If you want to give your child the best chance to excel at the great American pastime of baseball, you’ll need to invest in the proper equipment and gear to help them achieve. One of the most important pieces of equipment a young baseball or softball player needs is a quality baseball glove. Worn throughout practices and games, it will see plenty of use.
And as your child will sport the glove more often than not, it’s important to spend the time and money choosing one that’s fitted correctly, durable, and most importantly, comfortable for your little one. If you’re setting out to buy your child their first baseball glove, keep these tips in mind.
1. Finding the Right Size
Size can have a huge impact on the ease of use of the glove. Just because your child is young doesn’t mean you should run straight for the smallest glove in the store. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some parents make the mistake of buying a glove that’s too large in the hope of longer use; after all, your child will grow into it, right? Wrong. Buying too large can make it impossible for your child to manipulate the glove as necessary during the game, making your investment null and void until your child grows into it.
It’s essential to find the right sized glove from the get go for your little one. Your best bet is to try a few different sizes on; with each option on, ask your little one if they can wiggle their fingers just a tad, and check that the glove isn’t too uncomfortably tight around their wrist.
2. Picking Your Material
Baseball gloves generally come in two materials: leather and vinyl. You may also see gloves that are made of a mixture of the two. The difference is comfort and durability, and of course you’ll see a significant difference in price. Leather gloves are more expensive, but they’re easier to break in which will have your child able to close their small fist around the ball sooner. Leather gloves also tend to last longer, usually two seasons or more. In contrast, vinyl gloves are overall the cheaper option, but don’t usually last beyond a season or two. They are also tougher to break in as the material doesn’t give as easily.
3. The Correct Hand
Take your child’s hand dominance into consideration when shopping for their mitt. It can be a bit confusing, as right-handed gloves are termed so for children who throw right-handed, meaning the mitt will actually sit on the left hand. Make sure you keep this in mind when shopping to ensure you don’t order the wrong side.
4. Deciding Between New and Used
The pricing on new baseball gloves might have you looking to purchase used gloves for your child, but generally, it’s best to put the right money into the first glove. Used gloves may come with unnecessary wear and tear that goes beyond just breaking the glove in, and you’ll have a much shorter window of usage on these worn-down options.
5. It’s All About the Position
Baseball gloves come in a variety of materials and sizes, but one of the most important differences is the position for which they are designated. A lot of parents don’t think about this, or decide that it’s not important, but you may want to buy a glove designed specifically for the position your child is playing. There is a full explanation of the different positions’ baseball gloves at Baseball Monkey (scroll all the way down the page and check out the different options you have to choose from for your child depending on their favored position).
Baseball offers a variety of ways for your child to grow and improve; from teaching your child focus, coordination, and tenacity, the benefits are endless—and don’t forget the collection of golden sports trophies they’ll amass throughout the years. Before heading out to the practice field with your lawn chairs in tow, make sure your child is poised to succeed with the right equipment and put in the necessary investment for a first glove—it might just set the tone for the rest of your little one’s baseball career.