Baseball At Home: 14 Pieces Of Equipment To Help You Train
Whether you’re hitting the diamond alone or confined to a garage or backyard, baseball training doesn’t have to stop. Or even really slow, for that matter. You may already have some of your favorite at-home training gear figured out, but check out our list of 14 pieces of equipment to help you get the most out of your time training.
One of the original tees made in the United States, the hand-rolled flexible rubber ball rest allows hitters to “feel the ball not the tee at contact.” The brand has a variety of sizes and heaviness levels to fit the need of either a baseball or softball player.
“Hitting at home between team practices or if you’re fortunate to enjoy private lessons has always been important,” says Victor Davis, spokesperson, “but given the current landscape with field closures and canceled practices, hitting at home is necessary.”
ATEC Training Balls
The ATEC Hi.Per LTD offers an advanced wiffle-ball style that makes it perfect for confined spaces. The limited-distance ball allows full swings with a max distance of 100 feet. In the same family, the Hi.Per Power weighted training ball, at 2.5 times the weight of a normal baseball, helps hitters create more strength by forcing them to swing through and extend their swing. This power ball has a max distance of 50 feet on a full swing, making it a good choice for small spaces.
C&H Baseball Flip Screen
The C&H Baseball Flip Screen, a soft-toss screen designed for indoor workouts, includes a curved frame to allow the ball to roll to the bottom of the screen into a pocket. It also enables the batter to get closer to the screen without the bat hitting the equipment. “This screen is an ideal practice screen for taking soft toss from another person, a machine or hitting off a tee,” says Danielle Huff, C&H president. “It is small, compact and perfect for personal hitting tee work or soft-toss with a coach.”
SKLZ Hit-A-Way Portable Training Station
The brand’s number-one batting trainer includes a pole and twist-back design to maximize a player’s power, swing speed and mechanics through repetition training of up to 500 swings per hour. SKLZ incorporated a fold-up design and the device can be used for simulated pithing at home or during pre-game warmups.
“We want to make training fun,” says Justin Hoffman, director of new product development for SKLZ. “If you put in the efforts now, you are going to see the results. Not everybody wants to train, but everybody wants to get better. We are always striving to make it more fun for players.”
Baseball Resistance Bands
Whether a warm-up or cool-down or part of a regular workout, a baseball-specific resistance band, such as the one created by Rawlings with a baseball on the end of the band, makes it easier to tailor experiences to target specific muscles needed for the throwing motion.
Baseball Rebellion Launch Angle Tee
Creating an updated tee can prove tricky, but Baseball Rebellion’s Launch Angle Tee offers a new way of hitting off a tee, moving the ball to the front of the swing and opening up more baseball to connect with. Used in conjunction with tracking technology—or simply off a tee into a net—batters can expect to see updated hitting data, even off the tee.
Fielding Training Gloves
Pick your favorite brand, anyone from Rawlings to MacGregor or Wilson to Valle, but the training glove improves a fielders’ ability to increase fundamental skills at every step of the fielding process, from catching to transferring. By using a fielding glove, whether with a partner or off a net, players can’t rely on the glove to do the work but must pay close attention to mechanics.
Easton 7 Ft XLP Net
Designed for older players looking for a larger pitching or fielding target, the Easton net is designed to catch a high number of balls with the entire net basically a catch pocket. The heavy-duty netting with double stitching helps improve durability and it can be dropped into a travel bag for transportation. The strike zone target is removable, too.
For those parents who want to help train their young athletes at home, but are getting tired out by the repetitive—or tricky—act of hitting or throwing balls, the Accubat makes things easier. The bat-like equipment, but with a net as the launch point, provides accuracy while minimizing fatigue for the user.
Markwort Big League Curveball
This inexpensive aid will help young players learn the grips of throwing off-speed pitches while enabling hitters to better recognize those types of pitches. The flex-fin design produces curveballs and other off-speed options. The flexible fins can help the pitchers learn a mixture of pitches and the hitters to see how the fins move as the ball comes at them.
The ThrowBetter is a simple tool designed to help teach the proper arm angle and shoulder rotation meant to help stop pushing, quit aiming and start throwing the baseball. With a universal size that attaches to a hat with a headband, the tool extends over the shoulder and provides the proper arm angle help.
LineDrive Pro Trainer
A unique look for hitters who need to see the trajectory of the ball, the LineDrive training aid attaches to a bat so players can feel proper swing mechanics and see where the ball is going. It all helps train muscles. When a player swings, the ball leaves the bat like it was hit and the placement of the ball will change based on the contact point.
JUGS Small-Ball Pitching Machine
There’s a variety of pitching machines, but JUGS is one of the original pitching machine producers. One of the more inexpensive models from the brand is the Small-Ball Pitching Machine that can deliver baseballs and softballs and is ideal for backyards or garages. The machine can throw fastballs or overhead curves and is easily portable. The machine can also shoot fly balls or ground balls for fielding training.
Louisville Slugger 1-Hand Bat
The 18-inch training bat from Louisville Slugger aims to provide more control in a swing, adding comfort and stability in a player’s swing. The trainer is designed to mimic a natural motion to develop a better swing.
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.