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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.