Having a super-hitting team is great, until you come across that super-pitcher and your hitting goes on vacation. Being able to bunt will win you championships so make sure you know which method is right for you – Straight Bat or Tilted.
Bunting has shrunk in importance with the advent of bat technology, software training programs and better, stronger players. But bunting will ALWAYS have a critical role whenever the games on the line and 1 run wins it all!
I was raised in a softball environment dominated by a huge focus on the fundamentals! My parents were my early coaches, and later my coaches were Hall of Famers Carol Spanks & Shirley Topley. There was no greater sin to the game for any of these coaches than to botch the fundamentals. Bunting was up at the top of that list and I was always taught the straight bat bunt, over and over and over again.
So when I started my coaching career I taught the straight bat bunt. It’s what I knew so it’s what I taught. I can remember when I first started considering the tilted bat bunt and it felt like blasphemy to even consider it – that’s how much I respected Mom & Dad and Carol & Shirley. But it’s also how deep their coaching went in my early, developmental years of softball.
After an exhaustive search into the pros and cons of each method, along with lots of practical application and experience teaching both types, I finally settled on the tilted bat. But it still makes me cringe knowing I might be going against something I was taught by people I respect so very much.
Here’s the Pros and Cons list for both types of bunting styles:
What made me choose to teach the tilted bat bunting style was the amount of popups my players were having using the straight bat method. But then, we were seeing a lot of great riseballs and that might have had something to do with it!
One type isn’t better than the other, a lot of it is personal preference, but what’s important is that as a coach, you need to know how to teach both methods and let your player’s practice both.
Best of luck with your bunting!
For more help teaching your player’s to bunt, check this out: