Essential T-Ball and Coach Pitch Equipment for Beginners
T-Ball and Coach Pitch Equipment List
Signing up your child for his or her first year of T-Ball or Coach Pitch is a very exciting time for both the parents and the child. Filling out the consent forms and paying the registration fee is often the easy part. Selecting the right kind of equipment for your new ball player could be a little more difficult.
Starting our first ball season last spring, I have compiled a list of essential equipment that your T-Ball or Coach Pitch beginner will need to ensure a great first season.
Note to Parents: When shopping for all the essential equipment, bring along your child to ensure a proper fit. I know it may be tempting to go ahead and buy that larger size to save money in the long run, but it is highly recommended to buy equipment that fits the size of your child. A proper fit will ensure a successful first ball season!
Choosing the right size glove for your T-Ball or Coach Pitch player is so important. Depending on your child's hand size, glove sizes for ages 3 to 6 years are between 8 and 11 inches in length.
To ensure a proper fit, have your child try the glove on and ask if they are able to open and close it. Opening and closing the glove is a good indicator that it is the right size for your child. For our 5-year-old, we bought an 11-inch glove which was a great fit for his first year of Coach Pitch.
It is important to remember that most new gloves will be very stiff. You can remedy that problem by "breaking in" the glove with a leather conditioning oil and following the directions in the highlighted box.
How to Break In Your Child's Glove
A good way to break in your child's glove is to buy a glove oil or a leather-conditioning oil to apply to the glove. Rub in well on the inside and outside of glove. Put ball in middle and wrap a shoelace or large rubber band around the glove. Leave the glove wrapped for 24 hours. Open and practice catching a ball with glove. If glove is still too stiff, repeat process until the glove easily opens and closes.
Whether you are starting out in T-Ball or Coach Pitch, the bat size for your beginner is basically the same. The average length of bats for 3–6 years are 24–27 inches. The weight may also vary anywhere from 13 to 17 oz.
To ensure the correct length and weight for your child, don't be afraid to let him or her test it out. Often times, sporting goods stores will allow your child to take practice swings with the bat in a safe place inside or outside of the store to make sure you are purchasing the correct size for your new ball player.
The ball size in weight and diameter will vary within different leagues. Be sure to ask the dimensions of the ball your league will be using in games. The balls used in both T-Ball or Coach Pitch are typically a little bit larger and much softer than a regular size baseball. This type of ball helps lessen the severity of injuries for the first time ball players. Our son's Coach Pitch team used an 11-inch diameter soft training softball in his games.
Another essential piece of equipment for both T-Ball and Coach Pitch is a batting helmet. There are many different options of helmets including color, an optional face mask, and ones with a detachable chin strap. Most leagues encourage all players to buy their own helmet to help prevent the spreading of lice.
We originally bought the helmet with a face mask and chin strap. We quickly found out our son had issues with the face mask making the helmet too heavy on his head. He did so much better when we removed the face mask making the helmet much lighter for him. We did keep the chin strap attached to ensure the helmet did not fall off while he was running the bases.
Depending on league rules and regulations, your child may need a pair of cleats to play T-Ball or Coach Pitch. The rubber-studded cleats are best suited for the 3- to 6- year age group.
Wearing cleats rather than tennis shoes is better for your child providing more traction while fielding and running the bases. Though it may be tempting to buy that next larger size for your child, stick with the ones that fit properly to ensure no unnecessary blisters on your ball player's feet.
Keeping up with all this essential equipment is often a challenge for both first-time ballplayers and parents. I highly recommend going ahead and purchasing a bat bag to carry it all. For the younger age group, find a smaller size bat bag for your child to carry. Be sure to make certain the batting helmet also fits in the bag.
Most sporting goods store carry both the one shoulder strap bat bag and also a backpack style for the younger ballplayers. Struggling the first couple of practices trying to haul all that equipment back and forth from the car to the field taught me a valuable lesson: a bat bag is a necessity for every ball player!
A Memorable First Season
Selecting the Right Equipment for a Successful First Season
Along with the above essential pieces of equipment for your young player, you may also have to make other purchases such as sliding pants/shorts, baseball/softball athletic socks, batting gloves, etc. You will usually receive a list of any other necessary items from the coaching staff within the first couple of team practices.
Selecting and purchasing all the essential equipment for your beginner ballplayer will ensure a successful first season for both you and your child. I hope this information has been helpful to prepare your little one. If you have any questions or want to leave feedback about this information, feel free to add these in the comment section below. Enjoy all the fun, laughter, and the many memorable moments of your child's first season of T-Ball or Coach Pitch!