Essential vs Optional Equipment for Your Baseball Player
Having a baseball player in the family can be an exciting time. For parents, it can also be a little confusing when it comes to buying equipment. The biggest question that needs answering is “What equipment is really important to have?” Let’s try to answer that question by taking a look at some Baseball Parenting Tips for Essential vs Optional Equipment for Your Baseball Player.
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Essential Baseball Gear
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1. Fielder’s Glove
Of course, a glove is absolutely essential. It is also essential that the glove is well broken-in before the first practice. Purchase the glove that is the correct size for your player this season. Buying a glove that is too big will just give them difficulty fielding.
See Also: Best Baseball Gloves for Under $100
2. Baseball Cleats
Cleats are essential and will prevent injuries. A player who plays in sneakers will run the risk of injury due to unintentional slipping or sliding. Baseball cleats are different than soccer cleats since they have a toe cleat so make sure you get baseball cleats.
Make sure to check at what age your player can wear metal cleats before purchasing them.
3. Sliding Shorts, Athletic Supporters and Cups
Most of my friends played their entire baseball careers without using any of this protective gear and, luckily, without serious injury. As a catcher, I was a little smarter. The advances they have made since then would have saved many injuries from bad hops and sliding.
4. Mouth Guard
The mouth guard would be more for the infield positions. Even if your baseball player isn’t an infielder, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have one just in case they were asked to play an infield position.
I feel that even an inexpensive pair of sunglasses is a good investment. Some players will play almost their entire baseball career without needing them. However, there will be that one day that the sun is in just the right spot and sunglasses will be essential, especially outfielders and first basemen. Again, my advice would be to keep an inexpensive pair on hand for such an emergency.
6. Batting Gloves
You may be surprised to see batting gloves on my list of essential equipment and I’ll tell you why they are essential. I see many players who do not use batting gloves regularly. However, I can almost guarantee that there will be a time that even those players will want to use batting gloves. And that time will be during adverse weather conditions like cold or light rain. My advice would be to at least buy an inexpensive pair for such an emergency.
7. Water Bottle
When participating in a physical activity like baseball, it is very important to stay hydrated. The water bottle would be great for anytime water is not available or not easily obtainable.
Bats can be very expensive and really don’t have to be a priority purchase. Most recreational league teams will have bats available. Also, if your baseball player wants to take batting practice at the local batting cage then they usually make practice bats available for people who do not own bats. Travel players and players who are getting more serious about the sport will want their own bat so they get practice reps with their game bat.
9. Batting Helmet
Batting helmets are provided by the team and adhere to safety regulations & standards set by baseball organizations and Little League Baseball. If a parent does choose to buy their child a batting helmet, they should make sure that the helmet adheres to the same regulations & standards set by Little League Baseball or your player’s league. You should also know whether your league requires a facemask or if your player would prefer to have one.
10. Equipment Bag
An equipment bag can also be an expensive purchase that can wait or may not even be necessary. During my coaching days, a lot of players would use their school book bag as an equipment bag.
11. Catcher’s Equipment
Catcher’s equipment can be an extremely expensive purchase. Catcher’s equipment will be made available by most recreational league teams.If a parent decides to buy their child catcher’s equipment then it is usually because the child is a catcher and has made a commitment to that position for years to come.
12. Chest Protector
A new safety device on the market is a chest protector players wear under their uniforms. It is a compression shirt with protection pad over the chest area. It gives the player extra protection from chest impact. Players who have experienced an injury or are nervous about getting injured sometimes feel more confident wearing it and it gives parents piece of mind.
13. Shin Guards, Elbow Protectors, Sleeves & Other Protective Gear
Kids will see their Major League Baseball heroes wearing all kinds of different protective gear, modified gear and protective sleeves. It is normal for kids to want to emulate their heroes, but this protective gear in most cases does not help performance. The gear is made to help the big leaguer deal with a specific injury or condition and can hinder a player who is not used to wearing it.
14. Other Accessories
You will never make friends quicker than the day you bring eye black to a baseball game. Players really enjoy the accessories because they enjoy looking and feeling the part.
15. Training Aids
A training aid can help a player learn new skills by giving them a tool specifically designed to teach a concept. There are a lot of good training aids out there, but they tend to be expensive. Check what your team or private instructor have before purchasing an expensive training aid you don’t anticipate using a lot.
16. A Wood Bat
Wood bats are great as a training device or just if you want to save your game bat from the rigors of practice or the batting cage. If you are purchasing a wood bat, make sure not to purchase one that is too heavy.
Baseball equipment can be very expensive so it’s important to establish what is really needed versus what can wait or what is not necessary. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to check in with the coach and see what they have to say before purchasing baseball equipment for your baseball player.
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