Weighted Training Balls – Training Aid Tuesdays

Tuesday, Dec. 18th 2012

Baseball Express, amongst their other great products, offers a weighted ball set that is a must own for baseball players of all ages. The idea itself seems quite ingenious. Personally, I remember as boy cutting open a tennis ball, filling the inside of the ball with change, and rapping the ball with duck tape so I could build up my arm strength by throwing a weighted ball.

While the “penny ball”, as my friend and I liked to call it, achieves the same objective as the Baseball Express Weighted Training Ball, Baseball Expresses product provides several key features that most weighted balls do not have. Baseball Expresses ball set takes on the characteristics of a normal baseball. Most weighted balls on the market are made of a rubber, plastic, or vinyl material and do not have laces like a normal baseball. Baseball Express’ ball set is made of the same leather material as a baseball and has laces so that a player may be able to get the same feel as when they throw with a normal ball. Unlike most weighted balls that only come in one weight, Baseball Express’ creation comes in a set of six different weights for $29.99, or individually for $5.99. The set allows you to gradually build up to higher weights, from the lightest ball—7 oz.—to the heaviest ball—12 oz. After all, with any weight lifting activity, you don’t want to jump right into the most difficult and strenuous weight.

There is very little customer response available online about Baseball Express’ Weighted Ball Set, and this particular blogger would appreciate any feedback that the baseball community has about the device. Particularly, can the balls last through more than the normal wear and tear a baseball endures? Do you find that the heavier balls should be reserved for a higher age group? Have there been injury concerns associated with the ball? And, most importantly, have you see any improvement in your baseball player’s throwing? This improvement does not necessarily have to be associated with velocity. Have you seen an improvement in command? Baseball Express, like most great inventors, has filled a technological gap that is characterized by need. In an era where arm injuries are prevalent at every level of baseball simple, yet practical, devices like this weighted ball set could help shoulder condition and strength, and lead to less arm injuries.


Common Youth Baseball Pitches

Thursday, Nov. 3rd 2011

While there are numerous options in baseball pitches, there are only two required for a successful youth pitcher: the fastball and change up. Let’s explore the specifics of these pitches.

The Fast Ball

There are actually two types of fastball you should master: the
four-seam and the two-seam. While they are similar, they each have
their unique advantages.

Four-Seam Fastball

The four-seam fastball requires the fingers to be close together.
A wider split between the fingers will lead to a loss in velocity.

Younger players with smaller hands should place their index finger
on the narrower end of the threads. They should place their thumb
under the ball – at the six o’clock position.

One of the most common mistakes that young pitchers make when
throwing this pitch is to let their thumb slide up the side of the
ball. The thumb should always be kept under the pitch.

This pitch should go straight with little to no movement, and it
is an extremely accurate pitch. Of all the baseball pitches, this is
the one that’s thrown the majority of the time when a strike is
desired.

Two-Seam Fastball

The purpose of the two-seam fastball is to create movement, and
once again if fingers are wider, then velocity will be lost.

In this pitch, the thumb should be placed in the five o’clock
position, which creates a grip that’s a little off center, and which
products the movement you’re looking for.

The less your hand is on the ball for these baseball pitches, the
more velocity there will be, which creates a smaller amount of drag.

As you progress in your pitching skills, you can adjust the
pressure to change the speed or to create more movement to the left
or right.

Change-Up

The change-up is different from other baseball pitches in that you
want more skin on the ball. The pitcher will sink the ball deep into
their palm and throw it the same way they’d throw a fastball. The
grip is what changes the speed.

By mastering the basic baseball pitches, you’ll have a firm
starting point. Once you’re comfortable with these pitches, you can
add more variety to your pitch selection.