Pitching Machine Type
A Guide to Buying and Using a Pitching Machine
When it comes to playing baseball, batting ranks pretty high on the list of important skills. And since you can't always count on having a reliable pitcher on hand to help you practice, a pitching machine is a great training tool for practicing solo or warming up a team. If you're just starting out, a pitching machine can help you practice your swing and perfect basic technique. More experienced players can also benefit from the opportunity to practice hitting high-speed and trick pitches before they step up to the plate. The first step is to figure out what type of machine you'll need to perfect your swing.
1. Baseball pitching machine - Traditional pitching machines should let you practice hitting at a variety of speeds. Single-motor machines will suffice for casual practice, but if you're taking your game to the Major Leagues, you might want to consider investing in a two-wheel, dual-motor pitching machine.
2. Softball pitching machine - Since softballs typically measure 11" or 12" in circumference (as opposed to smaller, 9" baseballs), softball pitching machines naturally need to be built to handle larger balls. Softball pitching machines should also be built to release underhand throws and give you the opportunity for both fast and slow pitches.
3. Combo pitching machine - Want the best of both worlds? A combo pitching machine can be adapted to handle both baseballs and softballs, so you're really getting two for the price of one. Just change out the chute when you're ready to switch balls.
It's important to consider how you'll use the machine, but it's equally important to consider where you'll use it. If you need to take your pitching machine on the go, make sure to choose a lightweight, portable machine that will be easy to move from diamond to diamond. Once you've settled on the right model, narrow down your choice by pitch type.
- Change Up - Thrown slower than a fastball, but thrown with the same arm action, a change-up pitch is ideal for controlling bat speed.
- Curveball - Typically a strikeout pitch, curveballs dive down as they get to home plate. Curveballs are usually much slower than a fastball, but equally hard to hit.
- Fastball - There are several different types of fastball pitches, and when you step up to the plate, you want to be prepared for all of them. Fastball pitching machines let you practice hitting at a variety of speeds, some upwards of 60 mph.
- Multi - These machines let you practice hitting a variety of pitches, so you'll be prepared no matter what the pitcher sends your way.
- Soft Toss - Soft toss can pitches can sound, well, soft, but they're actually a valuable training technique and can improve ball tracking, hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and swing speed.