Considering baseball is America’s oldest pastime, teaching kids how to play is both a paternal and a patriotic duty. Improving a young player’s skills requires two things: proper instruction and a crap ton of practice (It’s all about the muscle memory, son). Assuming your kid’s coach knows what he’s talking about when it comes to proper batting stance and slider-throwing, this baseball equipment and baseball gear for kids will help your Little Leaguer put it all together in the backyard.
It’s also important to know that as of January 1, 2018, USA Baseball implemented new bat requirements that impact 14-and-under youth leagues. That means that bats bearing the 1.15BPF stamp are no longer approved for use in these leagues; you must have a bat that is marked USA Baseball.
These are some of our top picks for equipment to help your aspiring Derek Jeter or Dot Richardson improve their swing, their accuracy, and their speed.
So your toddler is into baseball? Great. This set has three modes of play: Automatic loading T-Ball, pop-up launcher and splash T-ball. That's right, parents. Connect this to a water hose, and it turns into a water T-ball toy.
Kids can step on the pedal to load the ball, or launch it straight into the air. And if you connect a hose to the set, the ball is airborne thanks to water. The tee is adjustable for lefties and righties. You get a base, the pop-up T, and three balls, which makes for a solid starter set.
This bat is meant for sluggers 14 and younger.
This USA Baseball bat is perfect for kids because it’s durable, light, and gives young players more control.
If you're into stats, this gadget is for you. This bat swing sensor with on-device display delivers instant metrics, feedback and coaching tips to help shape the ideal swing. Plus, it gives you instant key swing metrics, including bat speed, hand speed, time to impact, elevation angle and attack angle.
Not only does your kid get immediate stats on his or her swing, but if you download the corresponding app, you have access to tips and drills created by professional hitting coaches. It’s small and easy to mount over the end of the bat.
This Under Armour shoe is a hit because it combines comfort and support with breathability to keep feet cool and dry for the entire game.
This baseball shoe looks awesome, for sure. But it also delivers, thanks to molded cleats that provide optimal traction on every field surface. There’s an equally great softball shoe for the ladies.
This baseball glove is light and comfortable, and aimed at beginners.
You can choose a glove for a left-handed or right-handed player. Because each glove is made with RTP II construction, there’s no need to break it in. It’s soft and usable out of the box.
This machine pitches a ball every seven seconds.
Officially licensed by MLB, the battery operated Pitch-N-Hit pops up a new baseball “pitch” every seven seconds. It’s height-adjustable and is a fantastic way for kids to improve their batting skills.
This pitching machine is a good choice for kids eight and older.
Your kids will come out swinging (sorry for the pun) with this machine. It throws fastballs, left- and right-handed curveballs and sliders, at speeds up to 85 miles per hour at 25 feet. It’s ideal for kids eight and older.
This foam fielding trainer fits either hand and can be used for baseball or softball.
This foam fielding “glove” has secure finger grips in the back and aims to teach young players baseball’s golden rule of fielding: always use two hands. The trainer also drives home how important it is to get in front of the ball, something Roger Dorn had to learn the hard way. It’s good for righties or lefties.
This pitching machine throws any type of ball, hard balls, fast pitch softballs, dimple balls, light flight, plastic plus soccer balls and volleyballs.
For parents whose pitching arms aren’t what they use to be, this top-tier pitching machine throws hard balls from 18 to 45 miles per hour, and has easily adjustable speed controls. You can move it around easily, and because it’s manual, you don’t need to spend a ton on batteries.
These balls are soft and squeezable, and you get 12 per package.
Remember that scene from The Sandlot when Dennis Leary clocks his stepson in the eye with a baseball? Sure, it’s hilarious ⏤ but Smalls also wouldn’t have needed that ribeye to keep the swelling down if they’d been tossing one of these instead. Soft Hit practice balls are official-size (nine-inch) lightweight poly foam training baseballs that won’t hurt or knock out any teeth. Kids will feel more comfortable getting in front of grounders or crowding the plate, and they’ll be much less of a need for a “there’s no crying in baseball” speech.
This is a portable baseball trainer for teams or single players, and helps them hand-eye coordination, batting power, and timing.
This trainer is great for kids seven and older. It lets kids learn and practice proper technique for the best swing, and works for both lefties and righties. You can get up to 500 swings per hour, without chasing the ball.
A combination of the Softball Swing Trainer and the 2-in-1 Pitch Target, this is used by the pros lets players build muscle memory by practicing their swing over and over ⏤ and then over again some more.
This fold-up baseball hitting machine reportedly provides the feel of hitting live pitches, the balls can be positioned anywhere in the strike zone, and the training mat teaches how to hit different pitch locations. Also, it’s perfect for when none of Junior’s friends are around.
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