Tag Archives: softball equipment

Most Popular Fastpitch Softball Gloves & Mitts

Popular Fastpitch Softball Gloves and Mitts

Fastpitch Softball Gloves
When it comes to the game of fastpitch softball, gloves and mitts are one of the most important choices an athlete can make. Each year, vendors roll out their new line for the upcoming season. Typically, each line includes gloves/mitts produced for specific positions with a variety of leathers and pocket web designs. Some gloves are made for the both right- and left-handed players; but the majority of gloves / mitts are designed for the right-handed thrower.

As a female athlete, it’s important to find a glove that has been made specifically for the female player. These gloves feature narrow fingers, smaller wrist openings, and a wider pocket.

This season, three fastpitch softball gloves have become popular choices.

Nokona Walnut Fastpitch Gloves
The Nokona brand is synonymous with high-quality, top-of-the line offerings. Their Nokona Walnut line is a classic best-selling glove that provides great stability, durability, and a game-ready feel. The Walnut Fastpitch gloves are constructed of flexible, lightweight Walnut Steerhide Leather. They are handcrafted and made specifically for the female athlete’s hand. The single finger closed back with adjustable Velcro wrist strap offers a personalized fit for each individual player. The fielder’s and catcher’s gloves come in a variety of sizes with a closed web, while the first base is available with an H-web design. They’re all available for the right-handed thrower.

Wilson A2000
Wilson’s A2000 is designed for the serious fastpitch athlete. This 12.5-inch fastpitch glove has been created with the new Custom Fit System, a hook and loop wrist closure that offers every player a customized secure fit – no matter how tight she wears it. It is built from Premium Pro Stock leather that gives the glove superior feel and durability; and allows the glove to break in perfectly and last from season to season. The A2000 features D-Fusion padding just below the pocket to absorb the shock of hard line drives; a Victory Web that makes it the perfect outfielder glove; and is available for right-handed throwers.

Rawlings Liberty Advanced
Rawlings has developed a perfectly-balanced pattern technology for the Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Softball Glove series. This 12.5-inch glove is designed for the smaller hand of the female athlete, therefore providing improved control and comfort. The nonslip pull strap makes the hand opening adjustable for a custom fit. The Liberty Advanced Glove is constructed from full-grain oil-treated shell leather making it feel game-ready. It features a double-laced basket web which forms a closed, deep pocket making it an excellent choice for infielders, outfielders, and pitchers. It’s available for right-handed throwers.

While these three gloves rise to the top of this year’s offerings, there are many other options available for all levels of players. Longstreth Sporting Goods has a huge variety of gloves and mitts specifically designed for the female athlete. Visit Longstreth to see the fastpitch equipment selection or ask the Softball Expert how to select the perfect glove for you.

Tips to Improve your Softball Pitching

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Fastpitch Softball is a thrilling game, and the competition is always tough. Here are a few tips on how to improve your softball pitching and to master the components of pitching for a great performance.

Practice

Regular practice helps improve pitching performance. It’s believed that to be a great pitcher you should try to throw 100 pitches for 100 days. Practice is perfection and the more reps you try, the better chances of improving your pitching performance. During practice try different positions and techniques to discover your strengths and ability. Coach Zack Farrell believes that practice helps a pitcher to maximize their potential on the mound.

Practice will allow you to have command of pitch location. This is a toll that will help you measure the desired location. The skill to execute a pitch to the desired location is the key element of effective pitching. The feedback during practice allows the pitcher to measure how poorly or well they are doing. The ability to control is the extreme mastery of the art of pitching. Just establish target, measure, throw and adjust.

Long toss, Walkthroughs and weighted Softballs to maximize velocity

Long toss is a technique that helps you develop proper throwing mechanism. It maximizes your ball velocity and throwing distance while minimizing the risk of throwing injuries. Long toss should be practiced few times a week for 20-30 minutes. Walkthrough exercises will help you improve your speed, flexibility and strength as well.

Practicing with weighted softballs is another  way of improving your throwing velocity while strengthening your arm muscles. Weighted softballs can be up to 20% heavier than the normal softballs. Practice with weighted softballs just for a few minutes every day as longer practice sessions might result in arm injury

Change speeds

The ability to throw the ball at different speeds improves your performance. When you are capable of speed variation, you can throw the ball at any of the four corners. Also to be a great softball pitcher you need to work on your flexibility. Exercise on the ability to move in and out of the mound, the power to drive and pitch harder. Exercise on generating enough leg power. Also work on the ability to move up and down, your body should be flexible. Engage yourself in flexibility or power training programs; this will help your body to be flexible.

Focus

Softball pitchers complicate things by overthinking, and this interferes with their performance. It also affects their velocity and focus. Avoid overthinking and ensure your mind is clear and focused. When pitching, keep your game simple and don’t think of how you can play different techniques. This will help you focus on your strength and ability. Equally believing in yourself helps raise your confidence. It’s advisable only to focus on one or two playing positions so you don’t complicate your game. Make a habit of reminding yourself to just throw the ball and stay focused.

Longstreth Sporting Goods provides you with all the information and sporting equipment such as batsglovescleats, and all the gears that you need to succeed in softball.

Guide to Buying Essential Softball Equipment for your Daughter

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Are you planning to buy softball equipment for your daughter?  Having the best equipment that your daughter is comfortable in will allow her perform to the maximum and be the best. Here is a guide that will help you buy the right softball gear.

 Softball bat

There is no better bat than the other. You need to purchase a bat that suits your daughter’s skill level, weight, height, and age. If your daughter is small and is just building up her strength choose a lighter bat that she will be able to control and swing easily. If she is stronger, a heavier bat will do for her as she will be able to control her speed.

8-9 year old girls should use a softball bat of 26-28 inches. As your daughter grows each year, you can just add an inch.  Aluminum bat is good for beginners, so you can start with the aluminum bat. It is easy for her to improve her swing and doesn’t put much weight and pressure on her shoulder. Softball bats at Longstreth are available in a wide variety for your daughter to choose from.

Helmet

The helmet is one of the most essential softball gear. Softball helmets are made of durable plastic and foam. It helps distribute the forces in case the ball hits the batter’s head. The design of the helmet is based on the team or individual preference, but ensure to buy a helmet that fits your daughter’s head a little tight.

Gloves

With the modern technology the softball gloves have improved a lot resulting in excellent performance.  Consider the size, comfort, and design to suit your daughter’s taste and built, however, note that there are different types of gloves for a different player position. If your daughter is an outfielder, the glove size would be a little larger. Their hand configuration would have deeper pockets that help catch the ball. Infielders require small glove; it allows them to release the ball faster.

Cleats

Buy the shoes that fit your daughter and that she is comfortable in. Consider the material of the cleats, the weight and how stable is your daughter in the shoes.  Consider the inner sole and the outer sole. Equally, check the stud length. All these considerations would help you in selecting the best cleats for your daughter.

Protective equipment

The kind of protective equipment your daughter would need would be based on the position she is playing in. Catchers especially need to have the right catcher’s equipment to stay safe. Sliders protect your daughter when sliding to the base and also protect her calf. The sliding shorts are padded upper thigh with a synthetic compression legging. Other equipment that helps protect your daughter and reduce chances of injuries include,

Knee savers- for catchers they help minimize strain at the knee joint.

Leg Guards/Shin guards- There is a difference between the two. Leg guards are for catchers and they should cover a little bit above the top of the knee all the way down to the ankles and top of feet. Shin guards are usually for batters. They cover from the top of the foot and ankle to half way up the shin. These protect the shin from fouled off balls.

Elbow pads- they help protect elbows and are usually used by batters.

Battling gloves- they help reduces chances of hand blisters.

Chest protector- they help cover the chest and avoid compelling injuries.

When buying the softball equipment note that different leagues have different rules and regulations. Find out about the colors and other specifications from your daughter’s coach. While its easy to get carried away and spend a fortune on the equipment, you don’t really need the real high end stuff if she is just starting out. What really matters is the fit- the equipment needs to be comfortable for your daughter in order for her to play well. Longstreth Sporting Goods Store has all the right equipment for your young player and our sports counselors are always at hand to answer your questions and to help you guide in making your buying decisions.

What size softball bat do I need?

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Determining the size of the right softball bat is critical for every softball player. The bat is a crucial equipment piece and it’s important to find the perfect size for the player. Bat design is a factor to consider but you can’t just choose the design and color simply because the bat looks cool. Here are other factors to consider when choosing the right size of your softball bat:

Bat Weight

If you are strong and big in body size, choosing a heavier bat allows you to use maximum power. However, smaller players can play better using lighter softball bats. A player wants to maximize her bat speed.  Using a light bat can yield greater bat speed. If you want to know the softball bat suitable for your body size and strength, swing a variety of them and choose the one that maximizes bat weight AND swing speed without hurting your natural swing path.  One tip is that you should be able to hold your bat with one hand at the end and your arm fully extended perpendicular to the ground without having the bat waver or dip.  If you are a high school player, you should be using a bat weight that is 10 ounces less than the bat length.  If you are younger than high school, you can use bat weights that are a greater drop than 10 ounces from the bat length, typically 11 ounces to 13 ounces less than the length in inches.

Height

Consider using a bat between 26 and 29 inches if you are less than four feet high. Players between four and five feet should use a bat length of 29-31 inches. Five to six feet tall players should use a bat with a length of 31-34 inches. Considering these measurements while choosing the length of your softball bat will assist you in reaching the peak of your performance.  If the right weight for you is in a bat that is a little long, choking up to 1” up the barrel can make this bat work well.

Ensure to have these requirements before choosing your bat.

  • A bat that is too light will make players be quicker, pull you away from the ball and have little power.
  • A bat that is too heavy will cause an unbalanced and slow swing, and will also decrease your ability to control the strike zone.

Bat materials

You can either choose composite bats or alloy bats.  Composite softball bats are made of material similar to carbon fiber and usually provide a bigger sweet spot and greater power. They are easy to control since in most bats the weight is evenly distributed.  Composite bats help reduce vibration and sting at hand. While alloy bats are made of aluminum and metal, they are less expensive compared to composite bats, typically last longer and can be used in cold weather. Unlike composite bats, they don’t crack.

Once you’ve chosen the right softball bat for your game, always store it in its perfect softball bag. Softball bags are designed in different varieties. Ensure your bag can store all equipment including your glove, softball cleats, helmet, sweatshirts, batting gloves, some first aid items, as well as any extra player protection equipment.

At Longstreth, we take pride in providing helpful information to help players in this industry. Contact us today for all softball equipment needs.

Do Softball Pitching Machines help your Hitting?

Softball pitching machines offer a number of advantages to softball players who want to improve their hitting game. They provide you with a predictable pitch so that you can work on specific phases of your swing and perfect your timing. Having a pitching machine means that you don’t need to rely on anyone else to practice. All you have to do is turn on the machine and get swinging.

 
Softball HittingPitching machines also help you to break in composite softball bats so that you can get your new bat into the rotation as soon as possible. When you step into the batter’s box, you want total confidence in your bat choice. Spending the necessary hours with that bat and a pitching machine helps to build confidence in your swing.

 
For younger girls just starting in the game, hitting off of a pitching machine is a great way to get used to being at the plate, preparing for the delivery, and decreasing their fear of the ball. If they were facing a live pitcher, the stress of trying to swing at a pitch could be overwhelming and cause them to be overly tense at the plate. The predictability and adaptability of the machine’s pitching helps to overcome this natural reaction. So if you or someone you know is just beginning to play softball, choosing from one of the many softball pitching machines available to you could be a key to becoming a confident softball player.

 
Build Muscle Memory to Become the Best

 
Any veteran player can tell you that if you want to be the best you can and get the most from the game, you will need to build automatic reflexes and reactions. The only way to build the muscle memory that gives you the ability to react without thinking is through repetition. The ability to build that muscle memory through repeats at the plate and in the field is something that other softball equipment does not offer.

 
A pitching machine not only helps you with your hitting, but also with your fielding skills. You can set the speed, angle and direction of many machines to deliver fly balls, grounders, and line drives. This helps you to even further simulate the real conditions of the possible types of hit balls you will face during a game. Through this practice you can isolate your weaknesses and do the required drills to improve upon the and turn them into strengths.

 
Whether you are looking for softball gloves or bags to carry all your gear, a visit to the Longstreth store will give you the personalized attention that you deserve. You have developed a passion for the game and the skills necessary to do your best on game day. Let Longstreth help you to continue to build your love for the game with service and products that are specially selected for your needs.

 

Which is better – A Softball Pitching Machine or a Batting Tee?

Softball pitching machines are a much larger investment than a batting tee, so is it worth it for you to have a pitching machine or is a tee enough for your needs? If you have new softball bats to break in, hitting off a tee may be enough, but if you really want the flexibility and adaptability to do the greatest variety of drills, you want to have a pitching machine.

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Of course there are many ways to effectively use a tee to improve your game. You can focus on improving your weaknesses by adjusting the tee height and placement. You can also do almost limitless repetitions, depending upon the number of balls that you have in your practice bucket. But every drill that you can do with a tee you can do more effectively and more realistically with a pitching machine.

Make Your Practice Conditions Match Game Day

When game day comes around, it’s not just you and the ball that face off. There are a huge number of factors that can not be replicated by using a tee. Beyond all of the variables that pitchers send your way, you also have to consider wind and humidity, both of which can alter how a pitch reacts as it comes towards the plate. A pitching machine accounts for these factors, while the static nature of a tee does not. Plus, you will always face an element of unpredictability from a pitcher. Working with a pitching machine can help you to build nerves of steel at the plate and focus on perfecting your swing phases with an active softball.

Another training benefit of pitching machines to consider is the range of fielding drills that you can perform. Whether you want to improve your ground game or focus on pop-ups, a pitching machine can help you. For your new softball gloves and softball cleats, you want to break them in and be comfortable using them before you step onto the field for a game. You can set up realistic drills using your machine to run, pivot, dive, and catch in a realistic way. Not only will this help you to refine your skills, but it also helps you to find weaknesses in how you customize your cleats and gloves for different conditions.

You put in hours on the practice field with your team and training partners to perfect your softball skills, but if you want to take it to the next level and have the ability to practice hitting and fielding on your own, a pitching machine is essential to your continued development. Check out Longstreth’s range of machines that they have personally selected for your benefit. At the same time, you can find all the other equipment that you need, from bats, cleats and gloves to the softball bags to carry all of the equipment to your next practice or tournament.