My oldest daughter had her own bat when we was 10 years old. At the time she had a brand spankin’ new RocketTech. Obviously, she’s outgrown that bat, and now at 15, I just bought her another one.
Why did it take so long?
- There really wasn’t a bat on the market that we liked and she performed well with
- $300 is a LOT of money and is not something I’ll spend at the drop of a hat, so this was a well thought out purchase
- The last few years we had to pay big dentist bills for the kids so no one got a new bat!
Now she’s playing on a team where everyone has their own bats. Well, most players have their own bats. Because my daughter didn’t have her own bat, she always had to borrow someone else’s. As a parent, I feel like it was a bit of an imposition for her to borrow other player’s personal bats that their parents had spent hundreds of dollars on. Plus, if the person who owned the bat she usually borrows didn’t show up on a given practice or game day, that meant she had to ask to borrow someone else’s bat which usually didn’t have the same specs as the bat she usually used.
We finally go to the point where:
- we didn’t really want her to have to borrow all the time
- she was finally hitting pretty decently with a particular bat that she liked
- she was taking care of her grades and other responsibilities at home
So we bit the bullet and dropped about $300 on a bat. Which one did we get?
As the title to this post and the picture above suggests, we picked up a Louisville Slugger TPS Xeno (-8). Most players here swing the -10, but the -8 actually swings pretty light for that weight and since my daughter is not as big as other players, she needs all the help she can get.
Things I like about this softball bat:
- first and foremost, DD loves it (both my 15yo and my 12yo) – it’s important that players are comfortable with the bat they use.
- second, it’s hot out of the wrapper – this bat doesn’t really need a break in period.
- third, it’s loud – makes your hit sound more impressive which can be a good thing if you’re trying to make a good impression for recruiting purposes. It can also leave an “Oh wow, that was a great hit” impression on the pitcher or defense which could *possibly* work in your favor when it comes to the mental game. In other words, the loud sound *might* provide some intimidation factor for you as a hitter.
- fourth, it looks cool – most male coaches say this doesn’t matter, but most players will tell you that it does 😉 (refer to first reason listed above).
Things I don’t care for:
- it cost $300 (lol) but most “good” bats do, so it’s not really a major factor when deciding between this bat and other popular softball bats.
- it’s loud – while that does provide some advantages listed above, it also alerts the defense to the hit. When you hear something like that, as a defender, you’re immediately on your toes and jarred into awareness of a solid hit.
- short life span? Now I haven’t measured or tested this at all. It’s just a perception I have from seeing this bat in action on other teams and with other players. While this bat IS hot out of the wrapper, it doesn’t seem to have as long a pop-life as other bats which make require a longer break-in period. In other words, while it comes to life faster, it also seems to die faster.