Weighted Baseballs

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Weighted baseballs are an outstanding training tool, especially for developing pitchers. A regulation baseball weighs five ounces, while weighted baseballs weigh as much as 12 ounces. Before a youngster begins tossing these 12-ouncers as though they were paper airplanes, he or she might start with three- or four-ounce balls instead and gradually work up to the heaviest category.

The principle is fairly obvious: by training with a heavier ball, the regulation ball, by contrast, seems much lighter. When it comes time to make that throw from the warning track all the way to home plate, the young athlete who has conditioned him or herself with the training ball will have much better range than ever before. Similarly, the pitcher who steps up to the mound armed with a five-ounce ball will likely find that he or she can tap new reserves and add as much as several miles-per-hour of velocity.

Sets of Weighted Baseballs

The easiest way to take advantage of the benefits of weighted balls is to invest in a set of them. Ideally, this will contain everything from a three-ounce ball on up to a 12-ounce ball in single-ounce increments (10 balls in all). Each should be color coded for quick recognizability, as quite often a player or coach will simply spill a duffel bag's worth of equipment on the field. When that happens, there will be no need to go rooting around through all the regulation balls mixed in there.

A set of weighted baseballs shouldn't cost a parent or coach more than 10 or 15 dollars tops. One reason this price is so low is that their manufacturers need not adhere to the tight specs and regulations that govern the making of professional baseballs. It's that high level of standardization with MLB-approved baseballs that's so demanding, as even a one-one-hundredth-of-an-ounce error can render a ball unusable.

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