Using The Right Baseball Pitching Aids Can Make Or Break Your Pitcher
Baseball pitching training equipment has come a long way since that old tire hanging from a tree. Technological advances give pitchers of all ages the opportunity to improve their strength, velocity and accuracy through a variety of muscle memory and skills training exercises. Taking advantage of the various equipment options available will help players and teams improve basic fundamentals and increase their chances of success on the field.
Basic Baseball and Softball Gear
There are various types of baseball pitching training equipment to help one prepare to perform at a higher lever. Pitchers perform a variety of exercises to both loosen up the muscles as well as to perfect technique and accuracy. Adding weighted balls to these training exercises will increase muscle strength and velocity. When learning the various types of pitches in baseball and softball, wiffle balls are ideal for perfecting grip and technique.
Powdered rosin bags will help improve grip and prevent ball slipping and hand blistering caused by sweaty hands. And arm strengthening bands are ideal for building strength in both the rotator cuff and throwing muscles as well as the upper body.
Radar Guns Help Monitor Pitcher's Progress
Monitoring progress is important in identifying problem areas for pitchers. A radar gun can be a valuable baseball pitching training equipment tool that will allow players and coaches to track the speed of pitches. By recording the pitcher’s stance and technique while using a radar gun, coaches can identify areas that may be causing the pitcher to loose velocity and adjust the training program to correct that.
Pitching rubbers are mandatory for all levels of baseball with size and installation regulations varying by league and age group. As a training tool, it is important for pitchers to practice on a pitching rubber to improve both balance and posture for games. There are four types of pitching rubbers available. The four-way pitching rubber is favored for both training and game use because it is stable, durable and easy to install. Spike-down rubbers are ideal if the pitching rubber needs to be moved frequently to accommodate different levels of play.
Another option for fields that require the pitching rubber to moved often is the Hollywood rubber. For this type of rubber, anchors are buried in the ground at the appropriate distances from home plate. The rubber slides into place and the anchors are covered when the rubber is moved. Step down rubbers are designed to prevent wear holes that often occur in front of the rubber.
Strike Zone Plate
A strike zone plate is an ideal addition to baseball pitching training equipment. The regulation size home plate features a color coding system that gives pitchers a clear visual of the strike zone as well as “ball” territory, allowing for greater pitch accuracy.
Pitching Tarps and Returns
Pitching tarps and returns are ideal for use by both the team and the individual. Tarps come with a cut out of the strike zone and some have a netted back for ball collection. These are ideal for practicing in the backyard without a catcher. A pitch return is a net mounted on an adjustable frame. The ball is pitched, hits the net and bounces back. This type of baseball pitching training equipment will help improve accuracy and reaction time.
Batting cages are traditionally used for batting practice and consist of a rectangular shaped enclosure (typically net or chain link) and a pitching machine. A batting cage provides a safe place for pitchers to practice with either a live catcher or another form of baseball pitching training equipment. The rectangular shape allows for the pitching rubber to be set at regulation distance and the batting cage net acts as a shield and ball stop, so live hitting can also take place. The enclosed environment also allows for more accurate radar gun readings and better one-on-one technique evaluation.
You and or your teams progress is all part of the fun in participating in and watching the game of baseball. With skill levels varying, it's imparative to properly prepare your team with a solid schedule of fundamental skill sets so that they have the mobility and energy to perform on game day. And in making these preparations, using quality baseball pitching equipment can have a positive impact on one's game performance.