March is here and that means all of you Moms (and Dads!) with baseball and softball players are anxiously getting ready for practices and games to begin. If you are new to either sport OR if your kids are veteran players but growing like weeds, then you may need to head to the local sporting goods store to get some new equipment!
Thankfully, baseball and softball do not require a lot of equipment (unless your bambino/a is a catcher), but it is important to get the right size glove and bat for your son or daughter.
Getting the correct size of a glove is important and you can reference the chart below for the correct sizing. When purchasing a new glove, the size of the glove is typically stamped on the inside. You will want to make sure the glove is fairly snug and not too big, as well as slightly stiff, but flexible.
Anxious to “break the glove in”? Here are a few ways:
- Use a bit of VERY hot water over the area that you want to make softer.
- Use a wooden mallet to pound the part of the glove that naturally folds when the player catches the ball.
- Use a glove conditioner on the glove 3-4 times throughout the season.
- My husband’s “old school method” is to drive over the glove a few times with the car!
Before choosing the correct size bat, you will want to make sure the type of bat you chose for your player adheres to their league requirements.
Both baseball and softball players should be able to swing their bat with a smooth level motion and be in control when swinging at full speed.
A player can choose a bat according to their age (using the free printable Bat Sizing Chart below) or they can use the “Wingspan” Method. To use this method, have your child stand up tall with their arms straight out (arms parallel to the ground). Measure from the very center of their chest to the tip of their fingers. That measurement will give you the ideal bat length.
The Bat Sizing Chart below is a good place to START when picking out a bat. Once you have found the approximate length, the player needs to try a number of bats to find one that has the right feel as well:
A few tips to keep in mind:
- For younger players, a lightweight bat is important for them to learn to swing correctly and to find their “sweet spot.”
- All players need a light enough bat to swing with enough bat speed to hit the ball powerfully.
- Have the player hold the bat for 20 seconds. If their arm starts to shake, the bat is too heavy.