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How your playing style helps you find the right glove

The best gloves come with a secret ingredient.

When you have this ingredient, the glove seems to disappear on your hand, it becomes an extension of your arm. Your movement flows, it feels natural and automatic.

When you don’t have this ingredient well…

The glove feels unnatural. Subconsciously, you’re always aware that you have a glove on your hand. Seems like a minor thing doesn’t it? When you’re missing this secret ingredient the game is harder to play.

What is this “secret ingredient?

I know, I know.

It’s corny and very cliche.

But it’s also true.

The secret ingredient is you the player. Every player has their own playing style. Some players look for comfort and durability in their glove. Others need a glove that maximizes speed and control.

Then there’s the obvious size problem

There are big and small players. Some players have short stubby fingers. Others have fingers that are long and lean. A retail glove can’t account for these differences.

What you get is what you get

What about playing style?

Some players, for example, are pinchers. When they catch the baseball they use a pinching motion to grab the ball. A custom glove maker creates a glove that works with your playing style. In this case it’s pinching, with your thumb and middle fingers or pinky to thumb.

If you were a pincher you’d need a glove with a deep web pocket and a circular design.

Players come with all kinds of quirks.

These quirks have a real and very noticeable impact on their game, especially when they’re forced to play differently. 9 out of 10 times, a retail glove can’t even begin to compensate for these quirks.

Generic retail gloves turn these quirks into weaknesses

They actually create a disadvantage for you on the field. Something as natural as pinching, becomes a frustrating deficit in your game.

The average player has no idea.

they do a bit of research, shop around for something that “feels” right then, when they’re ready…

They gamble

They overpay for a retail glove, then they do their best to “adapt.” It gets easier and more comfortable after awhile. But the bad news is they’ve started out at a deficit.

As their glove takes abuse it wasn’t made to handle, it begins to stretch and sag. Their performance degrades a little bit more as their poorly made glove begins to fall apart.

All gloves wear out eventually

Right?

No glove lasts forever. Technically that’s true, but here’s an important difference.

Poorly made retail gloves hurt your game from day one. The bobbles, your ball popping out of your glove, the loss of control – these things happen early and often.

In fact the only plus side is the fact that these gloves don’t last very long.

If you overpaid, that probably makes things worse.

Sorry. :/

If you haven’t bought a glove, you still have a shot.

How long should a great glove last?

A great glove should last more than 5 years and typically 10 to 20 years if you…

  • Take care of it (e.g. proper care, regular cleaning, conditioning with Mink oil or Lanolin)
  • Keep it in a safe dry place away from the elements
  • Take care of your glove after every game

Again, that’s all based on care. That takes discipline, commitment and hard work.

But there’s only so much you can do.

At some point, the beating your glove takes will be too much. Your performance will slow degrade. You’ll start to notice the glove is wearing away, it begins to give.

A professional can bring it back, slow down the wear and tear on your glove.

This sounds like a huge amount of work

And the worst part? This still isn’t enough. There’s one last piece of information you’ll need to find the glove that’s right for you.

What a pain.

Isn’t there a way to simplify all this to break it down, showing you the ins and outs of finding the right glove?

You betcha.

We’ll cover that tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Andre