Baseball Training Equipment
Baseball is an athletic sport that requires precision, strength, mental resilience and pace.
As a coach, there’s a lot of equipment out there to help you develop your players, and today we’re going to look at some of it. It’s not exhaustive but should you give you a good place to start.
Of course, there are many overlapping skills in baseball, but I’ve categorised the equipment broadly into pitching, hitting and fielding skills.
Equipment as a training aid is a cornerstone of development. Too often, it is thought that just playing the game is enough. But the best players actually devote more time to preparation than playing.
On top of that, the repetition that’s possible with the right equipment allows moves to become muscle memory, freeing up the mind to focus on reacting to the opposition.
So, let’s get started.
The skills a great pitcher needs
A great pitcher has it all. It goes further than pitch velocity, of course. Because the top hitters can deal with the fastest of balls, a good pitcher needs a rounded skillset.
Precise movement, mental resilience, accurate throwing, movement of the ball and strength all play an important part in developing a successful pitcher.
The equipment you need
So let’s get into it. First up, the Strike Strings Kit…
This is a great pitching aid and differs from other training targets in that it lets your players throw right through to the catcher. The construction keeps the catcher safe by not deflecting the ...
You might also consider something like the Baseball Designated Hitter.
The Baseball Designated Hitter adds another dimension, simulating different hitter positions. It's also made from heavy duty silhouettes that comes in two pieces if you need to transport it about to ...
The SKLZ Quickster Baseball Combo Net is a more traditional throwing net, which has a couple of advantages…
The SKLZ Combo is highly portable and switches easily to a practice net for hitting, too. Both aids will help your pitchers improve their accuracy, and develop the ability to hit a target on demand.
To improve velocity, you need to work on your pitcher’s strength.
SKLZ Weighted Baseballs are a good place to start – although be very careful with the age group you decide to use these with.
You can complement them with something like this…
Being able to give your pitchers instant feedback is important. Not only does that reinforce progress but it also helps you evaluate what is working, and what isn’t, which maximizing your training time…
The Pocket Radar Ball Coach can help you keep tabs on your pitchers’ improving velocity, with instant feedback on whats working and what isn't
For improving technique…
The Markwort Roger Clemens Pitching Trainer comes with marks to show correct finger placement for each pitch. Complete with detailed booklet showing you grips and throw for each pitch
Becoming a great hitter
A good hitter needs lightning-fast reflexes and super hand-eye coordination. A good level of strength and a strong grip are important too, of course.
Balance, posture and movement, combined with muscle memory, all add up to rounding out a good hitter. Mental resilience and confidence play less obvious but still important roles. The ability to stay consistent under pressure or after a mistake is crucial.
Equipment to help your players learn to hit
A tee like this one from Tanner is a good place to start.
Tanner Tee lets a hitter feel the ball, not the tee, as they swing through. The Tanner Tee is an industry standard for good reason.
The Prohitter Batting Training Aid is a good complement.
At the higher end, a pitching machine like the Hack Attack offers extraordinary training potential. It is capable of pitching at over 100mph and throwing every type of ball. Your hitters will benefit from the kind of repetition that builds muscle memory and hones technique – without relying on pitchers. The Hack Attack by Sports Attack is a significant investment, but it will transform your training and pitcher development. It’s also used right up to professional level.
The Hack Attack, is a beautifully crafted baseball pitching machine from Sport Attack. It's ready to use straight out of the box and comes with a pitch selection chart to help when changing pitch ...
At the lower end of the pitching machine spectrum, the JUGS Lite-Flite Pitching Machine. It's a capable machine for introducing your juniors to the sport.
Again, the consistent repetition will help your players develop their technique quickly. Muscle memory allows a hitter to be fully focused on the pitcher and not their own technique.
Looking at technique, there’s a range of kit you can take advantage of;
- Precision Impact Firm Slugs are a good way of giving your hitters instant, useful feedback about the quality of their contact.
- And the Easton Training Stick is a versatile, tool to help your players improve their consistency and form.
Brand Specific Training Equipment
SKLZ make great equipment, and I’ll round this out with two batting aids. The first, the Hurricane Category 4 Batting Trainer.
The SKLZ Hurricane Category 4 Batting Trainer is a solo trainer that allows high customization and gives feedback on the quality of the swing.
The Zip-N-Hit is a more interactive tool that offers a range of pitches, without a pitcher. It is also extremely portable
What your players need for good fielding
A good fielder has strong arms and can throw and catch the baseball all day long. Good mobility is also important. Coordination, strength, speed, jumping and agility all add up to making a rounded fielder.
Tactical awareness is also important for all your fielders. Everyone needs to know what to do when the ball is hit to them, but just as importantly, what to do when it isn’t hit to them. That takes concentration and focus.
Athleticism and decision-making also feed into another key fielding skill – a great first step. Top fielders get to the right place by reacting precisely to where the ball has been hit.
Equipment to develop great fielders
First, let’s think about mobility. A great place to start is with some Baseball specific movement and fitness training equipment;
- To add an extra dimension, 6″ Speed Training Hurdles improve strength as well as agility, making players quicker off the mark.
- And to work on leaping, the SKLZ HOPZ Vertical Jump Trainer builds muscles and technique.
Moving onto skills with the ball…
The SKLZ Fielding Trainer is a rebounder that develops reaction times, muscle memory and the ability to deal with a range of types of balls.
Side note: The vast repetition achievable with a rebounder is one its key benefits. You can check out more about baseball rebounders and pitchbacks here.
To train reaction speeds, you can use something like the Qball Reaction Ball.
The QBall Reaction Ball helps with coordination and reaction to unpredictable movement, which is great for dealing with ground balls.
Speaking of which, the SKLZ Ground Ball Trainer is a handy little tool….
So, there you go – not an exhaustive list but what I hope is a good overview of the equipment that’s out there to help you as a coach. I’d love to know your thoughts about the list. Have you used any of the kit I’ve talked about? What were your own experiences?