As a father of three boys who love to play baseball, I have experienced many of their ups and downs in the game first hand. My boys have played all kinds of sports including baseball, basketball, football and soccer. One of the most important things in sports for a young athlete is to play with confidence. After 10+ years of coaching, I have learned that success – particularly in baseball – comes when a player is confident. It is extremely important to develop the appropriate mechanics and fundamentals for catching a baseball, fielding ground balls, pitching, catching and hitting. There is a progression from tee ball all the way to the pros. The game gets faster the balls are hit harder and harder.
When my oldest son was 5 and in his first year of baseball, he took a ground ball in practice right off his sternum. It was a simply a bad hop, a frequent occurrence on the diamond. My son was crying. He had lost his confidence and he now feared the baseball. This turned into him fielding ground balls off the side of his body and creating bad mechanics. Worst of all, he stopped having FUN!
I went home and started searching online for something that would protect his chest area. I discovered a padded shirt where the padding covered the sternum and chest area. The shirt was sleeveless, lightweight and compression fit. I purchased the shirt for $49.99, ouch. My son wore it without hesitation to his next practice. Without even saying anything, he started fielding ground balls in front of him again. His confidence was back! All due to an undershirt with some padding. He wore a padded shirt under his jersey in every practice and game up until last year when he turned 13. He fields the ball with no fear now and I believe this padded shirt is what propelled his confidence.
After spending $50 a piece on a padded shirts for three boys over the last few years, I decided to design our own youth padded baseball shirt with the same quality in mind, but for a lot less money. It took about a year and half to get the style, sizing and padding just right. I am excited to launch the Sports Unlimited Diamond Shield Padded Baseball Shirt. Call it a Baseball Sternum Guard or Baseball Confidence Shirt, but make sure you pick up one for your player this season. The Sports Unlimited shirt sells for $29.99, which is $20 less then the closest name brand. This padded shirt is great for kids starting tee ball all the way up to 12 to 13 years old.
The Diamond Shield padding is sized smaller on the small and medium shirt and larger on the large and extra-large shirts to get the correct balance for protection and range of motion. This shirt is compression fit and sleeveless so your little ball player won’t even know they’re wearing it. The shirt is light weight, just the right length to stay tucked in and it’s constructed to wick sweat away.
This sternum guard is great to use for any sport. Don’t limit your use of it to baseball. Kids use it in soccer, basketball, softball, lacrosse, and I’ve even heard paintball. Watch your kids’ confidence soar!