Welcome to In Step Physical Therapy’s Guide for Selecting Baseball Equipment
In Step Physical Therapy can help you achieve your baseball goals – from the baseball beginner to the experienced baseball player. We recommend a few general considerations for selecting your baseball equipment in order to stay comfortable and minimize injury during your training and game. Your basic personal equipment requirements for baseball are gloves/mitts, shoes, a helmet with a face shield or a mouthguard. You may also choose a chest protector, shin guards, throat guards and a cup, particularly if you are a catcher. And, as for all outdoor sports, don’t forget to plan for sun protection and hydration too.
Your choice of glove material and size will depend on your age, the position you play and your budget. Ask you baseball coach or professional for tips for selecting a good glove for you. Wear your glove in, with plenty of before-game use, so that it becomes comfortable and you are familiar with it.
Beginners and young children can wear well-fitting running shoes for baseball. Baseball shoes with cleats do provide extra grip on the field and enable better performance. However, shoes should be worn-in prior to game use to increase the flexibility of the shoe (especially for children who may suffer ankle sprains if their shoe is too stiff), to become familiar with the feel of the shoe on the ground and to prevent the development of blisters during a game. Don’t forget to wear your baseball socks when buying new shoes. It is essential to try shoes on for correct fit and comfort, so don’t buy your shoes from an online website unless you have purchased that brand and style before.
Helmet with a face shield:
The most common baseball injury in children is injury to the head, face, eyes or mouth. (Ref: http://life.familyeducation.com/wounds-and-injuries/first-aid/48319.html) Wearing a face shield that affixes to the ear flaps on a standard baseball batter’s helmet prevents injury.
In the absence of a face shield, a mouth guard will at least protect teeth, and reduce some of the force from a ball that can cause concussion, neck injury or jaw fracture. Mouth guards are available off-the-shelf or can be custom made.
Extra protection – chest protector, throat guard, shin guards, cup:
In addition to a helmet with a face shield, catchers should wear a chest protector, throat guard, shin guards and an athletic cup. All protective equipment should fit you well, ensuring that the correct body parts are actually being protected.
If you play baseball during the day, don’t forget to keep sunscreen and lip balm in your baseball bag and apply it before you warm up. When your helmet is not on your head, put your cap on to protect your head from the sun unless you are waiting in full shade.
Keeping hydrated will help you stay alert for your game, may help to prevent muscle cramps and will help your post-game recovery. Take your own drink bottles to games so that you can monitor your fluid consumption. We recommend that you drink about 350-450 mL before arriving at the field (ref: http://www.ausport.gov.au/sportscoachmag/nutrition2/pre-event_nutrition), and 250mL (1 cup) of water or sports drink every 20 minutes during play and for one hour after the game. Your fluid requirements will vary depending on the environmental conditions and your body size. To check that you are adequately hydrating, you can weigh yourself before and after you play. If your weight remains the same then you are likely to be well hydrated.