From online to in-store, an overwhelming number of baseball gear products are being offered for the upcoming season. Whether you're searching for the perfect cleats, practice clothes or training equipment, the old saying, "if you look good you feel good, and if you feel good you play good" always applies.
But before you can play good, you need to prepare to play good. The "flat glove trainer" is your first step. In my opinion, it is one of the best training tools for baseball. Many versions are available, including a foam rubber one by SKLZ (see photo) and a leather one by Rawlings. Both are moderately priced to fit a budget and effective for any position.
A flat glove is traditionally used to develop proper fundamentals and improve hand-eye quickness with ground balls. But uses of the flat glove go well beyond the ground ball. In the infield, the glove can be used to improve the efficiency of the double play turn by both the second baseman and the shortstop. It can also be used in hand quickness drills.
Outfielders can get in on the action by using the flat glove to work on their "catch to release" time. Have a coach flip you a ball from five to 10 feet away, and work to get behind the ball on your throwing side. As the ball hits the flat glove, begin to transfer it to your throwing hand, then crow hop and throw.
The final drill is my favorite use of the flat glove, and it's for catchers. Behind receiving the baseball, blocking is the most important skill for a catcher to possess. Using the flat glove during blocking drills forces you to get your entire body in front of the ball, helping to eliminate total reliance on the glove and making you a more effective blocker.
Flat Glove Drills
- Ground Ball Progression: Rolled Ball
- Double Play Turns
- Hand Speed Drills
- Catch to Release Transfer Drills
- Flat-Glove Blocking
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock