by Tim Covey
Ever watch a practice that looked unorganized? Or perhaps you wish you could feel a little more organized for your own practices? Sometimes a couple pieces of fastpitch softball equipment is all you need for taking your practices from good to great!
But as a travel ball coach, your budget may be limited. Been there. So where do you start?
Don’t fret. Remember that you have time on your side.
Today I am going to give you 4 pieces of equipment that I highly recommend for your program.
NOTE: If you are starting from scratch (no equipment), then check out this post about 5 Essential Practice Items For Every Coach first. Today’s post is geared for coaches that already have the essentials.
The following recommendations are based on these factors:
Let’s dive in!
I LOVE this piece of equipment. Here is why:
I will say that the foldable ball bin is not as convenient when practicing as a ball bin with wheels. BUT they are MUCH easier to store and assemble.
I spent 4 hours assembling the wheeled ball bin. While it was a great end result the assembly was a terrible experience.
Click here to see the foldable ball bin options on Amazon.
If you have been reading my posts for some time, this is probably not the first time you have “heard” me talking about the ATEC Tees.
I have purchased tons of tees over the years, and I have yet to find one that I like better than these.
These tees do cost a bit more than most, but you will be saving money in the long-haul because they will last WAY longer.
Soft-Hands paddle infield training gloves are not as much a product to help you organize practice. But I am including it here simply because they are a great way to help your infielders with their fundamentals.
At a more basic level, you can use these to help your players work on covering up the ball with their throwing hand on grounders. And to avoid using their glove to squeeze grounders that are right at them. Which can also help them with a quicker transition.
A more advanced use for these paddles is having players use them to play catch. This can help your infielder develop softer hands and a quick catch-to-throw transition into their throw.
Just be careful with this and start SLOW (to avoid injury) as it is a more advanced way to use these.
Having 5-10 paddles will help you keep practice moving quickly, but you can make it work with just a couple of paddles if necessary.
You will simply need to make sure you are using concepts for making effective softball practice plans to get “more from less.”
The fourth piece of equipment is the Jugs Pitching Machine. This will definitely chew up some budget money at around $1400. But if you are looking for a pitching machine, these are a great option for the following reasons:
If you want more advanced options that throws curves, screw-balls, etc. then you will pay a bit more. The Hack Attack is one such option. I have never used the Hack Attack so I cannot write about it from personal experience.
There are many other pieces of equipment on the market. For example, if you are looking for a sock-net you may want to check out my bownet softball product review.
But if you want to take your practice to the next level, these four items can be a great “assist” for your team!
by Covey Sports