Now that you’re taken care of with the four bare essentials a softball parent needs to survive your darling daughter’s (DD) sotball season, let’s discuss the equipment your DD needs to thrive as a softball player. When the girls are young often teams will want players to share the same batting helmets (make sure the coach carries a sanitizing spray and uses it on the helmets; otherwise, your DD could get … wait for it … head lice) and bats. I’m not sure why, for sure (maybe cost considerations?), but when my DD was a young player her “personal” equipment was her glove, cleats, batting gloves and chest protector (infield players).
As our DD grew and the competition became fierce (the balls started to get hit really, really hard), she had her own glove, cleats, batting gloves, batting helmet, chest protector, face mask (recommended for all infield players), bat(s) and safety rated sunglasses. So you can see that the investment in your DD becomes greater the older she gets. Being a softball parent ain’t cheap.
I’m sure some softball parents will disagree with our choices (and if you do, please weigh in with constructive comments and reccos in the Comments section below!), but we think these are the “best” brands: We found that they offer value (and durability) for the money for our fierce softball player:
Glove: When she was young our DD used a Wilson glove, but once she turned 12 she needed a glove that would take a pounding and stay in one piece. Hands down she loved her Nokona, which is (bonus!) U.S. made.
Cleats: My DD was a pitcher for many years. She had tremendous toe drag. Before we found Ringor she would go through two pairs of cleats per weekend (like I said, helluva toe drag). She couldn’t kill her Ringors. Best. shoes. ever. They come in regular cleats, metal cleats and turf shoes.
Chest protector: My DD tried the kind that looks like egg crates tucked in a shirt. Useless. Then she found the EvoShield; it’s a custom (you actually mold it to her at home) molded chest protector that she said was the most comfortable and light weight; it didn’t interfere with her pitching motion.
Face mask: Lordy, lordy, my DD tried every new one on the market, but they fogged up, had too many blind spots or hurt her face. Until … this one. The Rip-It doesn’t have major fielding blind spots, is “open air,” and damned effective. And you can buy replacement cushions for it instead of having to buy a whole new mask. She loved it. And I loved it for her so much that I did a giveaway of one on my blog!
Bat(s): Very personal piece of equipment for every serious softball player; they don’t share’em so don’t ask. My DD was a loyal Synergy bat fan. She said, “That bat changed my life.” Take a look at this post to see her famous bat!
This wraps up my two-part Softball Equipment for Parents and Players post. What equipment/brands are critical in your softball player’s life?
Next Up: The Right Fuel for You and Your Softball Player
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