Is the Louisville Slugger Pitching Machine UPM45 Good for use with 8 Year Olds??
Louisville Slugger Blue Flame Pitching Machine UPM45
What do you think about the Louisville Slugger pitching machine for use with 8 year olds. I'm not a baseball player myself. Just looking to help my son and not bean him.
Swing Smarter Response: Hey Matthew, I see what you're saying, and I'm sure there are thousands of other dads across the nation sharing your same sentiment of not hitting your young hitter while pitching to them.
I usually don't like anything other than a live arm, but when that "live" arm throws it "just a bit inside," then the Louisville Slugger Blue Flame Hitting Machine UPM45 is the way to go. The cost is minimal when compared to normal pitching machines, at around $220 on Amazon.
It delivers consistency, and the UPM45 model throws anywhere from 18-45mph. The Louisville marketing team tries to remedy "fear" of the baseball and the dreaded "arc" of a softly pitched ball with the LSBFPM-UPM45.
Fear of the baseball can be worked on using whiffle or tennis balls and the Inward Turn Drill, where the hitter pivots away from an incoming pitched baseball using the front foot, exposing the greater surface area of the backside muscles (back, butt, and back of legs) to absorb the blow, instead of smaller more tender areas.
We also want to bring the bat down in the Inward Turn Drill, so the errant ball doesn't find the bat by mistake and either produce a foul ball or an unknowing "fair" ball, resulting in an out.
And as the hitter gets good at this maneuver, then the pitcher should mix in hit-able pitches with hit-by-pitches.
One thing to keep in mind using the Louisville Slugger Blue Flame Pitching Machine UPM45 is to make a mock throwing motion with your real arm before releasing the lever to initiate ball toss. This will loosely simulate a real throw.
The sooner young kids can learn to hit off a "live" arm, the better. So, I'd advise only using something like this until they're 10 years old, while also working on the Inward Turn Drill to tackle fear of getting hit.
I do, however, prefer this over wheel pitching machines. Those should NEVER be used, EVER! Except for maybe slow pitch softball :P