Tips For Correctly Using An On-Deck Training Weight

Posted on: 13 November 2018

One of the many types of hitting weights that you use in baseball is an on-deck training weight. This simple, circular weight—often called a donut—slides over your bat from the handle toward the barrel and adds several ounces of weight to the bat. Each time that you swing, the weight is challenging your body more—and this means that when you take the weight off prior to walking to the plate, your bat will feel lighter and faster. If you're entering a level of baseball in which these weights are used, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Start with a Low Weight

You don't want to stress your shoulders, arms, and upper back by choosing a batting training weight that is too heavy. At the least, a heavy weight will make your body tired during your on-bat, which will limit your ability to be effective. Worse case, it could actually lead to a muscle strain that prevents you from finishing the game. A baseball team will frequently have a selection of on-deck weights of different sizes. Start with a low weight and get accustomed to it before you move to a heavier one.

Don't Swing Too Hard

From your first swing with an on-deck training weight on your baseball bat, it will be evident that the addition of this weight dramatically slows down your speed. Don't view this as a bad thing—you don't need bat speed when you're warming up on deck, after all. Focus on swinging the bat several times, but don't try to achieve the same bat speed that you use when you're batting against a pitcher. This is another way to potentially end up with a muscle strain. A series of smooth, gentle swings is all that you need.

Take It Off Correctly

Don't fall into the trap that many first-timers fall into when you try to remove the weight. Swinging the bat with the weight on it pushes the weight more tightly up the barrel, thus making it difficult to remove. If you try to slide it off with your hands, you'll almost certainly be unable to do so—and, because you're due to hit at the time, everyone on the field will be looking at you with amusement. The correct way to take off an on-deck training weight is to hold the bat vertically and bang the knob on the ground. Doing so will create enough vibration to cause the weight to slide down the bat and fall onto on-deck circle.