Imagine hitting a sharp liner up the gap, but barely making it to first base because your baseball pants are so large they practically fall off. Or imagine rounding third, heading for home and literally flying out of your cleats because they’re two or three sizes too large.
While those scenarios may seem unlikely, chances are your son or daughter may be playing with another piece of extremely important equipment not properly fitted to his or her age, size or level of play.
“One mistake many parents make,” says Dave White, National Account Manager for Wilson Sporting Goods, “is choosing a baseball glove that is too large for their son or daughter, with the thought that they’ll eventually grow into it. What happens then is that the player often gets discouraged because the glove falls off their hand, or because they have a hard time fielding, catching or controlling the ball.”
From Little League all the way through the big league, choosing the right glove is all about fit, feel and functionality. Here are a few guidelines to use when choosing a glove for your little leaguer:
- Baseball gloves are measured from the top of the index finger, over the surface of the pocket and down to the heel of the glove.
- Players under the age of 8 should use a 9-inch glove for infield play and up to an 11-inch glove for outfield play.
- Players from 8 to early teens should use a 9- to 10-inch glove for infield play, a 10- to 11-inch glove if playing multiple positions and up to a 12-inch glove for outfield play.
- A shallow pocket helps infielders trap and grab the ball more easily.
- A deeper pocket helps outfielders catch and hold the ball more securely.
- Leather gloves offer superior comfort, control and durability over gloves made of synthetic materials.
Avoid the mistake of thinking bigger is better and your little leaguer will definitely benefit from the added comfort, control and confidence they get from a smaller, properly fitted glove.
Any other suggestions you have regarding selecting a baseball glove?
-Home Run Hitter