  8. When it comes to baseball or softball bats, the mode shape is an uncomplicated flexing bending form that has both moving and non-moving elements.
  9. The node is associated with the location of the sweet spot, which is the point at which the bat does not bend or vibrate.
  10. As the ball gains momentum, it moves at a quicker and farther rate.
  11. Generally speaking, a batter’s finest performance happens inside a two-inch range; if an impact occurs within that range, it is not likely to activate that bending pattern to a significant degree “Russell went on to say.
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In order to give the ball the most amount of energy after it collides with the bat, I can predict whether or not it will have some stinging properties, whether or not the frequencies and bat’s behavior are doing what they are supposed to do, and whether or not it will have any stinging properties “he explained.

  1. It compresses when a ball is struck by the bat, which is due to its hollow construction.
  2. Because a wooden bat is solid, it cannot be compressed.
  3. Furthermore, depending on how the bat is made, it may either reduce the amount of energy transmitted to the ball or increase the amount of energy transferred to the ball while hitting the ball.
  4. When the interval between the bat and the ball equals the time it takes to compress and push back the barrel, “you can have a pretty high performing bat,” Russell explained.
  5. Everything is dependent on how effectively the bat is constructed.
  6. Russell does not have a solution – at least not yet.
  7. The speeds in adult baseball are significantly higher.
  8. I believe there is more to it in a gaming setting with a very, very significant impact, a great deal of force, and fast speeds, but I am unable to verify this at this time.” I’m trying to come up with ideas about how to figure it out,” he stated.
  9. He acquired the concept for modeling the frequency of baseball bats from research into the trampoline effect, which had already been done with golf clubs and gave him the inspiration to model the frequency of baseball bats.

Halfway through the development process, I’ve reached the difficult stage where I’m inputting information I already know about the properties of a bat moving and the properties of a ball and allowing them to interact with all of the physics equations, which is a daunting task “Russell shared his thoughts.

  1. Russell will be able to determine the desired frequency when he has finished developing the model.
  2. So where does it have to be in order to be as good as possible while yet not exceeding the performance limits necessary for amateur baseball and softball?
  3. “Due to the fact that they have to certify bats for amateur play, the Amateur Softball Association of America has an interest in any prospective discoveries.
  4. Russell believes that delving into the mechanics of the sweet spot represents a fresh approach to bat development.
  5. I believe there is a straightforward explanation why a specific bat is effective “he explained.

According to Russell, “whether they understand the physics of it or not,” what “they are doing by making the walls thinner, or by putting a second layer in the barrel, is decreasing the frequency, and in effect “tuning” the bat.” “If you look at all of the bats I’ve tested, you’ll see that the best-performing bats are all based on this magical tuning concept.

Russell’s quest of the sweetest section of the sweet spot may one day aid in the improvement of the amateur batting average, but the pros are on their own in this endeavor.

“There isn’t much you can do to increase the sweet spot on a wood bat,” Russell said. “It’s a matter of practice and patience.” Russell’s baseball bat investigation may be obtained on the internet. Dawn Hibbard may be reached at 810-762-9865 or [email protected]

The sweet spot of a baseball bat

H. Brodymore, American Journal of Physics 54, 640 (1986); American Journal of Physics Affiliations can be found here.

  • The University of Pennsylvania’s Physics Department is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.

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ABSTRACT The mechanics of a baseball bat’s three sweet spots are explored, and the position of the ball impact point on the bat that results in the highest amount of “power” (i.e., the fastest batted ball speed) is found by experiment.

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