Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Choosing Quality Youth Baseball Equipment

By Charlotte McBride

Personal choice and knowledge play a big role in choosing the right youth baseball equipment for your child. There are standard items available as well as special training devices that help with batting practice. When you begin looking for the materials, make sure you check the league rules for any special requirements.

The glove should fit snugly at any age. Some parents are prone to buying gloves that are several sizes too big in order to allow the child to grow into it over the years. This makes the early years difficult for the child to develop the proper fielding and catching skills. Instead, buy a glove that fits but may be less expensive the first few years.

Bats should not be too big for the child. Though bats may be able to last several seasons, a child using a bat that is too large will develop bad form. As they grow into it, they will find it difficult to change the habits they have already adopted. Consult with the coach to make sure you are getting the right size bat for your child's age and size. Often, they can be resold to other parents in future years that have younger kids coming into the league.

Many youth leagues are now allowing kids to use batting gloves. This is a personal choice for both the parents and child to make. Professionals are seen using them all the time and they can help with bat control. Often, the glove grips will wear, causing them to be smooth. This makes them less effective than a bare hand grip. If they become worn, they should be replaced.

Weights help with strength building. Bat weights are made to increase the power swing development. These are not designed to be used when hitting balls. However, when simply practicing the swing, they can help develop the strength used to hit hard and have better bat control. When the weight is removed, they will be able to have much better control over the lighter bat.

The shoes are just as important as the glove. Check with league rules to find out if metal, plastic, or any spikes are allowed before spending money on shoes. The shoes should fit snugly so they can provide better control as the child sprints around the bases. Bad or worn shoes can cause shin splints or other injuries.

There are several other devices that help with training. Batting trainers are very popular. They are a stationary stand that include a ball that rotates on a bar. The child can develop hand to eye coordination by using this device. Other devices help with fielding practice. Many items are used with the various teams, so you may want to consult with your coach to find out what other items will be helpful.

Buying the best youth baseball equipment can create the difference between a mediocre and stellar player. Having items that are too large will slow or derail the right skill and form development. If needed, buy good fitting, inexpensive items in the early years. You can upgrade to better items as the child reaches an age where their growth slows.

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