Catcher's gear can be perhaps the most intimidating gear to shop for in baseball or softball. And with the price of gear, it's a sizable investment that most teammates are not making, so you want to get the right gear but don't have much help finding it.
We're here to change that. Guardian Baseball recently caught up with Jack Ferrick, an award-winning baseball coach who's the brain behind Catchers U.
Coach Jack is widely regarded as one of the best hitting and catching coaches in youth baseball, and he took time to give us an exclusive look at his favorite traits to look for while shopping catcher's gear.
Here's what he recommends.
Make sure you buy gear that fits.
A common issue families run into is trying to make gear last for as long as possible. Growing into a set of gear is very tough for catchers trying to play at their highest level and trying to have success.
Gear too big can create obstacles and result in bad habits. Gear too small can create safety issues and bad habits when a catcher is trying to avoid injury.
Every catcher is different and body types differ from catcher to catcher, so as a family, don’t feel like you must buy a full set of gear at a time. If the helmet and shin guards fit fine but the chest protector is too small, then just replace the chest protector.
Buy basic color schemes for catchers still growing, so it is easy to replace gear as needed. Once a catcher stops growing it is much easier to customize and swag out behind the plate.
For example, you can shop individual chest protectors right here.
Make sure your helmet and chest protector are NOCSAE certified.
Significant improvements have been made to catcher’s gear over the past few years to help make our masked bandits safer behind the plate.
Not only has this equipment been tested to be safer, but many leagues and tournaments require and check to make sure that all catcher’s gear is NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) certified before play begins. Make sure to put your catcher in the safest gear possible.
Make sure to protect the thumb.
At the younger ages, a thumb guard is not as necessary due to the size of the hand and pitcher velocity/pitch movement.
However, once catchers start getting to 10 years and older having thumb protection is smart. This is especially true for catchers who play multiple positions, as they are more apt to catch a ball in an inefficient manner due to the lack of consistent catcher reps. Primary catchers also benefit from thumb protection to help with continuous catching reps and the overall safety of their hands. Getting thumbed happens, but we want to do our best to minimize the impact of the hand.
Let's put safety first.
Are you ready to find the perfect catcher's gear for your game?
Guardian Baseball has a wide selection of catcher's gear, catcher's mitts, and protective equipment to make sure your time behind the plate is as safe, and dominant, as possible.
Thanks to Coach Jack for this AMAZING advice! Be sure to check out Catchers U and learn more from one of the bests in the game!