Tag Archives: Softball Pitching Machines

Pitching machines for Softball: Pros and Cons of using them

pitching-machines

In outfitting your young fastpitch softball player, you’ve probably spent some time considering the right type of softball bat, glove, and other softball equipment she needs for enjoying the sport. However, you may be wondering if she needs anything else. Would a softball pitching machine give her extra practice?  Here are some tips on the pros and cons:

Cons of Using Pitching Machines for Softball
The biggest problem with a young softball player practicing using a pitching machine is that often the machine is not used correctly. Here are some of the cons:

  • If the pitching machine gives the same pitch over and over, the player doesn’t learn to make swing adjustments.
  • If the machine is set to pitch at the same pace each time, a player’s timing becomes unrealistic.
  • Often beginning players will miss so many pitches from the machine that they will just swing at anything and reinforce poor habits.

Pros of Using Pitching Machines for Softball
However, if a young female player has been outfitted with a good softball bat just right for her size and ability, and the pitching machine can vary the pitches, using a machine can be a great way to get in extra practice, even on her own. Here are the benefits:

  • More time to improve than is available when the whole team is practicing.
  • Can help hitters who have a fear of the ball gain confidence.
  • Better than tee work for getting a feel for the game.
  • Pitching machine can be slowed down from game speed to increase a hitter’s confidence.

Tips for Using Softball Pitching Machines
Using the softball pitching machine at home or with the team will work better when doing the following:

  • Adjust the machine to pitch at different speeds and different pitches.
  • Hitters should start using a no-stride approach so that they will concentrate on seeing the ball and getting in tune with the rhythm of the machine.
  • Hitters should move around inside the batter’s box to get a bigger variation in pitching which will be similar to pitches in a game.
  • Players should hit the ball in the direction of where it is pitched, just as you would in a pitcher thrown practice.
  • For beginning players or players who lack confidence, start the pitches at a slower speed, or move the machine further away until the hitter is consistently hitting.  Then slowly increase the speed or move the machine closer until the hitter is able to contact the ball at a speed close to the average pitcher in the league.
  • Just as in a game, make sure that players wear helmets for protection and use the same bat for practicing that they will be using in games.

Is a Softball Pitching Machine Right for You?
As with most tools, a softball pitching machine can be terrific if used correctly. If you need help choosing a pitching machine, composite bat or any other fastpitch softball equipment, be sure to consult the experts at Longstreth Sporting Goods who specialize in outfitting female fastpitch softball players with equipment that fits their unique needs.

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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.