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Christmas is just a week away, and if you're anything like me, you might still have some Christmas shopping left to do. Whether your daughter is at the youth level or preparing for her last few years of travel or high school softball, essential training tools are gifts that keep on giving. Below you'll find our favorite training tools at Softball Rebellion for pitchers, hitters, and even a few fun additions for stocking stuffers!
**Links to each article can be found by clicking the title of each picture**
Pitching essentials are a little different depending on what level your daughter is at, but I'll start with the basics. Earlier this week, I wrote an article featuring three indoor pitching drills, and I mentioned throwing into a close-up net as a great option for offseason training. To do so, it's helpful to know which nets to buy. There are tons of net options out there, but what you'll want to buy will vary based on the space you have to throw in and what your pitcher is trying to accomplish.
Bownet is known for making a variety of easy to assemble netting options. This particular net stands at just 6' tall, making it a perfect net for indoor or outdoor training. You can set it up in a matter of minutes and take it back down after you finish your bullpen. For a visual representation of the strike zone, you can also purchase their Zone-Counter attachment.
If your pitcher is working on commanding her pitches in and around the strike zone, the 9-hole pitcher's pocket is a perfect gift. The 9-hole pocket provides an added visual for locations throughout the zone, allowing pitchers to hone in their accuracy.
This is by far the most extensive location training net I've seen. Although I have yet to use the net myself, I love that it also serves as a teaching tool in relation to multiple zones pitchers should throw to. The Lokator set can also be used in conjunction with their free app so that you can chart your pitcher's practice and review it later.
You may have noticed, most of the balls we use when throwing or doing drill work have a tape-line on them. It's extremely important that a pitcher understands what type of spin she generates on each pitch. This also holds true for overhand throwing. Adding a tape-line makes it easier for a pitcher to see her spin and understand the adjustments she needs to make. Now, you can certainly add a tape-line yourself using electrical tape, but if you're looking for a ball that already has the tape-line, Spin-Line Softballs are the way to go. They also have great seams, and we all know pitchers love great seams!
Even at a young age, arm care should not be overlooked. Set your pitcher up for success by incorporating Jaeger Bands into her pitching routine. If you're looking for a proper arm-care routine, check out how our pitchers prepare to throw in this article.
I recommend the J-band Junior for most pitchers that are just beginning an arm care routine.
The Diamond Kinetics PitchTracker is geared towards more advanced pitchers, but younger pitchers can also use it. The pitch tracker softball provides pitch to pitch feedback on speed, spin direction, and spin rate. These metrics provide valuable information for pitchers working on changing speeds and throwing movement pitches. The best part about the pitch tracker, it's affordable! Starting at just $99 you can purchase a tool that will give pitchers real-time feedback on every pitch they throw.
There are TONS and I mean TONS of gifts you could purchase for your favorite hitter. I'm sure a new bat is one of the gifts that seems like it's always on the list, but I'm going to keep the focus on a few other tools that will aid in your hitter's development. Now, I am a little biased, as we sell hitting products at Softball and Baseball Rebellion, so I will add a few of those, but mostly I'll focus on products outside of what we sell.
Blast Motion has been the most accurate and well-known swing analyzer for the past few years. There is no better way to make adjustments pitch to pitch than to see a visual and numerical representation of what is actually happening within your swing. With Blast, hitters no longer have to guess how they got to contact or only go by feel. Instead, they have real data that you can view right on your phone immediately after each swing. It's as easy as popping the sensor on your bat, setting up the app, and swinging away.
One of the tools our hitting instructors enjoy using at the facility is the Line Drive Pro. This tool gives your hitter immediate feedback on their swing direction and is also versatile enough for indoor or outdoor use. This tool can also be used to feed ground balls to players without the use of a softball.
If you're looking for a new tee for this upcoming season, The Launch Angle Tee is our best seller. The tee's angled adapter top allows you to see more of the ball than any other tee out there. If you happen to have any old broken tee's at home that needs refurbishing, you can also purchase one of our adapters.
I always loved opening my stocking on Christmas morning. It might be filled with much-needed hair ties or quite a bit of candy, but if you're looking for a few softball-related stocking stuffers, I've compiled a few things your softball player could enjoy on or off the field. From colorful bat grips to softball inspired t-shirts, keep the softball theme going with a little added flair.