Everyone knows the quarterback is the most important person on a football team. Name a few offensive or defensive linemen on a football team and you'll often get blank stares. Name the quarterback of the local football team, however, and most will recognize his name. In baseball, the catcher holds a similar position, yet rarely receives the recognition that a quarterback does. The catcher must be ready both physically and mentally with every pitch and be prepared to make split second decisions. For this reason, you need quality equipment, such as your catcher's chest protection, as the last thing you need to be worrying about is equipment failure at a critical time.
Choosing the appropriate chest protection for catchers involves considering many factors. First and foremost, one must look for quality products, due to the amount of use they receive. Next, the needs and preferences of the player must be taken into consideration. Finally, one must look at price. Expect to pay more for quality equipment as it needs to last for an extended period of time, yet the catchers chest protection must be lightweight and capable of absorbing the energy produced by a hit ball.
One should never purchase gear the child can grow into, although this may seem to be a great way to save money. Children need to have properly fitting gear to protect their developing bodies from injury. When the pads are too big, they also inhibit movement and can lead to missed plays, which may reduce the child's confidence in his or her abilities and leave them with no desire to play the game. Take the time to read helmet, catchers chest protection, and leg guard fitting guides before making a purchase to ensure all fit properly.
When choosing catcher's chest protection, one needs to select one designed for the sport being played, as softball and baseball versions do vary in terms of their shape. In addition, a baseball chest protector comes with groin protection, yet a softball one does not. The child needs to be sized for the chest protector and the straps must be adjustable to ensure the proper fit. Shoulder pads should also be adjustable and all components need to be constructed using high quality materials. Take care when choosing as an injury can sideline a child for an extended period of time, if not permanently.