If you’re a serious softball enthusiast, or even if you’re just helping your son or daughter develop some strength and accuracy for little league, then you’re probably on the lookout for softball training equipment.
There are actually many items available to help you improve your performance as a softball player. This article will discuss some of the softball training equipment that’s out there in order to help you decide what may be of benefit to you or your kids.
Softball Training Equipment Starts With the Basics – Balls and Bats
Every softball game needs a ball. And since every softball player will handle the ball at some point, there are weighted softballs that can help to increase strength as well as improve accuracy.
Imagine training with a ball that is 9, 10, 12 ounces or more. The heavier ball allows players to develop a strong arm and increase pitch speed. As the player gets accustomed to the heavier ball, he also learns to throw with greater accuracy. A set of 4 weighted training softballs will have an approximate price of $25.
Whether you’re an outfielder or a pitcher, weighted training softballs can help you throw better, faster, and get the ball to your intended target – not overthrown or underthrown. When you get into the game and throw the regulation 6.5 ounce softball, it will feel like you’re throwing a ball made of styrofoam!
The next piece of softball training equipment that you’ll want to consider is the training bat.
Some training bats come with adjustable weights that hang on the end of the bat. They look like a bat that has a ring stuck on the end.
These weights allow the player to increase swing strength and encourages “muscle memory,” which is where the muscles involved in the swing become used to the initial short swing to hit the ball, and then the long follow-through after the hit.
This type of training bat can also be used to warm up, helping the muscles to loosen up before the player’s at-bat. Training bats typically run from $35 to about $70.
Batting Tees and Pitching Machines
Of course, most of us are familiar with the batting tee and pitching machines.
Batting tees basically hold the ball off the ground so that the player can practice hits and home runs. They typically run $25 to $200 or more, depending upon their level of sophistication.
Pitching machines are the next piece of softball training equipment we’ll discuss. These have come a long way since the expensive machines of a few years ago. Today, you can get a nice pitching machine that will throw 30 mph balls at regular intervals for as little as $40!
Reaction Balls and Soft Mitts
A newer piece of softball training equipment is the reaction ball. This is a ball with “bumps” on it. It can be used for fielding practice or just tossed between two players. When the reaction ball hits the ground, it will bounce in unpredictable manners, allowing players to improve reaction time and hand-and-eye coordination.
Soft mitts are flat, foam mitts that train the player to improve the relationship between his two hands. The mitt encourages “quick hands,” or the transition from catching the ball to throwing. It fits on the hand with three small elastic loops, and works well for honing fielding skills.
These run $15 to $20 and can fit on either hand.
Softball Training Equipment for Strength and Conditioning
There are additional softball training aids that can increase strength and condition of specific areas of your body.
For example, there is the wrist roller, which uses different weighted plates to develop strength in forearms. Reviewers have indicated that you can really feel the burn in your forearms!
Another aid is the power chute, which is a small parachute attached to your waist to increase wind resistance as he jogs. This allows the player to build up stronger thigh muscles as he runs trailing the power chute behind. This piece of softball training equipment can also increase stamina and acceleration.
Many baseball players are using titanium necklaces and bracelets, stating that titanium increases blood circulation and helps to relieve stiff muscles. Titanium is also available in a “power sleeve,” which is said to concentrate the titanium in your arms to increase power and reduce any muscle fatigue.
One final piece of softball training equipment that has received good reviews is a drill mat. The mat absorbs the impact of jumping jacks and other up-and-down type motions to reduce impact on joints. While this has been encouraged as a softball training aid, it can also be used by athletes of all disciplines.
Softball training equipment can significantly improve game performance for the little league player as well as the serious athlete.