The only good donut is the edible kind

The other day, one of our players showed up with a new addition to her bag — one of those round “donuts” that you slip onto your bat. She was all happy about it until she saw the look of horror on my face. I told her those things don’t help you in the on-deck circle. They actually hurt you.

While you may think they’re making your bat faster, they’re actually making it slower. At least that’s what I remembered some experts saying. Generally speaking, heavier things are helpful for building strength, but they have to be balanced by something lighter than normal for speed; swinging a heavier bat trains you to swing slower.

Afterwards, though, I thought I’d best check on my facts to be sure that was still the thinking. You never know — things change in the game all the time. So I did an Internet search, but the results were inconclusive. Then I went out to the good oldDiscuss Fastpitch Forum and there it was. Down in a thread on batting cages was an embedded YouTube video from FSN Sport Science that studied the effect of using a donut (or any heavy weight for that matter) on swinging a bat.

For those who don’t have time to view the full video right away, I’m happy to report that I was correct. Those donuts are bad for your swing. In the video segment they not only show that it makes you swing a little slower rather than faster, it actually activates your slow-twitch muscles.

The full video is worth a look. You’ll have to scroll down a bit to see it. I tried to find it on YouTube directly but it doesn’t appear to be posted anymore — or else I don’t know how to search there.

Either way, if you have one in your bag take it out. Use it for a doorstop or a paperweight if you must, but not to prepare to swing on-deck. It’s not doing what you think it is.


About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on June 26, 2010, in Hitting. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow, I used to use donuts all the time before a game. I always wondered how it affected my timing but never realized it could be slowing my swing down. It would seem one could move a moderately heavy object faster with more strength but strength doesn’t necessarily translate to speed either. Very informative article, thank you.


  2. I think we all did at one time or another. I know I did — a lovely blue one. We saw the MLB hitters doing it on TV and thought “that must be good.” That’s the beauty of science. It proves things we thought were real arean’t!


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