Going to Bat for Used Gear
Proud baseball and softball coaches and parents want their athletes to have all the advantages possible on the field. They invest endless hours at practice and at the games themselves. The athletes put in even more time trying to learn and excel at their sports.
These activities require more than a time investment, though. The equipment needed is costly, especially if you buy new items every year. In truth, an athlete can reach peak performance with gently used gear, saving a significant amount of money at the same time.
Young athletes grow at an alarming rate. Some will outgrow their cleats and their uniforms in the course of one season, as my son just did - his feet grew two sizes in one month! By the beginning of the next season, you need all of those items again, not to mention batting gloves, and possibly a new mitt and assorted bats.
As an athlete, you do not need new equipment to excel. You can save money and get everything required at a greatly reduced price if you buy gently used equipment. In the case of ball gloves, a used one may be preferable to a new one because it is already broken in.
Also, most young baseball and fastpitch athletes play more than one position. Paying for a new catcher's mitt and a fielder's glove can cost hundreds of dollars, a price many athletes, coaches and parents cannot afford.
Swing4All.org, the sister non-profit to SwingFitt™, is launching an online store stocked with these items, helping Tampa-area families and sports organizations get much-needed equipment at affordable prices. Used equipment and uniforms look good and perform well, and the savings will help keep young athletes on the field.
The store will also offer some brand new clothing priced at a fraction of what you would pay at other stores. Profits from the store will go into helping other kids continue to play youth swing sports, such as tennis, lacrosse, golf and ice hockey as well as baseball and softball.
After all, once you have worn a uniform or fielded with a glove, that item is no longer new. Ask any professional athlete, and they will tell you that they had a favorite sports item that they used until it fell apart.
New isn't always the best. The important thing is making sure that Tampa Bay youth can play the sports they love.
Melissa Pranzo is the Founder of Swing4All.org and SwingFitt™, RMT® & Performance Fitness. She is a professionally licensed RMT® Fitness Trainer, a life-long, record-breaking elite athlete, entrepreneur, and lover of sports. Melissa and her son live in Tampa Bay, where our two organizations are based.