Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Softball Team Bag: Points to Consider When Purchasing One

ByJay Merritt

A softball team bag definitely reflects a positive and professional image for any squad, youth to senior players!

A softball team bag serves the main purpose of carrying player equipment including shin guards, helmets, gloves and other personal items. Equipment bags come in various shapes and sizes, for various age groups and levels of play from youth to adult.

It is extremely important that you choose a softball team bag that is of good quality and which will last many seasons. The material should be very durable and have reinforced stitching to avoid tearing. The best materials tend to be stain and tear resistant, for easy maintenance.

A nylon bag is highly water resistant and is recommended if the bag will be brought to the playing field.

So, when you go to buy your equipment bag, consider these factors: cost, style, carrying comfort, and durability. It should complement the players by proudly displaying the team logo and player number. It should be comfortable to carry either by hand straps or over the shoulder. The bag should be large enough too comfortable carry all the players equipment including player shoes.

A common problem with softball team equipment bags are zippers that fail. Be sure that the zippers installed on your bags are 2 way metal to reduce zipper problems.

Order your softball team bag custom made in your team colors - with your logo on both sides of the bag and player numbers on both ends of the bag and watch team moral increase!

Be sure to visit http://BagsforSports.com to view a wide selection of available equipment bags.

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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Softball Drills - The Basics of Sliding

ByBecky Wittenburg

Sliding is a crucial move that players are very hesitant to learn. Often, this hesitation is based on a fear of getting hurt. Because players will never get over this fear until they actually start practicing sliding, coaches should do everything they can to make learning to slide as easy as possible. The following softball drills teach the basics of sliding in a way that will soon make players comfortable performing this base running move as often as necessary.

Sliding Stance

The first thing players should learn in their sliding lesson is the basic sliding stance. Players should start by sitting on the ground with both legs extended straight in front of them. Then, they should practice folding one knee under to see which position is more natural and comfortable for them.

When they assume the stance, they should have one leg extended with the foot pointed toward the base, the other leg bent at the knee with the foot pointed behind them, and both hands raised in the air. Players will be tempted to put their hands down to break their fall as they go into the slide, but lowering their hands will only increase their risk of injury. They should slide down onto their thighs and buttocks.

Learning to Slide

Coaches can make the first attempts at sliding easier by practicing on a wet field after it has rained or with the help of a hose or sprinkler. Before holding a sliding practice, instruct players to wear grungy clothes. Players will be better prepared to slide properly on a wet surface than a hard one. Starting out the practice by sliding on the wet grass can be very helpful.

If a coach is feeling adventurous, he or she could bring a slip & slide to practice. Wet down a long piece of plastic by placing a water hose on top. On a hot day, players will be more than willing to practice their slide on a slippery plastic surface.

Scrambled Eggs Drill

If players have learned the basic sliding position but are still having trouble keeping their hands in the air, the scrambled eggs drill is the best way to correct their stance. To run this drill, coaches will have to bring a couple dozen raw eggs to practice. Have the players practice sliding into bases while holding one raw egg in each hand. In order to keep the eggs from breaking, the players will have to hold them high in the air. To make the drill more challenging, have players get real low during the slide, or have them slide into one base and then immediately hop up to run to the next one.

And if you'd like to see more free softball drills and coaching tips, go here to watch a free video:

http://www.softball-spot.com/vid/

Becky Wittenburg is a kids softball coach, and the owner and publisher of Softball-Spot.com, the web's #1 resource for fastpitch softball drills, tips, and practice ideas for youth and high school coaches.

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Monday, 11 March 2013

How to Build a Bat Rolling Machine

ByDave Manly

One of the most searched areas in bat rolling is .

There are several factors that go into building a bat roller. I will break this article out so you can make a n enlightened decision to whether you want to take on such an endeavor.

Here are some questions that need to be answered before you start a project.

How the machine worksParts and MaterialsCostTime

How the Machine Works:

Before any of these can be answered you will first need to decide on what type of a machine you are looking at.

PerpendicularThe bat is inserted 90 degrees to the rollers and can only roll 1 way.
Parallel
The bat is inserted from the sides along the plane of the rollers and the entire sweet spot can be rolled at once.

Most parallel machines can roll both ways, but a perpendicular machine can only roll 1. Also a perpendicular machine will leave flat spots in the bat and not roll the entire sweet spot.

We highly recommend a parallel machine.

The machines work by compressing the carbon fibers and laminates between rollers and then rolling the bat between the rollers. Primarily the sweet spot of the bats are the section you are targeting during the roll.

Material List

The ShellTypically made of steel or aluminumHolds the guts of the machineWelded or screwed together
Upper Carriage
Holds the upper rollersMoves up and downTolerances are tight
Bearings
Rollers BearingsThrust BearingsBushings
Shafts
Handles
Rollers
Made of plastic, steel, wood, otherTolerances are very tightThe center hole through the roller must be fairly exactRollers are machined on a metal lathe

Cost

The cost of building a machine can greatly very... but you can figure the minimum will be $200 plus, depending on your bearings and roller materials. It will be more for the state of the art plastics that are being used in the better bat rolling machines.

Time

Building a machine will take some time as you will have to draw out the design and then cut and machine the parts and gather the bearings etc.

Bottom line is this is a project that can be taken on if you are a do it yourself person who has proper equipment and time and some designing knowledge. A machining background or a friend who has one would help here.

Another viable option is to purchase a Bat Rolling Machine directly from a reputable manufacturer. Here are a few things to look for when choosing that manufacturer.

ReputationWhat type of machines are the offeringDo they have multiple models to fit you individual needsWe recommend parallel machines as they give you the best of both worlds and are not limited to partial break in as the perpendicular machines are.
What plastics are they using in their bat rolling machines

You need to stay away from a plastic called Acetal with a trade name of Delrin. It is really hard and has zero forgiveness.

Panther Machines

The Panther Series of Bat Rolling Machines

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