Some of the most frequently asked fastpitch questions are about catching gear. How to size it? How should it fit? And yes, why does it cost so much?
Yes, catching gear is a big investment. But never forget that the money you are spending on the gear is all that’s protecting your most prized possession. All that comes between the player and the hard foul tip, the hard slide at the plate, the backstop and railings that surround the plate and the ground on those amazing diving plays is her gear.
How to measure for gear (using a standard measuring tape):
Helmet: Place one end of the tape in the middle of forehead and wrap around until ends meet.
Chest Protector: Start at the base of neck (where neck and chest meet) to just above the waist.
Shin Guards: – Start at the top of knee cap and to the top of the foot (where foot and shin meet).
Coop’s Personal Favorite – Wilson Women’s ProMOTION
I love the way that Wilson has designed the helmet. The mask has built in shock absorbers that cut down on the impact of the cage rattling foul balls.
Coop’s Next Choice – Easton Mako
I love the design of the shin guards which are made specifically for women. The triple knee design offers additional protection and the foam design of the chest protector are very comfortable.
Coop also likes – Rawlings Velo and Mizuno Samaurai
These are both high quality designs. I love the Mizuno chest protector which is designed specifically for women. I also really like the Rawling helmet with its stainless steel mask.
There is an old baseball saying that catchers gear are the “tools of ignorance”. The only ignorant thing would be selecting cheap catching gear that exposes you to injury.
About the Author: Claudia Cooper,played at North Carolina State from 2006–10. She had the second highest OBP for the Wolfpack during her Junior season and rounded out that year with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. After graduation, she spent the 2010–11 season as a student assistant at her alma mater. Since leaving NC State, Coop has been a staff instructor at Elite Training Academy, coaching individuals, small groups and teams. Book her here.
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