7 Reasons To Invest In A Softball Pitching Machine
Why You Should Get A Softball Pitching Machine And What Features You Need
But first know this. Even if those little leaguers are high school kids or older, a softball pitching machine is an important part of training. Oh sure, humans can and should pitch during practices but let’s face it.
A pitching machine can out pitch a human in so many ways!
And here we’ll take a look at those ways.
Why A Softball Pitching Machine Is Better Than You Throwing Batting Practice
Time for the 7 reasons
Recovery – many machines can recover almost instantly and whereas a human can as well, doing it over and over and over again, and over again, can be just too much for the human arm.
You don’t need to be a mechanical genius – many companies sell their machines pre-assembled (thank goodness).
Different types of balls – undersized balls for vision practice, Wiffle balls, dimpled balls, leather regulation balls and more can be handled by some machines.
More pitches equate more practice – easy transporting, easy set up and easy adjustments means that your team will spend less time waiting and more time swinging.
Pitchers aren’t perfect – a machine can pitch a strike every time but it can also give your basemen and fielders a work out by simulating grounders, pop-ups (infield or outfield), pop-ups for the catcher with spin, line drives, and up, up and almost out of there flies.
A wide variety of pitches – change it up for your hitters by having your machine pitch screwballs (left or right handed), drops, risers, fastballs, you name it.
What’s The Best Pitching Machine?
Keep an eye out for the following
As with most anything, different machines offer different advantages through various manufacturers specs, materials used, design and more. So we’re not going to talk about the single best here. We’ll have some recommendations later. For now, you may wish to consider the following:
Throwing wheels – not only how many wheels push that ball out over and over again but what the wheels are made of can factor in as well. Some prefer 3 wheels to 2 wheels. Some people swear by wheels that are specially designed to not be affected by the summer heat and seemingly never wear out! (Who wouldn’t?)
Speaking of weather – of course heat is not the only thing that your team encounters. Rain can play havoc on metal machines. You can’t always cover your softball pitching machine so having it made from steel that has been treated for rust proofing is a good choice.
Protected throwing wheels – some machines actually utilize their valuable throwing wheels as the wheels with which you move the machine from place to place! Imagine the dirt, grime and damage that those wheels can be subject to. Machines with separate transport wheels and pitching wheel guards are probably preferable for this very reason.
Easy to move but sturdy and secure – one person should be able to move your machine over both smooth flooring and bumpy real grass and dirt diamonds. At the same time however the machine should be sturdy, secure and safe when in use. Some machines make use of a tripod system that accomplishes exactly that. But when needed, it folds up with ease and the transport wheel size allows easy portability.
The Heater Softball Pitching Machine
A solid low cost selection
Jugs Super Softball Pitching Machine
Ready to take a big step up? Then this is the machine for you.
The Jugs Super Softball Pitching Machine is best used by more advanced players. And it has some incredible features.
This machine will pitch anywhere from 20 to a very fast 70 MPH with a simulated underhand delivery. And you can monitor the speed on the digital control.
Facing pitchers that really know how to move the ball. This machine will get you ready by throwing a variety of pitches including fastballs, risers and drops.
It will adjust to different size balls.
The Jugs is also great for fielding practice since it throws grounders, sky high pop-ups and fly balls.
It will swivel 360 degrees but it’s also easy to move since it only weighs 75 pounds.
And it also comes with a great 5 year warranty.
Atec Softball Pitching Machine
With this model from Atec you’re really hitting the big leagues.
Basically this machine can perform everything the Jugs Super can but with more power. This baby will fire pitches at up to 90 MPH.
But the real selling point of this machine is the pinpoint control it gives. You can hit any location inside or just out of the strike zone with amazing accuracy. Just turn the know one quarter of a rotation and you’ll adjust the pitch by 2 inches. It’s that accurate.
Of course this one will cost you more, but if you’re looking for the ultimate in pitch control, this is the machine for you.
The Casey machine is said to have revolutionized high performance training and if you’ll give it a test, I think you’ll be inclined to agree.
Softball Pitching Machine Balls
Of course if you are going to take batting practice on your pitching machine you’re going to need to hit something.
Don’t forget the softballs.
Jugs gives you the choice of 11 inch or 12 inch softballs designed for any machine. All are regulation weight.
They’re supposed to feel just like a leather ball when hit but will reduce sting and won’t damage your bat either.
Softball Batting Cage
Finally, if you don’t want to spend your time chasing baseballs when you take BP, you may want to consider a batting cage.
If you’ve got the room you can put this one from Atec in your backyard, or put it by the practice field. Of course it’s going to take a bit of work to put it up, but it’s very sturdy with a strong net.
And best of all, it’s not too expensive.
If you need or want a cage, this one is certainly worth considering.