Baseball is a sport that’s characterized by difficult skills. It’s been said that hitting a baseball is the toughest skill to master in any sport, and baseball trainers and kinesiologists are on record in saying that throwing a baseball overhand at high velocity is an unnatural motion that strains our anatomy to the breaking point.
Succeeding in baseball demands doing one or both of these at a very high level, though, and the most successful ones typically start mastering these skills at a very young age, usually in Little League or youth league. To do that, they need the best batting and pitching equipment they need, so let’s take a more in-depth look at this equipment and what’s involved in using it effectively.
Batting and Pitching Equipment: An Overview
It shouldn’t be all that surprising to learn that the tools required to master these two unique skills are very different. They do fit together to some extent, but getting the right combination of both can be tough for Little League and youth league coaches who want the best for their players.
Pitching Aids for Effective League Pitching in Baseball
Young pitchers face an uphill task when it comes to throwing and locating the ball. The motion is unnatural, but hundreds of repetitions are necessary to get it right. There are many training aids for pitching, but portable pitching mounds and portable game mounds are two of the most important.
They help replicate the height and slope of the mound, which is important because these factors change with each new level and league. Used consistently, they allow pitchers to develop the fine motor skills necessary to perfect their deliveries.
Portable and game mounds also come with an authentic pitching rubber, and the combination of the mound slope and the rubber can be used to design fielding drills as well.
Pitchers have to be able to get off the mound quickly and efficiently on balls hit to certain places in the infield, and portable and game pitching mounds allow them to attain the necessary level of proficiency.
Hitting Aids for Batting Practice in Youth League Baseball
Batting a moving baseball thrown at speeds of just over 100 miles an hour is a skill very few players can master, but nearly every player in Little League and youth league baseball can be taught to consistently make contact with the pitch they select.
The process starts with batting practice. Coaches and assistants often throw batting practice at the lower levels of the sport, but once players advance sufficiently they inevitably encounter one of the best tools out there for a productive hitting session.
Pitching Machines for Youth League Pitching
Even if you’re just a casual fan of the game, you have to marvel at the technology used in pitching machines. These mechanical contraptions use a metal arm that replicates the delivery of a pitcher, and because they’re mechanical, they can deliver pitches at any desired speed.
But pitching machines don’t stop there. They can also replicate curves and sliders, including the exact breaking angle. The downside to pitching machines is that they can be expensive, but having one available for practices can make a huge difference when it comes to getting results on the field.
Softball Hitting Aids and Pitching Aids
It’s easy to lose sight of softball skills when evaluating baseball equipment for hitting and pitching, but that would be a serious mistake. There are plenty of excellent training aids and tools that can be used for softball, so let’s do a quick rundown on some of the major ones.
- Hitting and weighted bats. When it comes to hitting a softball hard and getting it to carry, the size of the ball isn’t the only issue. Softballs are heavier than their baseball counterparts, and it can be especially frustrating for young players to make solid contract but be unable to drive the ball hard enough to be successful. Weighted bats are a great tool to address this issue. It’s important to make sure the weight of the bat falls into the right range for the age of individual players, of course, but using a weighted bat can help add pop to a young player’s swing.
- Portable pitching mounds for softball. The pitching motion for softball is completely different that the delivery used in baseball, and the best portable pitching mounds are designed to help pitchers master that motion.
Softball pitching puts a lot of torque on the hips, and the whipping, circular arm motion is difficult to master, especially at first. A portable pitching mound specifically designed for softball can help make this process easier, and achieving early success is especially important for young players.
The Basics of Baseball Gear
While it’s easy to focus on advanced training aids and the improvements they can offer, it’s also important to get the basic ones right, too.
Quality gloves and bats. One of the first steps to ensure success on the field is to equip each player with a quality glove that’s appropriately sized for their age and the position they’re playing.
That means longer gloves with larger webs for first basemen, longer gloves for outfielders, smaller and wider gloves for infielders, and catcher’s mitts with a deeper pocket with appropriate padding and protection.
Bats have to be chosen carefully as well. High quality wooden bats are great for young players, but they can be expensive, especially when you factor the inevitable breakage into your annual team budget.
As a result, many youth league and Little League coaches choose aluminum bats for their teams and players. These bats are a major investment, but they’ll last for many seasons, and those who want to splurge a little can select composite bats that offer a different feel and more precise weighting.
Get the Right Baseball Equipment from Victory Mounds
At Victory Mounds, we’ve been involved in all aspects of the game, from field maintenance to selling great equipment. We can help you determine your equipment needs, then look at your budget and get exactly what you want for your program.
We also supply information and do consulting, so we’ll answer your questions, ask a few of our own about your program, then do our best to help you make improvements.
The process starts when you go to VictoryMounds.com to learn more about our products, then call us at 800 835 9460. If you’d prefer to email, you can contact us at email@example.com.