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Softball Batting & Hitting Training Aids For Your Girls

Photo for Softball Training Aid Blog

All players want to get better at softball….well, at least hopefully they do!  Nothing will get you in pristine playing condition as well as practice and good solid coaching from a knowledgeable coach or trainer.  However, do not discount the use of training aids to sharpen your batting and fielding performance.  Here at Softball Galaxy we’ve compiled a list of some of the most tried and true training aids to continually get better in your softball game.

Nothing gets you ready for batting like a good batting practice off the tee.  Players can get in a lot of swings in a short amount of time with a tee.  Now understand this, there are some JUNK tees out there, so make sure that if you don’t take our recommendations that you at least look up some reviews of what you are getting before you buy it.  While some of them could be quality, many of the lower priced options will end up falling apart within a few sessions.  Here are two tees that are on both end of the price spectrum so you can make a good choice.



First up is the tee that, if you’re dead serious about dedicated tee practice and you plan to hit many many balls off of a tee – well this is the tee for you.  The Tanner Tee is probably the most well accepted tee on the market at this time.  Coaches and players alike love the ease and durability of this well made batting tee.  With 25+ years of custom tee building experience, Tanner Tees hit the nail on the head with this product.  Featuring a patented, hand-rolled flexible rubber ball rest, the Tanner Tee gives the batter more feel of the ball being hit and less of the the tee which is a great thing.  Long lasting and solidly built with a reputation of backing the quality of their products, you would not regret purchasing the Tanner Tee.

Tanner Tee

Next we have the MacGregor Batting Tee.  This is a nice, quality tee that is more budget friendly than the Tanner Tee.  Made of heavy duty rubber components and a heavy base, the MacGregor Batting Tee should give you plenty of reps at the tee.  With a height adjustment from 20″-36″ this tee can easily (and quickly) simulate high and low pitches.   If you don’t want to spend too much on a batting tee and still get quality, you can’t do much better at this price point than with the MacGregor Batting Tee.


SKLZ Impact Balls – Heavy-Duty Training Ball

If you are going to be doing your training on the tee, then of course you’re gonna need something to swing at.  Many prefer the ease of hitting plastic balls off the tee and saving the wear on their more expensive softballs.  The SKLZ Impact Heavy Duty Plastic Softballs (Pack of 8) work perfectly for this type of use.  Virtually indestructible, these plastic balls can take tons of hits.  They are a little heavier than your typical plastic practice ball, so they provide a better feel at time of impact with the bat.  This also provides truer flight and more ease of pitching if you do soft toss or practice pitches to other hitters.  Make sure you don’t regret buying the cheap, thinner plastic practice balls this year.  Grab up these SKLZ Impact Heavy Duty Plastic Softballs and enjoy the advantage you get with them.


FORTRESS Baseball Sock Net Screen – Pro Quality

If you’re going to do tee practice then you really will want a hitting net to catch your balls, ESPECIALLY if you’re hitting real softballs.  The mother of all nets is the Fortress Baseball Sock Net Screen (and yes, it will work for softballs despite the name).Measuring in at 7’x7′ and  built solidly out of a galvanized steel frame with rubberized feet, the Fortress Baseball Sock Net Screen is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.  With it’s #42 sized heavy duty netting you can expect years of use catching all your line drives into this amazing net.  Pitchers can also benefit from this net as well.  Easy set up and takedown, make this net a great addition to your training items.

Easton XLP Catch Net, 5-Feet

If you want a bit lighter weight, smaller net than the fortress the Easton XLP Catch Net would be what you’re looking for.  If you look at the market there are many rebranded similar batting nets out there.  However most of them don’t catch the ball like the Easton XLP Catch Net does.  Available in 5’x5′ (pictured) and 7’x7′, you can pick the size that fits your practice needs the most.  With Easton you know you can expect a good quality product and this hitting net does not disappoint.  Lightweight, durable, double stitched netting and a large target area make the Easton XLP Catch Net a definite contender for our favorite hitting nets.


 

 

Top Fastpitch Softballs

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Softball Fielders Masks: Valuable Protection

Photo for Valuable Face Mask Protection Softball

Fielders masks have become much more popular in recent years and we are glad to see this trend.  There is no need in risking any injury to your face from a line drive.  It is just not worth it.   All infielders are at a high risk, with your pitchers especially being in the crosshairs when it comes to being hit by a ball.  Standing closer to the batter than even in baseball, they stand at risk of being rocked by a hit more than most any other player on the field.  If that happens it could be the end of their career, or worse.  Here is a video of a pitcher WITH A MASK on being hit in the face.  Had she not been wearing her fielders mask there is no telling how bad off her injuries would have been.  Please watch and you will definitely make wearing a mask a priority on the field for you or your players.

There is not an over-abundance of fielders masks on the market, so we’ve done the research and have come up with our top 3 suggestions for best fielders masks that we can find and we URGE you to purchase one of these for the safety of your softball player especially when playing the infield.

PLAN - PRICE

Description

Schutt Varsity Softball Titanium Fielder’s Guard

Durable Titanium

Good Visibility

Very Lightweight

RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask – Youth

Steel Mask

Great Visibilty

Best Looking

TOP PICK

SKLZ Youth Fastpitch Field Shield (Small/Medium)

Polycarbonate Material

Budget Option

IMPORTANT:  These are SOFTBALL masks.  They are NOT meant to protect you from a BASEBALL!


RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask – Youth

Near the top of our lists for Fielder’s Masks is the RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask.  Available in most colors and pony-tail friendly, this mask is one of the most common seen on the field and for good reason.  It is a quality well built mask, that still provides some of the best vision from the player compared to many other masks.  This lightweight mask fits comfortably and is adjustable to fit most any face/head size.  The adjustable chin cup lets you remove and replace the chin piece wherever fits your style best.  You can find many testimonies of players using this mask and having it taking a hit and saved that player from injury or worse.  The reason for this is that the RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask is designed in a way that (to put in simple terms) if a player is hit by the ball while wearing this mask, the mask helps to deflect the impact of the hit and spread it across a wider area, thus bringing the severity of the hit down and in turn causing much less injury.   All-in-all you can’t go wrong with picking up this quality mask.


Schutt Varsity Softball Titanium Fielder’s Guard

In our opinion, the closest contender to the RIP-IT mask is the Schutt Varsity Softball Titanium Fielder’s Guard.  Here we have another nice quality, well-built mask for your girls.  You will still get great protection from this mask.  The main difference here is that this mask is made with titanium to bring the weight of the mask down and the comfort levels up.  While covering up just a tiny bit more of the visibility than the RIP-IT, you will still have a great view out of this mask.  If you really want the lightest most comfortable mask you can get, and you don’t mind paying a bit more for it, then the Schutt Varsity Softball Titanium Fielder’s Guard is most definitely the mask for you.


SKLZ Youth Fastpitch Field Shield (Small/Medium)

Coming in as a bit more affordable option than the Rip-It and the Schutt is the SKLZ Youth Fastpitch Field Shield.  Unlike the steel and titanium masks, the SKLZ fielders mask is made of ultra-lightweight polycarbonate material that is non-bendable and shatterproof.  With decent vision you won’t complain despite the SKLZ having more and wider bars running across the front of the mask.  The mask also sports 3/4″ foam and an adjustable chin pad for comfort through the entire game.  While this mask would not be our first option, it will definitely do the job for those on a budget yet still wanting to protect their little ones during game time.


In closing we cannot stress enough how important it is to keep our kids and ourselves safe out on the field.  Softball is a sport that many love, but it can still be dangerous and life altering.  Please wear a Fielder’s Mask if you are in a position where you are at risk to get hit.

Softball Batting & Hitting Training Aids For Your Girls

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Best Softball Bats For Your Child (6U or 8U)

Softball Batter With Mask, Helmet, Bat

Is it time to be looking for a new softball bat for your 6U or 8U youth?  Are you wanting to skip the hours of research that it takes to figure out the best bats that you should consider?  If your answer is “yes” then you’re in the right spot!  Bat buying is not the most enjoyable task to tackle, but it’s something that we all must do since new softball players are always joining teams, and the current players are outgrowing their last season’s model.  So relax, take a look through the models we thoroughly researched and find your little softball players’ next bat.

Just to make it clear, we firmly believe that the best way to find the right bat is by swinging it.  If your interested in a bat you see on here, try and find somewhere local to demo the bat before purchasing it. 

When buying your 6U or 8U player a bat, you first need to decide what size and type of bat she should be hitting.

There are a few things you need to consider when looking for the right softball bat.

  1.  Length
  2. Weight
  3.  League Association
  4. Bat Type

Length

When buying a bat, if you get a bat that is too long it can sometimes be very difficult for your child to swing.  On the opposite end, you don’t want a bat that is too short for your child either.  A good rule of thumb to remember is that a child under 60 pounds will usually do best with a bat between 26″-29″ and a child over 60 pounds will do best with a bat between 28″-32″.   For a child just starting out, if they are in the 3′-3’4″ height range then 26″ is a good starting length for their first bat.  For every 4-5″ that they grow, you should add 1″ to their bat length.

Weight

After you have figured out the proper length bat for you child, the next thing you should consider is weight of the bat.  A bat that is too heavy will cause a much slower “draggy” swing  with poor control that results in bad contact or all out strikes.  When looking at bats, you will notice that many bats won’t show the actual weight but instead will show the drop weight.  The drop weight is the difference between the length of the bat and the weight of the bat.  In other words LENGTH – WEIGHT = DROP WEIGHT.  For example, a bat that is 27″ and a weight of 17oz would have a drop weight of -10.  For 6U and 8U players you will most likely be looking at bats with a (-13.5)-(-10) drop with the consideration that their bat is between 24″-29″.

League Association

Every league has their own rules regarding what is and isn’t allowed pertaining to equipment.  When it comes to bats, the manufacturer stamps the bats with the logo of whatever certification that bat has.  If you’re not sure if the bat you’re looking at is approved for your league then you should check with the coaches or read the league’s rule book to make sure the bat you are considering is allowed before purchasing it.

Bat Type

There are 3 main types of softball bats, when it comes to the material they are made out of.  Alloy bats, Composite bats and Hybrids bats which are basically a mix of the two with the handle being composite and the barrels being alloy.  Here we will show a few pros and cons of each material to help you decide which bat will work best for your child.

      -Alloy Pros

  • Usually much less expensive than composite bats
  • Ready to use at purchase, no break in required
  • Often outlasts a composite bat since they usually don’t crack (instead they dent).  A composite bat is unusable once cracked.

     -Alloy Cons

  • Alloy usually has a smaller sweet spot and less pop than a composite bat

     -Composite Pros

  • Less sting on your hands from mis-hit balls due to the reduced vibration in these bats
  • Larger sweet spot and more pop than an alloy bat

     -Composite Cons

  • Bats require a break-in period
  • More expensive than alloy bats

– Hybrid Pros

  • Usually cost less than a full composite bat
  • No break in period
  • Less sting and vibration due to the composite handle
  • Longer barrel life than a composite (due to the barrel end being alloy)

 -Hybrid Cons

  • Costs more than a full alloy bat
  • Handle can be susceptible to cracking
  • Not always legal in every league

 

Now, let’s get to the bats!


Best Bat For Beginners

Easton 2018 PINK SAPPHIRE Fast Pitch Softball Bat

The Easton Pink Sapphire is a -10 drop alloy bat which is great for beginners entering into softball.  We recommend this softball bat due to it’s extremely affordable price, great durability and many happy players (and parents) that have gotten this exact bat for their little ones.


Best Budget Hybrid (Composite/Alloy) Bat

DeMarini Bustos Fastpitch Softball Bat

The DeMarini Bustos is a -13 drop hybrid bat that utilizes a DX1 Alloy barrel paired with a fiber reinforced composite handle.  With low hand sting, less vibrations, low price and a very satisfied following, the Bustos is a diamond in the rough when it comes to finding a quality hybrid softball bat at a price that is a bit lower than many other bats of similar quality.


Best Budget Alloy Bat

Mizuno Finch Jennie Fastpitch Softball Bat

The Mizuno Jennie Finch is a -13 drop alloy bat that uses a one piece MZ 2200+ alloy design.  If you’re wanting to stick with an alloy bat that works great for the 6U and 8U players, then look no further.  Light, solidly made, pleasing to the eye, and easy on your wallet, you can’t go wrong with the Jennie Finch softball bat.

 


BEST OF THE BEST

DeMarini 2018 CFX -11 Fast Pitch Bat

If money isn’t an option and you feel that other bats hold your child back from her full potential, then the DeMarini CFX -11 is the bat you want in her hands.  The CFX -11 uses a very strong Paraflex composite material for their barrel design that allows for more precise weight distribution, better flex, and great pop.  The CFX -11 also has a 3Fusion System which basically gives the bat a better feel while reducing vibration by redirecting the energy back into the barrel instead of the grip.  Although the CFX-11 is recommended for 12 and over, they do make a 28″/17oz and a 29″/18oz that some of the 8U girls could probably swing depending on their strength, height, and weight.

 


Softball Fielders Masks: Valuable Protection

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Budget Equipment Guide For Beginner Softball Players

Girl Batting in softball game

So it has arrived.  You’re little one has gone from being a T-ball player to their first year of coach pitch softball, chances are this is considered 6U (6 Under).  It’s a big deal for many of them.  Some have never in their life hit a ball thrown to them, while others have had quite a bit of practice getting used to a hand thrown pitch.  At this point you need to start realizing that the players will now have league rules to abide by and you must make sure that the bats and balls you use are stamped for the league that your child will be playing in.  Most of what we will be recommending will work for any league, however with the bats, make sure to check with your coach or league officials that it is the proper bat for your child.

What if you’re not sure that softball is the right fit for your child?  What if money is tight at the moment and you want to get out of this without breaking the bank.  We’ve done the hard work for you and found some of the best budget friendly options for your child’s first year in softball.  So lets get started!

First of we know of 4 items that your child definitely needs (unless furnished by the team).

1. Bat (and no…a tee ball bat is not made for softball and does not meet the league standards most likely)

2. Glove

3. Helmet

4. Uniform (we don’t cover socks and shirts and most often they are furnished by team)

Some of these items may be furnished by the team, however most kids enjoy having their own bat, glove and helmet.  And it’s more sanitary as well, especially with the issue of head lice and helmets.


BAT

Easton 2018 Women’s PINK SAPPHIRE Fast Pitch Softball Bat -11, 25″/15 oz

The Easton Pink Sapphire is a great bat for a first year softball player.  It’s not going to put too much of an impact on your wallet, and yet it will still be a solid bat for your child.  There is no real reason to spend a lot on a bat at this point as not only will they outgrow it quickly, but most kids this age can’t hit hard enough to need a top of the line bat.

Now it is to be noted that bats come in different lengths, weights, and drop (the difference between the length and weight of a bat).  You can go get your child fitted for a bat which is highly recommended, or you can use the guidelines on Easton’s Website to help you decide.


GLOVE


Louisville Slugger 9.5-Inch Youth TPS Fastpitch Diva Ball Glove (Right Hand Throw)

First off, make sure that you are getting the correct glove for your child.  A right handed thrower will wear her glove on the left hand and vice-versa.  This is actually a common mistake that is made, but usually is figured out in T-ball years and not first year softball.  Still we needed to mention it.  The Louisville Slugger 9.5″ Youth TSP glove is a good choice for their first year in softball.  At only 9.5 inches hey won’t have to struggle with having too big of a glove and since it needs no break in, it is ready to go as is.  There is nothing fancy about this glove, but it will certainly get the job done and stay well within budget compared to many other similar gloves on the market.


HELMET

Schutt Sports AiR 5.6 Softball Batter’s Helmet

The helmet is probably one of the most important parts of this article.  It is only used to keep your child safe.  You wouldn’t normally want to skimp on a safety item, however this helmet is a solid choice at a really good price with many different colors and sizes (we linked to pink because we know the girls love it!).  Not only will a helmet protect from an errant throw (more likely while running the bases than batting if it is a coach pitch league, BUT you must also realize that at this age some of the girls may walk right into a swinging batter and a helmet can protect from a nasty injury if  that happens.  The Schutt Sports AiR 5.6 is a great choice for a wallet friendly helmet for your kids.


UNIFORM

Intensity Girl’s Low Rise Double Knit Pant, Youth, Small, Black

Here at Softball Galaxy we like the Intensity Girls Low Rise pants.  They have a better fit on the kids and don’t seem to sag as bad as some of the other “softball” pants.  Make sure to check into these and get the right size and colors for your child (we link to youth small, black).  For a durable pair of softball pants that actually look good on your child, you can’t really do much better than these pants.


Now that we’ve covered the basics for what your child will most likely HAVE to have, we can now suggest a few more  things (still within budget) to add to your softball items.


BATTING TEE

MacGregor Batting Tee

Here is a fantastic batting tee for help with training your child.  We firmly believe that repetitions on a tee can teach a child almost better than anything when it comes to hitting the ball and working on their swing.  Sure, you could go to any big-box store and get your child a tee, but there is a good chance that you will pick up one of the junk brands that won’t last many practice sessions. You just won’t find a quality tee anywhere else for the price of what you will pay for this batting tee.  Trust us on this one when we say that this is a great deal for a great tee.


SUNGLASSES

VATTER TR90 Unbreakable Polarized Sport Sunglasses For Kids Boys Girls Youth

If you’ve ever played ball yourself, you know that the sun can be a major issue out on the field.  If it is directly in your sight path aligned with a solid hit, you could even injure yourself.  The VATTER TR90 are a great pair of polarized sports sunglasses at a very fair price for your kids.  Available in many colors, your child can pick whichever one works best for her.  Lightweight, yet super tough (due to the bendable nature of the frames), your kid shouldn’t have any complaints about wearing these sport glasses on the field.  They even come with a number of accessories including cleaning cloth, pouch, screwdriver and neck strap.


FIELDER’S MASK

RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask Youth Black

Some may not consider the RIP-IT mask a budget item and some also may not consider it a must have item.  However, at Softball Galaxy we firmly believe in the safety of all kids out on the field.  There are a handful of 6U girls that can really hit the ball…and I mean REALLY hit the ball hard.  If you are like us and feel that it is better to be safe than sorry, then you should heavily consider sending your kid out on the field with a Fielder’s Mask.  We feel like the RIP-IT Defense, while not the cheapest, is still a very affordable option and a lot cheaper than sending your kid to the hospital with face injuries.  Please take our advice and keep your little ones safe out there on the field.


EQUIPMENT BAG

Athletico Youth Baseball Bat Bag – Backpack for Baseball, T-Ball & Softball Equipment

So after you have gotten the basics for your child’s first year in softball, you may realize it’s a hassle to carry everything around.  If you reach that point (which most will), then you will surely start looking into equipment bags.  Save yourself the hassle and leave the searching to us.  You can certainly buy a cheaper bag than the Athletico bag, however it will more than likely not be a backpack type bag and will still be a bit of a hassle to lug around.  Most girls actually enjoy sporting around a nice looking equipment backpack on their back, it lets them feel the thrill of looking the part (and there is nothing wrong with that!).  Many similar style backpacks can run a pretty penny, however this bag is very well priced for such a bag.  Not only is it affordable, but it is a great, durable bag at that!  A little tip, the pink bag is more expensive at the time of this article than the other colors so to keep costs down you may want to stay away from pink.


HYDRATION


Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker Kids Water Bottles, 14 oz., Sprinkles & Wink, 2-Pack

Some teams may furnish water.  If not your kid will surely need to stay hydrated during some of the hot days they may end up playing in.  Water bottles have actually become stupid priced in some instances, but for cheaper than the price of  many of the single water bottles on the market you can pick up this Contigo 2-pack.  Contigo is a well known brand for kids water bottles and well liked for a good reason.  They have quality bottles and they stand behind them.  This 2-pack is perfect for your little one to keep hydrated while sweating up a storm out on the diamond.


 


Best Softball Bats For Your Child