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How to Break in a Softball Glove

Learn how to break in a softball glove from softball coach Erin Goettlicher in this Howcast video.


I'm Erin Goettlicher, and I'm a professional softball coach. After I played through high school, I went out and played for college level, and then spent a cup of tea at the professional level. I'm self-employed, and own Pro Softball Training. Pro Softball Training offers instruction in all kinds of softball. You name it, we can do it. Today, I will be talking to you about softball. When we purchase a new softball glove, it's important that we break in our glove properly, to fit our hand well. What does it mean to break in our softball glove? Well when we buy a new glove, a lot of times the leather is very stiff. Obviously it's fresh and new, which is what we like, but we want the leather to have some flexibility. We want to be able to squeeze the fingers of the glove to close around the ball. The other important factor is to let that glove fit well to our hand. We want it to fit comfortably and shape around our hand, almost as though, almost the way our favorite pair of shoes would fit. The first steps that we want to take when breaking in our glove, is to soften or condition the leather. There's a lot of different oils and conditioners that you can use to help soften the leather. I recommend more of a conditioner or a foam. Sometimes oils can be heavy and make the glove heavier and also can be kind of a pain for your teammates when the oil rubs off on the ball, if you're playing catch. A conditioner will help to soften the leather, which will help to create a little bit of flexibility. The other thing that's important, is that we help to loosen up the seams. Where the stitches are they're wound very tightly in the glove, which is very good, however, that also makes it tough for us to squeeze the glove. Many times, most of the tightest stitching is down here in the palm area of the glove, which is the part that helps us and allows us to squeeze around the ball. The other important factor is to build a good pocket inside the glove. This is where the ball's gonna go. We wanna be able to have a good area, for that ball to fit. When I take my glove off, I know I've got a good pocket, if I can look at it and it looks like there's still a ball in that pocket. There are lots of different tricks and ways to do it, but ultimately the best way to break in your glove, is to give it some good tender loving care. Wearing your glove a lot, squeezing your glove a lot and working the leather simply with your hands, can help to break it in. The oils from our hands alone can help. Another good way to do that, to do it, is to just play catch. Play catch a lot, whether you're playing catch with someone or, with yourself. Anytime we're not wearing our glove, we wanna put a ball in the pocket, and if you have a string or some sort of rubber band, that you can place around it to keep it in this position at all times, it's very important keeping its shape and its form. Some of the other techniques that we use, after we've conditioned our glove, is to use a bat or a rubber mallet, to simply pound on the area of the glove that we want to use as the pocket. Every time I take this glove off my hand, I always keep a ball in it, and keep it in good room temperature.

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