Archive for the Softball Category

May 20, 2011

Posted by: Administrator

Categories: Baseball, Softball, Team Sports

Homerun for Chelsea Mobile Monkey Event!

Mobile Monkey is making its way to Escondido this Sunday, May 22, 2011 from 7:30am to 3:30pm!

HomerunMonkey is the official apparel sponsor for this wonderful event!
Come down and support a great cause…Homerun for Chelsea!

Practice your swing in our 50 foot batting cage! We’ll even play music to keep you pumped! This event is sure to be loads of fun for the entire family!

Location:
Kit Carson Park

We’ll be located adjacent to the baseball and softball fields

Escondido, CA


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Baseball/Softball Glove Buying Guide

Choosing an appropriate baseball glove or softball glove is not necessarily as difficult as it may seem at first. When selecting a glove, there are many factors to be considered. Field position, level of play and preferred features will all play an important role in your decision. Gloves differ in size, amount of padding, webbing, pocket depth and more. Below, we explain what each feature means to a player.

When choosing a glove, it is always best to try it on first. If you prefer to buy online, you should still shop around to find the brand, size, style and options that fit your needs and comfort level. Once you have played around with several models, you can safely order your glove online. A glove relies so much on feel that you just don’t want to order blindly.

Brand may also be important to you. We offer a wide variety of gloves from top makers like Wilson, Nike, Easton, Rawlings, Mizuno, Diamond, Louisville Slugger, Worth, Verdero and Reebok. All of these manufacturers design gloves priced from budget to premium, and use a variety of materials, ranging from excellent quality to standard.

CHOOSING A GLOVE BY POSITION
CATCHER’S MITTS
Catcher’s mitts are unique because, while some gloves can be used in multiple positions, catcher’s mitts are exclusive to catchers. Catcher’s mitts (or catcher’s gloves) are fingerless and heavily padded to allow for catching fastballs all game long. Baseball catcher’s mitts also feature a smaller pocket that fielder’s gloves to make it easier to get the ball out quickly while softball catcher’s mitts have a larger pocket with less padding to accomodate the larger ball and slower pitching speeds. Some mitts include a finger hole for the catcher to place the index finger outside the glove. This is a preference option and the catcher should try different types of mitts on in their local baseball shop to see if this style is comfortable.

Fitting: Catcher’s mitts are measured by circumference rather than length. Youth catcher’s gloves measure 31″ or less and adult catcher’s gloves measure 32″ or larger. To get your correct size,
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PITCHER’S GLOVES
As a pitcher, you’ll want a glove with a closed webbing so they can hide and adjust their grip without the batter seeing what he’s doing. A pitcher’s glove is typically the same size as a third baseman’s glove (11 1/2″ – 12″). The only major difference is the webbing. In many leagues, the pitcher’s glove must be all one color (either all black or all brown).

Some pitcher’s gloves offer a finger hole to keep your index finger on the outside of the glove. If you prefer this style and your glove doesn’t come with it standard (some Rawlings models offer this), we recommend that you go to a leather shop and have a piece of leather attached to cover your finger. While this is for safety as well, the real reason is that pitchers will subconsciously tip off the speed of their pitches. The leather prevents this.

Most importantly, make sure the glove is comfortable on your hand. The size doesn’t really matter as long as you can focus on your pitches. If you’re a softball player, look for a glove that is a little larger in the pocket and longer in length for betting ball handling.

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FIRST BASEMAN’S MITTS
First baseman’s mitts have the same basic look of a catchers mitt, but they are much longer and have less padding in the palm area. First baseman’s gloves are also fingerless but feature a open webbing style so players can trap the ball better than with a closed web glove. These gloves feature a deeper pocket and more padding along the thumb.

Like catcher’s mitts, first baseman’s mitts can only be worn at first base. However, for very young children who play multiple positions, it may be more cost effective to buy a multi-use glove. Wait until they’re established in the position to get a first baseman’s mitt.

Fitting:
Adult firstbase BASEBALL gloves are typically 12″ – 12.5″ in length and have a deeper pocket and more padding along the thumb.
Adult firstbase BASEBALL gloves are typically 13 – 14″ in length.

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INFIELD GLOVES
When playing second base, third base or shortstop, keep in mind that you will spend most of your time fielding ground balls and throwing to first and you will want a glove that accommodates this role. If you play infield, you will want a smaller glove that allows you to catch and grab very quickly. You will also want a glove with squared fingers. Rounded fingers may hinder your ability to quickly grab a ground ball. The squared fingers will spread out widely with all fingers on the ground, which will allow for more of a barrier to keep the ball from going right past you.

Many infielders prefer an open webbing style glove so players can retrieve and throw the ball to base more quickly. Third basemen often prefer a closed web if they want extra support since balls tend to come harder and faster down the third base line. Infield gloves for SOFTBALL have a deeper pocket for catching the larger ball.

Fitting: Infielder’s gloves generally measure 10.5″ – 12″ in length and have a shallow pocket.

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OUTFIELD GLOVES
Outfielder’s gloves are designed much deeper than infielder’s gloves. Outfield gloves are larger, heavier and more thickly padded than those of infielders. While this makes fielding ground balls a little more difficult, the size greatly improves the ability to catch fly balls.

Many outfielders prefer a closed web to trap the ball more easily. However, there is a case to be made for open web. Outfielders are often hit with the sun in their eyes while looking up to catch a fly ball. With an open web, you can still see through while shielding your eyes. Really, there is no right or wrong on this feature. It’s completely by personal preference.

Outfielders gloves are larger and longer (12″ or more for adults) since these positions spend much of the game catching fly balls.

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BREAKING IN YOUR GLOVE
That stiff glove… straight from the store is nearly impossible to use at first. But once you get it just right, there was nothing better!

Quite honestly, the best way to break in a new glove is to use it. This can take more time than you have or want, so you can quicken the process with some tried and true methods. You’re likely to get a number of different methods depending on who you ask. It’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s suggested method since glove leather can vary widely.

First things first… When buying a new glove, remember that fit is of the utmost importance. Like shoes, you want the glove to fit properly right from the start. Don’t choose a glove hoping it will stretch.

There are many ways to break in your new glove. Most are very similar and involve some sort of oil or cream. Depending on your preference, you can use shaving cream (foam, not gel), vaseline, mink oil or saddle soap. Sporting goods stores also carry a variety of specially made glove oils, but the other products listed here work as well. These solutions soften the leather to the more pliable state most players like. Avoid anything that contains silicone as this will cause the leather to dry out and will shorten the glove’s lifespan.

Use the oil or cream sparingly though. You should only use enough product to create a light film on the glove…. Use too much and you’ll just have a mess on your hands. Using your fingers, get a small amount and wipe it around around the entire surface of the glove. Add a little extra to the glove area where it bends.

Now you’ll need to create a pocket in the glove. Simply place a baseball in the glove where the ball should be caught. Wrap the glove with a rubberband, shoelace or long piece of string. This will allow the pocket to take the shape of the ball. Keep the glove wrapped for 1 -2 days. After the specified amount of time, unwrap the glove and bend it to ensure that it is properly softened and to work it in a bit more. Throw the ball into the center of the glove’s pocket several times. You can also beat the glove (but be careful not to smash your fingers). Re-wrap the glove and store it overnight. Your glove should be ready to use in the morning.

Please note: While some swear by the “heating” method… I would avoid this at all cost. Common sense tells you that when you heat leather… even for 20 minutes, it’s bound to dry out.

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Coach’s Guide To Interacting With Parents

Being a coach can be hard enough without parents becoming an issue. But the fact is that a good parent-coach interaction is important to the team’s success.

Most parents are very supportive and try not to complain. Furthermore, most issues are non-issues and have a way of working themselves out over time. If you are well-organized, coaching well, are modeling great sportsmanship and your teams are competitive, you won’t hear many complaints.

Many parents are simply misinformed, don’t really understand the game or just love to complain. The bigger issue is usually the “player agents”… akin to stage moms. These parents believe that their child is special and have a career ahead of them and their agenda is far from hidden. Regardless of which type of parent you’re dealing with, there are steps to improve the parent-coach relationship. After all, it’s supposed to be about the kids, right?

Disagreements between a parent and coach typically begin when the parent believes that their child is not on the field enough, but a fair amount of problems involve disagreements with coaching style or competitive level of play. Playtime is by far the top complaint. Parents want to see their child play as much as possible. Unfortunately for you as a coach, you have a team full of kids whose parents would love to see their child playing a good portion of the game. You also have to do your best to ensure a win or your coaching style will be called into question. Some days it would seem that you just can’t win (and with some people, you just can’t. Try not to dwell on that).

TREAT PLAYERS WITH RESPECT
This rule needs to be the basis of all interactions. This will go very far in helping your cause when there is an issue. If your players feel respected, they will respect you. Hot tempers are often the result of feeling disrespected. Respect also needs to be paid to the parents, even the angry ones. The way you treat people will more often than not alleviate much of the frustration that caused the parent to confront you in the first place. Respect is easy to spot and don’t think for one second that these parents aren’t watching your interactions.

DON’T FORGET THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CONFIDENCE
As with respect, learning how to coach self-confidence into your players will dispel much of the impending conflict. More than anything else, parents want their child to play their best. They want them to exhibit confidence in who they are and their ability even if their child is not the best player on the team. You don’t want your players to feel belittled or unworthy.

Being a coach is an awesome responsibility. You have self-esteem in your hands and it can grow under your care or it can be shot down very quickly. You should be reinforcing the idea that, while everyone wants to win, the important thing is that everyone do their best.

THIS IS YOUR TEAM… ESTABLISH THE RULES AHEAD OF TIME:
Now that we have coaching style dealt with, let’s discuss the importance of setting rules and boundaries. This should be done before the season starts. If possible, call a meeting before the first practice (definitely before the first game) and explain what you expect from parents and what they can expect from you. Remember that many of these parents and players have worked with other coaches and they may come into the season with pre-conceived expections. Parents and players will come into the season with pre-conceived expectations. If you, as the coach, do not articulate what the expectations should be for your team, the parents will use their uninformed expectations as the standard by which you are measured. You want to emphasize that your rules are non-negotiable, but that you are willing to keep the door open for discussion.

Be sure to open the discussion to hear their concerns as well. By getting everyone’s expectations out up front, you can understand their position and assure them that you will do your best to make sure that everyone has a good time. Let them know what type of behavior and attitude is expected and accepted.
Describe your goals for the team, your coaching style, and how your style will help the team attain the goals. Explain to both the players and parents how you will determine play time and how much emphasis will be placed on winning games. Set these expectations early, but don’t stop there. Include parents in a little pre-game pep talk in which you go over the team’s goals and expectations. Keep this short and be sure you’re not singling anyone out.

Even when you set player and parent expectations up front, there inevitably will be times when conflict arises and it is important to have a conflict resolution policy in place to reduce the emotional impact and maintain the team’s positive attitude.

USE TECHNOLOGY TO KEEP PARENTS UPDATED
These days, it’s so easy to keep the lines of communication open. Set up a Facebook (and.or Twitter) page for your team and post updates as needed. Not only will this cut out many of the calls you get about schedules and events, it also becomes a place where parents can express concerns in a neutral setting. If you are having a recurring issue that isn’t a hotbed topic, bring it to the forum and get input from the parents.

RESOLVE CONFLICT WITH CIVILITY
As a coach, making yourself available for discussion with the player and parent (an open door policy if you will) goes a long way to keeping anger at bay. Be sure that parents feel comfortable approaching you, but not so comfortable that they begin to invade. The open door policy allows you to resolve issues as they come up without them boiling over and exploding later on.

Many coaches prefer a player managed policy in which parents don’t get involved in issues, but rather allow the player and coach to hash things out on their own. Obviously, this type of conflict resolution is reserved for middle school, high school and college when children are able to make thought out decisions on their own. With this style, it is the player’s responsibility to voice their grievance. Coaches that successfully use this policy listen to the player’s concern to understand the underlying issue but also know the best communication method to reach each player.

Every coach, regardless of how effective their communication style is or how passionate they are about coaching, will have player and parent conflicts. If you are prepared for it, the whole process will go much smoother and any disagreements can be worked through in an effective manner. To keep any misunderstandings down to a minimum, set the expectations early in the season, let both the player and parent know how and when they can approach you to voice their concern, and then listen to them and agree to a resolution path. Calm heads and open communication will lead to a successful season for all involved.

Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen

 

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Baseball/Softball: Breaking In Your New Baseball Glove

It’s springtime and that means loads of BBQs and pick-up baseball games! Whether you’re replacing an old glove or this is your first in a long time, you’ll need to break your glove in to give it that well worn feel. I remember this process quite well from my own Little League days. That stiff glove… straight from the store was nearly impossible to use at first. But once you got it just right, there was nothing better!

Quite honestly, the best way to break in a new glove is to use it. This can take more time than you have or want, so you can quicken the process with some tried and true methods. You’re likely to get a number of different methods depending on who you ask. It’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s suggested method since glove leather can vary widely.

First things first… When buying a new glove, remember that fit is of the utmost importance. Like shoes, you want the glove to fit properly right from the start. Don’t choose a glove hoping it will stretch.

There are many ways to break in your new glove. Most are very similar and involve some sort of oil or cream. Depending on your preference, you can use shaving cream (foam, not gel), vaseline, mink oil or saddle soap. Sporting goods stores also carry a variety of specially made glove oils, but the other products listed here work as well. These solutions soften the leather to the more pliable state most players like. Avoid anything that contains silicone as this will cause the leather to dry out and will shorten the glove’s lifespan.

Use the oil or cream sparingly though. You should only use enough product to create a light film on the glove…. Use too much and you’ll just have a mess on your hands. Using your fingers, get a small amount and wipe it around around the entire surface of the glove. Add a little extra to the glove area where it bends.

Now you’ll need to create a pocket in the glove. Simply place a baseball in the glove where the ball should be caught. Wrap the glove with a rubberband, shoelace or long piece of string. This will allow the pocket to take the shape of the ball. Keep the glove wrapped for 1 -2 days. After the specified amount of time, unwrap the glove and bend it to ensure that it is properly softened and to work it in a bit more. Throw the ball into the center of the glove’s pocket several times. You can also beat the glove (but be careful not to smash your fingers). Re-wrap the glove and store it overnight. Your glove should be ready to use in the morning.

Please note: While some swear by the “heating” method… I would avoid this at all cost. Common sense tells you that when you heat leather… even for 20 minutes, it’s bound to dry out.

There are no rules as to how soft or stiff your glove should be. Just get it to your comfortable spot and you’ll be happy.

Now get out there and PLAY BALL!

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Sports Nutrition:
Fueling Your Little Athlete

All too often, we complain about how inactive this generation has become. With all the technological options keeping so many occupied, it’s refreshing to still see so many kids at the local baseball field, hockey rink, gymnasium or swimming pool. These parents have done a great thing by keeping their kids active!

Right after sign ups, parents scramble around for the proper equipment… which, of course is necessary to keep them safe. So, we’ve addressed the outside… let’s work to get the inside healthy! It’s a well known fact that athletes require a special diet to fuel their activity. Much like a car, our bodies cannot run without the proper fuel. What your athlete eats is probably the single most import factor on their performance.

So while you may not want to go to the extreme of hiring a nutritionist like professional athletes do, we have some tips to keep players fueled up and ready to go!

Please note: Endurance training (multiple daily workouts) may mean that you will require slightly more servings of certain foods than is generally recommended.

So what exactly SHOULD their diet be?
1. Carbohydrates
Carbs have taken quite the hit lately with numberous dieticians warning of their weight gaining potential. But in the world of sports, carbohydrates are essential for maintaining a high energy level. Carbohydrates are the first energy source the body uses to exercise. When carbohydrate intake gets too low, your muscles run out of fuel and our body starts to use fat and protein.

Since most sports feature short bursts of intense effort followe by rest, it is imperative that you keep your body fueled up. Pasta, rice, whole grains (as in breads and cereals), fruit and vegetables and even milk products are all great sources of carbohydrates. During a busy and rigorous training schedule, you should keep carbohydrates to snack on before, during and after exercise.

a. Before exercise, your meal/snack should be a combination of high carbohydrate and low glycemic index (half a lightly buttered bagel, fruit smoothie, yogurt with oatmeal). Carbs give you a nice energy boost and delay fatigue.
b. During your workout, carbohydrates help to maintain blood sugar to fuel your muscles. Be sure to choose snacks that consist mostly of carbohydrates, some protein and little fat. This combination is commonly found in energy bars, dried fruit or a peanut butter sandwich (jelly’s fine to add). You will want to replenish your carbohydrates about every 90 minutes or so to maintain energy levels.
c. Carbohydrates aid in the repair of tissue will make all the difference for ending an active day on a healthy, positive note. Your recovery snack options can include trail mix, sports bars, and yogurt. Just be sure that the amount of carbs in your snack are higher than normal.

2. Protein
Protein is probably the most highly sought out dietary supplement. With protein powders and shakes, the protein intake from and athlete’s regular and supplemented diet is quite elevated from the average person. In general, your normal intake should be sufficient to meet your needs and you want to be careful to ensure that protein isn’t replacing carbohydrates in your diet since carbs are more helpful than protein in boosting your energy.

3. Hydration
Even slight dehydration can affect how well you perform. Athletes in particular need to be drinking at least 5 ounces of water or sports drinks every 15-20 minutes. Keep in mind that children are at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated than adults. And most importantly, if you are thirsty, you’re already severly dehydrated! Athletes should be drinking before, during and after a game or workout.

While water is the best thirst quencher and cure for dehydration, kids tend to resist drinking the flavorless liquid. If your child shies away from drinking water, you need to be sure that you have plenty of sports drinks handy. Either way, it’s important that you avoid dehydration. The damage is more than just being thirsty.

4. Food Choices
Competitions and tournaments, primarily those you travel to, often result in quick meals at restaurants… primarily fast food. If the right choices are made, this is generally not a problem.

Attending competitions and tournaments often means that you are eating out in restaurants… primarily fast food. But even fast food restaurants can a good part of an athlete’s nutrition… if the right choices are made. Here are a few tips when eating out:
a. Avoid breading and deep-fried foods. Pizza is ok in moderation, but fatty meat toppings should be avoided.
b. Be careful of what is on top: Dressings and condiments (especially mayonnaise and “special” sauces) are usually what make your meal an unhealthy choice. These sauces add calories and fat without any health benefit whatsoever.
c. Some smart choices: Baked potatoes instead of french fries, vegetable pizza over meat lover’s, broth-based soups (like chicken noodle) instead of cream or cheese based soups.
d. Snacks should also be high in carbohydrates, but low in fat. Pretzels, trail mix, rice cakes, cereal bars, fruit and yogurt are a few good choices.

Whether your child is participating in a championship hockey, baseball or lacrosse game, a big swim meet or pick up game of soccer at the local park, good nutrition can make a difference. Children in general need the right fuel for their growth and development, but an athlete needs to take extra care to keep them healthy and to help them to be the best they can be in their chosen sport. What an athlete eats and drinks can have a huge effect on his or her performance. Encourage your child to be active and to eat like an athlete.

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Which Type of Coach Are You?

Coaching a junior league team is a special type of journey that few actually get the pleasure of experiencing. The role involves incredible responsibility and will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of your players. Your approach can help the kids develop a passion for the game or can stifle their desire to ever play the game again.

Which Type of Coach Are You?

The Leader
The Leader is the type of coach that the kids respond to because they command trust and respect. This type of coach sets the example from the beginning and continues to set the pace and tone of games and practices in a positive and upbeat manner. The Leader Coach uses a sound knowledge of the game and skillful persuasion to help the players master the game and have fun at the same time. The Leader never passes up an opportunity to reinforce learning with real-game experience and always adheres to the same rules he/she expects of the players.

The Motivator
The Motivator knows more than just the rules of the game… This type of coach also knows how to communicate with players in a way that gets results. The goal of the Motivator is to guide, inspire and empower the young player to realize and develop his/her full potential. A successful motivator shows a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the game and the players.

Getting the kids to believe in themselves is much easier for some coaches than others. Motivation may mean keeping the practice fun, fresh and challenging. When motivating a player, stress performance goals… not outcome goals. The Motivator stresses that while you can’t control what your opponent does or the outcome of every match, the purpose is to play their best and have fun doing it. Like the Leader, this type of coach shows respect and encourages players to remain positive regardless of the outcome.

The Dictator
The Dictator is a dangerous type of coach. The kids respond, but it’s usually out of fear. This type of coach may very well have a sound knowledge of the game, but there is no persuasion and no room for opinions. Even the best coach can’t control the actions of all players in the game, but the Dictator sure does give it a try.

The Confrontationalist
The Confrontationalist is rare (luckily). This type of coach goes beyond the polite disagreements that are typical in any sporting event. With little to no regard for the example being set, the Confrontationalist will argue, bully and scream his way into the spotlight and onto the bad side of most who are unlucky enough to witness his/her tirades. A general lack of communication skills and anger management pit the Confrontationalist against the umpire/ref, the other coaches and at times, even the children trying to play the game.

Pick your style and have fun
A great coach is not easy to find and requires a very unique set of talents and skills. Organized sports are great for boosting self-esteem, developing teamwork skills, establishing rules and roles, and (of course) providing fun and entertainment. Most coaches are fantastic and the experience is memorable in a good way. Remember that the players are learning and your role is to guide them to victory… not necessarily on the scoreboard, but most definitely in experience.

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Baseball/Softball: How to Choose a Batting Helmet

Baseball Helmets


One of the leading causes of sports related injuries among children, teens and adults is ill-fitting gear or wearing none at all. Baseball can be quite dangerous. If your head lacks proper protection, it can even be fatal. Just consider for a minute the speed and force in which a baseball or softball is actually thrown (even in Little League) and you will realize the damage that can be done by a ball hitting you in the head. Our heads are pretty tough, but were never meant for THAT.

No matter your age or playing level, a batting helmet should be worn whenever you are at the plate. You just never know when a wild fastball will be thrown your way. We’ve all heard the complaints of helmets being uncomfortable, leading a player to skip its use if not mandated by league rules. Chosen properly, a helmet should not be uncomfortable at all. Read on to learn how to buy a proper batting helmet.

When you’re shopping for a batting helmet, you want to consider several things before making a purchase. A batting helmet should cover the back, top and sides of your head.

They should also cover at least one ear. For right-handed batters, the left ear should be covered and vice versa for left-handed batters. This protects the ear that will have a ball coming towards it and allows the batter to hear the umpire with their other ear. There are also batting helmets that cover both ears available as well. Learn the helmet requirements from your league. Some leagues have strict helmet specifications, and failure to adhere to them may result in removal from a game.

The batting helmet should fit securely on the head without squeezing the head. It should not move when your head is turned from side to side and should be easy to take on and off as well. A secure batting helmet should not fall forward over the eyes. Whether you are buying a helmet in a store or online, be sure to take a measurement of your head’s circumference at its widest point. A secure fit is important in a batting helmet, as it could cause more damage to a player if it were to get hit by a ball.

But all helmets are not created equal! The cheapest batting helmets are made of plastic with a protective layer beneath while more advanced batting helmets are made of durable polymers. The foam interior of the helmet is a safety must-have. This padding keeps the head away from the outer shell of the helmet in case of impact. Save money elsewhere, but don’t skimp on the batting helmet that you choose. You are buying safety and in this case, you really do get what you pay for. Find a brand name you trust and do the research on that particular helmet. Be sure the shell is made of quality materials and the foam padding is thick and durable.

Batting helmets were not required in the MLB until 1971. Ron Santo of the Chicago Cubs was the first to wear an earflap helmet in the game. Today, all batters, base runners, bat-boys, bat-girls, and catchers are required to wear a batting helmet. Catchers and bat-boys and girls usually wear a flapless batting helmet with no ear protection. After the recent death of Tulsa Drillers first base coach Mike Coolbaugh, many base coaches are electing to wear batting helmets as well. Coolbaugh was hit in the head with a line drive.

Softball Helmets

Buying a softball helmet, whether for fast pitch or slow pitch, please consider the tips for proper fit above. Using a helmet that isn’t up to NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) standards can cause you to be ejected from the game, or worse yet, it may lead to serious injury.

Softball helmets are made of impact-resistant molded ABS plastic. They are solid one-piece helmets with interior foam padding. Many have face guards in front with straps that secure them to the head.

Ponytail batting helmets do just what their names says… they allow room for a girl’s ponytail. More comfortable than the standard softball batting helmet, it fits better because female baseball and softball players don’t have to cram their ponytail into it.

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Softball: Fielding Face Masks Should Be Mandatory

The need for protective equipment has evolved and will continue to evolve. There was a time when players went on the field in nothing more than matching street clothes. We’ve come to realize that the threat of injury is real. It is also more probable than possible.

In baseball and softball, catchers wear full body protection. Batters wear helmets. Shin guards, elbow pads, gloves, shoulder pads and other protective gear have become commonplace. Any athlete playing a sport (baseball, softball, hockey, lacrosse, football, soccer, etc.), where the chance of injury is high, should wear the proper protection. Age, level of play and position are not important. Gender doesn’t matter. You only get one body… one face… one head. You need to protect yourself.

It seems like common sense to most of us these days to cover our heads when a 90 MPH fast ball is being thrown at you. It seems unreal that batting helmets were not made mandatory in Major League Baseball until 1971! Despite the death of Ray Chapman in 1920 and countless head injuries that resulted in hospitalization, batting helmets were fairly uncommon in the major leagues until 1952, with the Pittsburgh Pirates the first major league team to permanently require their use.

So, today’s batters are protected in every league. Now, let’s take a minute to consider the needs of the fielders. A hit ball can return to the field at a speed of 80-110 MPH. With nothing more than a baseball cap protecting the fielders, it’s a wonder nobody has required the use of defensive face guards in both baseball and softball. Football players wear helmets with cages (as well they should) and they don’t have a missile being hit back at them! Designed properly, face guards offer protection without limiting the player’s range of vision.

Baseball and Softball have each become more and more competitive. Pitching is harder and faster and added strength training allows players to throw and hit the ball farther, faster and with more accuracy. With this comes the need to protect yourself with the latest and greatest equipment. While we have yet to see a nationwide push toward defensive face guards, the time will come soon. But why wait for a mandate?

Each year we hear of players being hit in the face or head. Facial injuries can be devastating and life altering. Injuries to the mouth, teeth and eyes can cause expensive problems… both financially and emotionally. The orbital bones surrounding the eyes are thin and fragile… one hard hit can shatter those brittle bones and cause serious damage to the sinus cavities and/or loss of vision. A broken nose from a bad hop on a grounder, front teeth being knocked out, surgeries, stitches, missed games, pain, recovery and the emotional toll of an injury… We cringe at the videos, we sympathize with the stories and yet we keep hoping it won’t be our child. It may never be, but why take the chance?

Need a Fielding Face Guard or other protective equipment? Check out our On Field Accessories.

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Experience Mobile Monkey For Your Next Event!

Do you have an upcoming baseball or softball tournament, opening day or other special event? Make it better with the Mobile Monkey Experience.

Mobile Monkey will show up to your event with a 45 foot truck and trailer. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will guide you through the open trailer complete with a DeMarini baseball and softball glove wall, bat wall and equipment wall.

We’ll set up a portable 50 foot batting cage that will provide hours of entertainment for adults and kids alike! With music playing in the background, this event is sure to be loads of fun for the entire family!

Contact us today to book the Mobile Monkey experience.

mobile-monkey

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Customized Team Uniforms & Jerseys From MonkeyTeamSports.com!!!

Did you know that MonkeyTeamSports.com™ can customize your team uniforms and jerseys?

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WE CAN DO THAT!

Check out all the other cool stuff our trained specialists have produced custom work for:

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The Anaheim Ducks
The Ontario Reign
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Hollywood Productions:
“The Office” TV Show (Feb 10, 2011 Episode)
“The Tooth Fairy” starring The Rock

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