Probably the most common fault coaches see in junior cricket when it come to bats, is young players wielding small willow trees. Bats far too heavy for the batter. Whilst technique is developing, this can be a real burden on boys and girls. They simply cannot develop a good back-lift and execute a stroke and finish in a good balanced position, if they cannot manoever the bat effectively.

Parents and players seem think that they will grow into a bat. They might, but by the time that happens, they will have poor technique and probably have had a poor batting season.

Bats are numbered on the end of the handle from 0 to 6 followed by Harrow, Short Handle, Long Handle. Weights and length gradually increase with Indian Willow bats tending to be lighter than English Willow.

Here’s my 4 simple tips :
1. Match the weight and length of a bat to the player. To test whether a bat is well matched, pick it up in the left hand and raise the bat out to the side of the player’s body and hold in the horizontal position for 10 seconds. If your son or daughter can hold it comfortably for that time, then the weight is fine.

2. With the same bat stand in the normal batting stance and release the bat so that it rests on the ground at one end and against the players inside leg. The bat should be at an angle and not vertical. It should reach up to just below the crotch.

3. Try a few bats using the above technique, measure the length and weight of the good ones if you can.

4. Now choose the brand and budget that suits you and your player.

Remember : bats rarely last more than one or two seasons, not because they break (although some do) but because kids grow ! If you buy an expensive bat in the first year you will be expected to do so again next year !