Youth Baseball Batting Gloves: To Use or Not To Use
Players who play youth sports are likely to develop confidence and teamwork skills. Participation in youth sports also sets the groundwork for athletic competition later in life. This makes instilling the right habits and tendencies vital during youth competition. Good habits learned in youth training will carry over as the player matures, but bad habits will need to be unlearned.
Case in point: should young players play with youth batting gloves? Is it better for a youth player to play with batting gloves or to learn the proper grip and feel without them?
Youth Baseball Batting Gloves and the Importance of a Good Grip
One can approach the concept of bat grip from more than one angle. One way of looking at bat grip is by assessing how the player actually holds the bat; another is by accounting for equipment that can benefit the grip, such as batting gloves, bat tape, or augmented bat grips.
One can be taught while the other is bought. The benefits of a proper bat grip that must be learned and practiced afford a number of benefits that can positively impact a player’s performance. These must be learned in youth and nurtured during play and practice.
A proper grip will enable the player to generate more speed and whip through the swing, but higher batted ball speeds. A good grip will also ensure that the bat contacts the ball properly; a weak, inconsistent or improper grip will actually cause the bat to bounce off the ball or contact at an odd angle, resulting in poor energy transfer.
A good grip will also make it possible for a player to adjust the position of the hands in response to a pitch, to be more reactive over the plate.
The question then is, can youth batting gloves help a player that has already adopted a strong, proper grip and good form? The answer actually depends on player preferences.
Advantages of Youth Baseball Batting Gloves
Youth baseball batting gloves promise a range of benefits to players, all with the intent of assisting player development and boosting performance. These are some of the more commonly observed benefits.
Some bats, like most wooden bats, do not come wrapped and have slick handles. The lack of a wrap assists with the bat’s sensitivity and feedback, but it comes at a price. Those handles can be slippery, especially in the hands of a player who is sweating from the heat of competition. Youth batting gloves help improve grip and control over a bat, which some players prefer.
Batting gloves also act as shock absorbers. Everyone knows a mishit can be a painful experience, sending shocking, stinging vibrations through the bat into the player’s hands, wrists and elbows. Batting gloves don’t completely eliminate this negative feedback, but they do help mitigate it. They can also protect a player’s hands from scrapes and cuts when trying to make a base.
Another benefit that a young player might hope to gather from batting gloves is confidence. If a player actually benefits from any of the advantages listed above, it might encourage him with confidence that will impact his or her development in the years to come, and for that, there is no substitute.
Drawbacks of Batting Gloves
Despite the chief advantages of a superior grip and protection against negative feedback, not everyone will tell you that youth baseball batting gloves are necessary.
Some players actually report that batting gloves actually deaden the sensation of feedback through a bat. This can actually be considered a hindrance, as a bat has a lot to tell you about the nature and precision of contact with a ball. Wearing gloves can detract from this.
If gloves get wet, they can actually be slicker than just gripping the bat with bare hands; this can happen in the rain.
In addition, some bats, like aluminum and composite bats, typically come with grips that help to improve traction without having too much of an impact on sensitivity. This may eliminate the need for batting gloves.
Listen to the Player!
The ultimate decision about whether or not a player should practice with youth batting gloves should ultimately rest with the player. If the use of batting gloves helps develop confidence and improve performance (and is permitted) then, by all means, use them.
If, however, batting gloves harm the performance of confidence of a young player, the player shouldn’t be made to wear them. Ask a player about his or her preferences and get their thoughts. They may prefer practicing and playing with gloves - or not!
When shopping for youth baseball batting gloves (or adult batting gloves), you’ll want to make sure the pair you choose has a snug fit and is thin enough to allow for sensitivity. Luckily, many modern producers have invested in technology that allows them to make thinner, more comfortable batting gloves than ever before.
If you have any questions about our batting gloves, our other products, or our available discount programs, get in touch with us at 1-888-540-BATS and we would be glad to assist.
- Blog Admin