Has your daughter just come home excited that she is going to be the catcher on her softball team? While you are probably celebrating that she has been chosen for such an important position, you might also be wondering how to outfit your softball catcher. What is needed?
Catcher’s Mitt and Glove
The catcher’s mitt is not the same as other softball mitts or a baseball catcher’s mitt. Fastpitch catcher’s mitts are larger and have a deeper pocket to handle the size of the softball. In addition, they have thinner padding on the edges for easier catching and transferring for a throw. While durable, they take time to break in. For protection, your daughter will want to wear a softball glove inside her mitt to help absorb the shock and prevent bone bruises. Try on the glove and mitt together to be sure they are comfortable.
Catchers Helmet and Mask
One of the most important protective pieces of equipment is the catcher’s helmet and mask. Helmet vents will keep your daughter cool while the foam padding and hard shell will protect her from the ball. Most are made in a streamlined profile to fit snugly but move with the player. Choose a helmet that feels secure as she moves but feels comfortable.
Female catcher chest protectors are made to:
- highlight athleticism of women
- be easy to take on and off
- reduce ball rebound
- flex in multiple directions
To determine the right size of chest protector, measure from the top of your daughter’s collarbone to the bottom of her navel.
Leg guards will protect your daughter from the knee to her foot. When you measure for leg guards, you want to measure from the middle of the knee to the top of the foot.
Knee Savers and Thumb Guard
Whether your daughter wants knee savers or a thumb guard is optional. Knee savers are a block which works with the leg guard to reduce stress on knee joints. Thumb guards protect against injury in growing players or help a player who is recovering from a thumb injury.
Because your daughter is going to have to carry a lot of equipment including not only her softball cleats and body protective equipment but also her shoes and bat to and from practices and games, you probably want to get her a catcher’s bag to carry it more easily. You will want a bag that is big enough for all of her gear to fit in easily so nothing gets damaged.
Final Tips for Outfitting Your Catcher
Make sure to try on catcher’s gear before buying! In truth, if your daughter is playing catcher, she will need more equipment than girls playing other positions. However, if she is just starting out, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on softball catchers gear. Just make sure she has what she needs to be safe and comfortable so she can play her best. Feel like you need help? At Longstreth Sporting Goods, someone is always available to answer questions and help you make buying decisions for your softball catcher.