Baseball is a great sport for your kids to interact with friends, develop their physical strength, learn sportsmanship, develop team attitude and stay active. Some of the common ways that kids can get involved in baseball are attending youth baseball camps, playing in state youth baseball leagues and joining school junior baseball clubs.
Baseball needs a wide range of gear, both protective and functional. It’s probably the game with the highest gear requirements. Different positions also require different specialized gear since every position in the field is a little different.
The process of choosing baseball equipment can be quite overwhelming for parents, especially if you don’t have the inside information on how everything works. For the purposes of this article, we are going to keep everything simple as we run through the most essential gear that your kid will need whether they are playing in a professional baseball team or just in your backyard.
Here we go;
1. Batting gloves
This is probably the most important piece of equipment that your child will need; they are primarily meant to protect their hands from painful blisters, scrapes, and cuts that typically arise during hitting. Gloves come in a wide variety of materials, sizes, designs and colors. Kids and youth-sized gloves are typically smaller, cost less and their material is of a little lesser quality. Children can get by with vinyl gloves, but once they join a serious junior baseball league, they will need some high-quality leather gloves.
Most professional players and coaches agree that the most important factor to consider when choosing the best batting gloves in not the brand, but rather how well the gloves fit. Many parents tend to choose their kids’ gloves either because they are made by a popular manufacturer or they endorsed by a particular player, despite the fact that they might not fit properly. Trying to buy gloves that your kid will grow into’ can negatively affect his skill development. So, always target to buy gloves that offer a comfortable fit and proper snug.
2. The bat
Just like gloves, bats come in different designs, sizes, weight, length and materials. Kids’ bats often have smaller barrels and are lighter compared to adult bats. Bigger and solid barrels make it easier to hit the ball compared to smaller barrels, however, this might be little difficult to handle for your little one.
Additionally, baseball bats come in two main materials; metal and wood. Wood bats are relatively cheap, but they don’t last as long as metal bats. Metal bats are predominantly made of aluminum and are commonly used in less professional youth leagues. Metal bats hit the ball a little better and don’t break easily.
The guidelines for choosing the bat’s weight and length will mostly depend on your kid’s weight, height and hitting skills. Ideally, a heavier bat will hit the ball with the highest force to a longer distance; however, it might get out of control if it’s too heavy for your little one. So the trick is to choose the heaviest bat that your child can comfortably handle. The most valuable tip on how to choose the baseball bats for your kids is to have them visit the sports store with you; this way, they will have a chance to try out different bats of the right length and weight, and find out what best works for them.
3. Batting helmets
Whether your child is just doing some trials in the backyard with friends or in a serious junior baseball league, they need to wear their helmets at all times while playing baseball. Helmets are typically made of a strong polyvinyl plastic and are sufficiently padded on the inside for comfort and safety.
There are lots of different models and colors as well, all with varying price ranges. The best qualities for your kid’s helmet is one that fits well, relatively light with heavy padding and double earflaps for full protection.
4. Baseball cleats
Your kid will need a great pair of cleats if he is going to be running around on slippery grass and dirt during a baseball game. Cleats are commonly made of metal, plastic, and rubber. Metal baseball cleats have better traction and are commonly used by players in high school leagues and beyond. Rubber and plastic may not have the best grip on the ground, but they are much safer for the little ones.
Just like sneakers, cleats come in all manner of shapes, sizes, and models, and almost anything is allowed, unless the coach specifically requests for a certain type of cleats. You can buy your kid’s cleats based on their regular shoe size, although they might feel a little different; so I recommend that you allow your child to try them on before buying. This is a great source of information about baseball cleats, I hope it will help you make your choice
5. Protective Cup
This is not the most fun thing to wear or buy, but it’s very important for male baseball players. It’s is meant to protect men’s private from being hit with the ball. Designer baseball shorts often come with a pocket around the groin area to put a protective cup in. This is particularly critical for the infield players that get lots of ground balls, but it’s generally safe for every player to wear one.
My name is David, I am an editor/co-founder of www.theplanetofbaseball.com. Being a software engineer by day and a baseball blogger by night, I also participated in the training activities of a youth baseball team at my hometown. I have passion with baseball, it pertains to my life from childhood until now and I love to share what is related to that passion with others. I believe in the support of other baseball bloggers like me to spread the passion.