2011 Junior Baseball Safety & Training Guide
As the new season approaches, we spotlight nearly 40 ideas to train and play safe ball
According to the latest statistics from the National Safe Kids USA Campaign and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), nearly 117,000 children ages five to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for baseball-related injuries.
How can these injuries be reduced or prevented? Wearing batting helmets with faceguards, using reduced impact factor (RIF) baseballs - which have a softer core and/or lower compression than traditional baseballs, and making sure children wear or use some type of protective gear to protect vulnerable areas of the body such as the chest, heart, and limbs.
The following is a selection of baseball training aids and safety products to help ensure the word "SAFE" is more than just what you hear from the umpires this season. For the complete Safety & Training Guide, featuring 20+ more products, pick up a copy of the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Junior Baseball by clicking here.
1. Company: Markwort Sporting Goods Company
Product: Big League Curve
What's hot about this product? The Big League Curve training baseball curves automatically and is designed to help teach batters how to hit curveballs like the pros. The ball's innovative flex-fin design and dynamic balance produces amazing curveballs and other challenging pitches. Allows coaches and players to throw a curveball everytime to maximize a hitter's exposure to this difficult pitch.
Where to Buy? www.Markwort.com
2. Company: Markwort Sporting Goods Company
Product: Kenko Air Safety Youth Baseball
Price: $64 per dozen
Sizes: 8.75", 4.75 oz.
What's hot about this product? The dimpled-covered, durable rubber ball has an air-cushioned center for both indoor and outdoor use, in all weather conditions. Raised seams and aerodynamic grip surface make it ideal for youth leagues and pitching machines. Will not scuff gymnasium floor. Provides unprecedented safety.
Where to buy? www.Markwort.com
3. Company: Nedco Sports
Product: BatAction Hitting Machine
Ages: 12 and under
What's hot about this product? A top quality self-contained batting trainer that offers solid steel construction, adjustable height and ball speed settings, indoor and outdoor use, and convenient full speed batting practice for backyard or team use. Take full speed swings at a high speed moving ball. The machine offers a variety of drills and that are clearly outlined and explained in the included manual. Improve your batting skill, bat speed and reduce your strikeouts!
Where to buy? www.bataction.com
4. Company: Rod Carew Baseball
What's hot about this product? From Hall of Famer Rod Carew, a versatile and effective hitting aid. Unlike other hitting aids, the GAPHitter ball releases on impact, which allows for game play. Plus, every pitch is a strike - anywhere in the strike zone. You will quickly see improved eye-hand coordinateion and be able to practice situational hitting.
Where to buy? www.rodcarewbaseball.com
5. Company: Sports Sensors
Product: Swing Speed Radar
What's hot about this product? Optimize your hitting performance with your own personal radar velocity sensor! Determine your optimum swing speed and bat selection for best power/distance, quickness, and bat control/ball contact. Hit the ball out front and measure your bat barrel speed, not tip speed, in the hitting zone.
Where to Buy? www.sportssensors.com
6. Company: Tater Grip
Product: Tater Grip
What's hot about this product? The revolutionary high performance patented custom bat grip you install in seconds. Tater Grip increases bat speed, reduces vibration, and is made in the USA from proprietary Duralast rubber. "The first time I used Tater Grip I got a base hit," says Adrian Gonzalez, All-Star first baseman.
Where to buy? www.homerunmonkey.com
7. COMPANY: Muhl Tech Baseball
PRODUCT: Advanced Skills Tee (AST)
AGES: 11 and Up
What's hot about this product? Want to give your hitters instant feedback? Look no further than the Advanced Skills Tee (AST), the tee of choice for more than 3,500 high school and college programs. Its unique forward-arm design and outside barrier give instant visual and physical feedback. Eliminate casting, looping bats, and dropping the shoulders with this portable and extremely durable batting tee. Comes with a two-year warranty.
WHERE TO BUY? www.muhltech.com
8. COMPANY: Sports Sensors
PRODUCT: Glove Radar
What's hot about this product? Provides velocity measurements that help develop a fielder or pitcherís throwing skills. Attaches to the back of any baseball glove and reads the speed of the receiving throw. Measures speed from 12 to 100 mph. More than 27,000 Glove Radar's in use across the country.
WHERE TO BUY? www.sportssensors.com
9. Company: XProTex
Product: Hammr Batting Glove
Price: $50, adult; $45, youth (available in eight different colors)
Sizes: Youth (Boys & Girls) YS-XL; Adult (Men's & Women's) S-XXL.
What's hot about this product? The Hammr is designed to help protect the small bones in the hand and wrist that are most vulnerable to injury from a pitched ball, thanks to the company's A.I.C (Advanced Impact Composite) protection insert, which effectively doubles wrist bone protection. Neo-Protection covers the knuckle area and Lycra finger slots increase flexibility and comfort. The Hammr palm is made with premium Pittards Armortan goatskin, which creates an optimal palm/bat interface, offering better, grip and feel on the bat.
Where to buy? www.xprotex.com
10. Company: Cages Plus
Product: Wheel House Batting Cage
Price: $485 - $732
Ages: T-ball to professional
What's hot about this product? Get a new swing set for your back yard! Own your very own batting cage. Step in your back yard and start swinging. These cages are affordable and will last for years. All cages come with an L-screen. There is a one-year money back guarantee on all cages.
Where to buy? www.cagesplus.com
11. Company: Nedco Sports
Product: Batting Cage Door
What's hot about this product? a practical, safe, and convenient addition to any batting cage. One of the dreaded inconveniences of using a batting cage is crawling under the cage wall when entering and exiting the batting cage. With the new Batting Cage Door entering and exiting your batting cage is as easy as opening and closing a door. Another added safety factor is that when you have a Batting cage Door, you can permanently anchor your cage side and end walls to prevent balls from exiting your cage during batting practice. Features solid steel construction, heavy duty sock net, and a patent pending self-supporting design. The Batting cage door can be installed on any batting cage side or end wall. The unit comes with complete assembly and installation instructions.
Where to buy? www.battingcagedoor.com
12. Company: Youth Sport Club
Product: Baseball Pak Pad
What's hot about this product? An iPhone App that letís baseball and softball coaches keep statistics, batting order, pitch count, defensive alignment and more during and after a game. Replaces index cards and notes and helps the coach focus on the field. Free updates with video clips too!
Where to buy? Type "PakPad" in iTunes