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Breaking In Your Baseball Gloves

Anyone that plays baseball knows how important it is to have the right baseball gear.  If you play baseball, you should also know that your baseball gloves are some of the most important baseball gear you have. You also know that breaking in your baseball gloves is of the up most importance.  For those of you who need to know how to break in your baseball gloves, or for those of you that would just like some added tips, read on.

There are several steps to breaking in your baseball gloves.  First, you must get shaving cream with lanoline in it.  Apply the shaving cream to a dry cloth.  Slowly work the shaving cream around the baseball gloves.  This lubricates the leather fibers in the baseball gloves.  A thin coating is all you need.  Then allow the gloves too dry for 24 hours.  Once dry, wipe the baseball gloves off.  Then play catch for 15 or 20 minutes.  This will stretch the gloves out and help them conform to your hand.

Next, get a baseball.  Take the ball and insert it into the pocket of the baseball gloves.  Then wrap a rubber band or some thick string around the baseball gloves and base ball.  You can also use a “Mitt Kit” to do this.  A Mitt Kit is a special wrap that you can use instead of string or rubber bands.  It is made by Rawlings.  Leave your baseball gloves like this for a day or whenever it is not in use.

You baseball gloves should start to get broken in now.  You can now apply a thin layer of “Glovolium” to the baseball gloves.  Glovolium is a type of oil for baseball gloves.  You can also use other kinds of baseball glove oil.  Allow it to dry for 24 hours.  The oil conditions and lubricates your baseball gloves.  You only need to use Glovolium or any other baseball glove oil twice a season.  Using it too often will ruin your baseball gloves.

The last part of breaking in your baseball gloves is to use it.  Play catch, toss the ball around, or toss the ball into your baseball gloves repeatedly with your free hand.  With regular use, your baseball gloves should be broken in no time at all.

The above steps are the most commonly used ways to break in baseball gloves.  Beware of silly myths to break in baseball gloves.  These myths often don’t make any sense and can permanently damage your baseball gloves.  With the careful practice of these steps and with some patience, you should be on your way to having great fitting baseball gloves that were broken in with ease.  You can then enjoy playing America’s favorite pastime, baseball!

Throwing the Baseball Tips

YOUTH BASEBALL THROWING CONCEPTS

  1. Use a four-seam grip whenever throwing to a teammate on defense.
  2. Grip the ball lightly in the fingers, not in the palm, as if holding an egg.
  3. Grip the ball with two fingers, laying the index and middle fingers next to the “horseshoe and across the seams.
  4. Younger players with smaller hands can use three fingers.
  5. Space the index and middle fingers slightly apart to minimize “drag” on the ball.
  6. Place the thumb under the ball; the thumb should not “creep” up alongside the ball.
  7. Remove the ball from the glove and take it down, out, and up to a position pointing away from the target. (This is a small circular motion.)
  8. Shift weight to back foot as arm goes back away from target.
  9. Keep hand (fingers) on top of the ball, shifting behind the ball as the arm comes forward.
  10. Keep elbow above the shoulder, forming an “L” as the ball is released.
  11. Point the front shoulder at the target.
  12. Step toward the target, transferring weight to front foot.
  13. Release ball as arm comes forward.
  14. Continue moving toward target after ball is released.
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Electing a baseball throwing drill to develop good young arms

Developing a well-rounded baseball player at an early age is a tremendous responsibility taken on by Little League baseball coaches across the world. Teaching proper hitting mechanics, proper base-running techniques, and developing a strong throwing arm make up vital components important to that development. However, understanding and utilizing a proper youth baseball throwing drill may be one of the more important components in order to not only develop good throwing arms, but also to eliminate bad throwing habits that could injure a young baseball player in later years.

A strong youth baseball throwing drill will help to prevent elbow and shoulder injuries, and should be incorporated as a component into every single practice. The key to any successful youth baseball throwing drill is repetition. Young players need to learn to throw the correct way consistently, thousands of times in order to develop the proper throwing mechanics.

Many baseball coaching experts are big proponents of a youth baseball throwing drill that starts with the young player with the knee of his throwing arm on the ground, with the other leg extended outward. From this position, the player is forced to concentrate on proper upper body mechanics. This drill is especially important in isolating the top part of the body to ensure the proper release and follow through of the throw itself.

Players from this position should also make sure that their knuckles are pointed skyward to ensure accuracy of the throw, and their fielding glove and alignment of the ball behind them should be in direct line with their target. If not properly aligned, the player would be forced to compensate by either throwing across his body or opening his shoulder during delivery of the throw.

After release of the throw, the playerís body should be perfectly aligned in facing his target, with a full follow through across the body. Once the follow through is completed, the player’s eyes should be looking directly at their target.

This is a great youth baseball throwing drill in several ways. First, the drill can be completed through a number of repetitions, in order to re-align proper mechanics. Second, it helps train a young player the proper upper body mechanics to use with each throw, and last, it is a drill that can taught to the entire team, provided the coaches are watching closely to correct any inconsistencies.

With the increasing numbers of shoulder and elbow injuries seen later in life as a result of poor throwing mechanics, starting a Little League player with the right youth baseball throwing drill will go a long way in ensuring a strong arm and injury free baseball career.

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Baseball Drills – Reaction Throwing

BEHIND THE DRILL:  Players of all age must learn to make decisions quickly when they catch the ball.  Young players have a difficult time getting the ball out of the glove and knowing where to throw it in advance.

SKILL LEVEL: Basic to Intermediate

DRILL TYPE:  Throwing

PURPOSE:  This drill will develop hand eye coordination while improving a players reaction time.

EQUIPMENT:  2 Tennis balls for young players, 2 Baseballs for older players and gloves

PLAYERS:  5-6 minimum but usually worked with entire team.

TIME: 10 minutes

SETUP PROCEDURE:

  1. Line up your players on a straight line about 3 feet apart. We usually use one of the outfield foul lines and have the players face into the outfield.
  2. The player closest to the infield steps out in front of the group and turns and faces them.  This player should be about 15 feet in front of them and standing in the middle of the line. This player is called being in the hot seat.
  3. The hot seat player has one ball.
  4. The player at the end of the line closest to the infield has the other ball.
  5. On the coaches command to “throw” the hot seat player throws the ball to the second player in the line as the first person in the line throws the ball to the hot seat player.
  6. The players continue to throw the ball just like this all the way down the line and then back again.  Once the ball is back to the original two players that round is over.
  7. The hot seat player goes to the end of the line, furthest from the infield and the player closest to the infield goes to the hot seat position.
  8. Repeat this until all players have participated.
  9. If you have a large team, break them up into two groups.

KEY COACHING POINTS:

  • The drill is about reaction and thinking quickly.  Players have to know where they are throwing the ball ahead of time and look to receive the ball from another player quickly.
  • Use tennis balls, especially for young players and make sure the players are not throwing the ball to hard.  The throwing should take a nice even pace.
  • Work the drill your entire season and notice how much improvement you see in the player’s reaction time and judgment.
  • While fundamentals is important this drill is less about correct throwing mechanics as it is about developing good reaction time, hand-eye coordination and judgment.
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Baseball Drill – Throw with a Partner

BEHIND THE DRILL: One of the first things you see prior to practice or a game is two lines of players playing catch.  This is great for developing good throwing fundamentals but needs to be done correctly.  You can even make a game of it.

SKILL LEVEL: All levels

DRILL TYPE: Throwing and Catching

PURPOSE: To help develop accurate throwing skills and improve catching ability

EQUIPMENT: Baseball

PLAYERS: Minimum of two players.

TIME: 10 minutes

SETUP PROCEDURE:

  1. Line the players up on two lines about 10 feet apart to start. If you are on a baseball field I usually set up one line on the left or right field foul line and the other about 10 feet into the outfield.
  2. Players should be directly across from each other.
  3. Have the players get ready to receive the ball.  Have them put their gloves up around the center of their chest to give the thrower a target to aim at.
  4. One player starts by throwing the ball to the other who catches it.  That player will now throw the ball back to the other player.
  5. Continue this for 3 to 5 throws each and then back them up to 15 feet.  Continue moving back a few feet after successful throws.  This will obviously need to be adjusted based on the age group you are working with.

KEY COACHING POINTS:

  • Make sure the players are using correct throwing fundamentals.
  • This is a throwing drill to teach accuracy so make sure you get your players throwing to the chest of the other player.
  • Add a game element to the drill by having the players keep score.  They get one point for each ball that is caught by the other player.  You can give them an objective to reach like 50 or 100.
  • You can also have the players compete against each other.  If you have 6 groups of 2 players you could keep score by having each group compete to get to 25.  Once they get to 25 you could have them sit.  Once you get 3 groups to 25 then declare them the winners.  The other 3 groups would have to pick up baseball and equipment at the end of practice.
  • Lot’s of other variations I’m sure you can think of.