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Choosing the Right Glove

In Tee Ball, the most important piece of equipment is the glove. A glove can have a big effect on a player’s performance. In baseball glove selection, the number of choices is staggering! Not only are there gloves for specific positions (Catchers glove, 1st Baseman’s glove, Infielder’s, and Outfielder’s glove), gloves come in all types of qualities, sizes and colors.

According to CoachTeeBall.com, the key to a glove is control. The Tee Ball player should be able to move the glove quickly to the ball, which requires a glove that's not too big and heavy for him or her. And even more importantly, the player must also be able to close the glove with his hand, so that the ball does not fall out. This requires a glove that is soft and “broken in” enough so that the player can close the glove and 'squeeze' the ball.

It is recommended that a glove be in proportion to the player's size. There are many “professional” gloves in the market today that are more suitable for catching bowling balls than baseballs. You want to avoid having a young Tee Ball player lugging around huge 13-inch outfielder's gloves. A bigger glove is not a bigger target and will not make it easier for a Tee Ball player to catch. Actually a glove that is too big will have an adverse effect on performance. The player will have no glove control at all.

Tee Ball glove sizes begin around the 9-inch range, the measurement is usually listed on the glove itself. The new, pre-oiled gloves are usually excellent for Tee Ballers, as they are soft and require little or no break-in. For a very small child, or one with less strength than his peers, there are vinyl, or combination vinyl-and-leather models. These are very inexpensive and, while they will not last as long as higher quality gloves, they bend easily and allow the player to catch the ball from day one. There are also full leather gloves in the under-11 inch size, which cost more, last longer, and might require some break-in. Some new models even have a notch designed into the heel of the glove to allow easy and immediate flexing of the pocket.

As much as you want to buy the best for your kid, avoid the expensive, stiff gloves for players under 10 or so. They'd have to play eight hours a day, seven days a week, for six months before it gets broken in. And in that time, they'd make so many errors that they'd be shopping for soccer cleats by then!

As the player gets older, they will naturally progress into larger gloves. Most players, regardless of position will find gloves ranging from 11-12 inches appropriate. High School players that play the outfield may find a larger glove (12-12 1/2 inches) more appropriate.


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