Jugs Pitching Machines
By Jimmy Holmes
There is no doubt that using a good pitching machine has advantages. You can build arm, back, shoulder and upper body batting strength, hand eye coordination and improve batting technique if you use the machine properly. Whether you use a baseball pitching machine or a softball pitching machine they both have the same advantages, disadvantages and should be used properly to get the best results.
One of the first things to look for to find the right machine for you and the players on your team is the age group that is involved. If your child or group is five to eight years of age you would need a machine with pitch speeds from 20 to 40 mph. Preferably a machine that is very accurate and delivers pitches to the same general area every pitch. The last thing you need is to have the young player afraid of being hit! Never start off with to fast a speed when practicing with a young beginner.
I have been asked whether to use the practice balls or real balls when using a pitching machine. The answer is that practice balls are more accurate because the tire does not hit any seams. A seam on a real ball can cause the pitch to differ on every pitch however with older players that is not all bad. Never use synthetic balls in a machine. They leave a buildup on the tire that is hard to remove and the do not product accurate pitches.
Usually when a new pitching machine arrives the tire is brand new and needs to have the shine removed from the surface that contacts the ball in order to get a good pinch on the ball. This is done by turning the machine on and using a peace of sandpaper to remove the shine from the tire before using it in an actual practice.
A well built, quality machine should last for years even with heavy use. Be sure to check the warranty offered on a machine before you make a purchase. Warranties can range from a year to five years. Some pitching machines even come with a thirty day return policy. I highly recommend purchasing one with the return policy because if you get it and you are unhappy with it you can simply return it. Some pitching machine companies even offer free shipping as sales promotions. This can literally save you sixty to one hundred dollars.
One of the costliest parts on a pitching machine is the motor. Do a little research to see what brand of electric motor is used on a machine. If a top quality motor is used you can bet that the rest of the machine is top quality as well. Leeson is a motor used on some pitching machines. It is a world class electric motor and usually comes with a five year warranty that is covered by the pitching machine manufacturer.
Another costly item is the tire wheel assembly. I suggest not buying a machine with a solid rubber tire. When they get old they can literally come apart and cause an injury. I have actually seen this happen. "Warning"Always replace tires before they are old and worn no matter what kind of tire they have! Also on those models with solid rubber tires if you need to replace the tire you may have to buy the tire and wheel since the tire is usually glued or attached to the wheel.
For the older group of players from middle school through high school one of the two wheel curveball pitching machines models should be used. By this time players will be seeing curveballs, sliders, knuckleballs and different types of pitches. A single wheel machine simply will not product these types of pitches. The two wheel machine will produce the speed needed as well. Some models have speeds ranging from 20 mph to 105 mph. Even professional players seldom see a pitch of 105 mph.
Some models come with swivel action. That means that you can shoot a ball to right field then swing it around and shoot a ball to left field. It will also tilt up and down for grounders or popup's. This option is great if you intend on using it for more than batting practice.
If you purchase a baseball pitching machine or softball pitching machine there are other optional items that you may want to consider. A good quality batting cage will save on ball recovery time when used by two or three people and an automatic ball feeder can be used when one person needs to use the machine. The practice dimple balls will save wear and tear on your real baseballs or softballs and are more accurate. An additional option is an L-Screen to protect the person feeding balls into the pitching machine.
Never let a child operate the machine. When used properly they are safe but should never be left in the hands of minors. They are meant to be used to train and condition and should always be used with grownup supervision.
Pitching machines are great training aids. Coaching tools for batting, hitting, infield and outfield practice as well. When used properly they will greatly improve your batting and playing skill level. Choose a machine that is right for you and your child and you will have years of reliable service.
Visit my site FirstPitch Sales Buy a tough, durable, reliable and affordable pitching machine that is right for you.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jimmy_Holmes
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