Hi guys, I'm coaching a team of players who are all relatively new to the game. I have been asked by several parents what glove they should be buying, obviously parents dont want to spend a fortune, no more than $80 or so. These girls are all 7 or 8 y.o approximately.
ps. easy break-in would be helpful
They won't need to spend anywhere near $80.00. Tell them to make certain that an 11inch ball fits in the pocket (webbing) and that there are loops in the thumb and little finger for their daughters fingers to go into.
Normally, they will need a new glove for the 12inch ball, anyway.
I'd also recommend a Mizuno from the Prospect series, probably in the range of 10 1/2 (for the really tiny girls), 11 or 11 1/2 inches. The power close and parashock palm are just so nice. I bought a used 11.5 one off eBay and she and I both liked it so much that I went back and picked up a couple more in auctions. She's going on 11 now and has just moved up to a slightly larger softball-specific Mizuno, but I'm still using the others (I have small hands) --and they're nice to have around as spares.
We've had really good luck with eBay for these. Kids are always outgrowing them, so there's a constant supply out there of nicely broken in prospects in good condition. Cheap and NO break-in time at all. In fact, there are two nice looking 11.5" leather ones up for auction now: one for $8 with $7 s&h and the other for $8.95 with $8.65 s&h. Whatever gloves your parents buy, they can recoup at least some of the price down the road by reselling them...
I was aware of that, however one of the parents seems to feel the need to buy their kids the best. Their older daughter caught once and they went out the next day and bought her a complete set of top-of-the-line catchers gear.
Wilson A440 hands down. That thing will break-in in no time at all, and is cheap. Have seen them in the mid $20 range lately. More than good enough quality for a 8u kid. My dd has had hers for over 4 years now, and it still looks only a few months old.
A little networking goes a long way; it seems all the older girls have a few mitts laying around collecting dust.
Ask some of the older girl’s Managers in your league to see if any of their girls have some old mitts you could borrower for a few weeks.
Your girls will get a nice broken mitt for under $10. I have only had a problem trying to find lefty mitts, works like a champ for right hand gloves.
Your girls sells it for $10 in a year or 2, it is like renting a glove.
At < 9 their hands are so small and the ball is so big I found it hard to find a “prefect” mitt.
Once they get older and are still playing softball they will buy “the mitt”, the one they sleep with and never leaves their side. Until then they are going to go thru a lot of mitts so I do not think it is worth spending too much money.
DD currently has a Mizuno Jennie Finch glove (don't know any more than that) that she really likes. Before that she had the Wilson Cat Osterman "Monsta Web" which she also loved. both broke in easily and were made for small hands. one was black with purple highlights, the other is black with pink highlights. I think th Wilson lasted two years. The Mizuno looks to be about the same.
They should probably do what I did which was DD and I picked out two gloves that we both liked and had her try playing catch in the store with both of them. (when no one was around) that's how she chose the Mizuno over the Wilson. That and the fact that they both worked but she had some friends who got the Mizuno.