Batting Cage Advice
You've made it to the level of getting a batting cage. You're
serious about your game.
You know the
keys to successful hitting
and you know you need to deliver
perfect practice swings
to develop a perfect game swing.
What you need is a place to put in those hundreds and thousands of swings.
I can save you hundreds of dollars
Read and/or print out this page before you shop for a pitching machine and a batting cage. The options open to you can range from a few hundred dollars to many, many thousands. So any information you get here that might make a difference in what you choose to do and really save you money.
Most people will tell you to decide what your budget is. Or they may tell you to figure out the dimensions of an area you have and check different configurations people are selling. That may be fine and good, so keep that information, but let's see if we can save you money off that number.
First - analyze why you want to do this
I'm not suggesting that you come to your senses and forget it and that's going to save you the whole amount :) I have a batting cage on the side of my house.
I mean if we start with the end goal in sight, we might find better conclusions.
Isn't your end goal to provide a place to get in as many perfectly executed swings as possible (especially before games)?
So what if we could find ways that accomplished the same goal, would you care?
What I'd consider first
The quickest way to get the most swings in is by hitting off a batting tee or a toss machine (The two I recommend are Art Brophy's QuicHands and Athlonic's Wheeler Dealer). If you hit the balls into a net you don't have to travel so far to pick up the balls, giving you more time to hit.
It also only takes up less than 80 square feet, so it can be done in a garage or any room of the house. I used to have this setup in my bedroom and got in 20 - 50 swings before going off to work (obviously when I wasn't married).
This also has the added benefit of allowing you to hit and practice even if the weather is bad outside - also fulfilling our goal of more swings.
Another approach you may not know about is a device that pitches the golf ball size whiffles. This forces you to really concentrate, since the balls are smaller. But the added advantage is that the machine pitches balls from 20 - 30' away and at that distance it duplicates the reaction time needed by any of the fastest pitches you'll see. If you want it slower, just back it up a few feet. The balls also don't travel as far and won't hurt as many objects (like couches, beds, rose bushes, etc.) so the area needed might only be about 1/2 of what was needed by a full batting cage and might even fit inside some of your homes. I knew of one Major Leaguer who took the machine on the road with him and he set it up in his hotel room.
I would only recommend their HS model, not the standard model. It's worth the $40 extra for the extra durability and consistent speed it delivers.
Total price is going to run you under $350 even with their netting that you can get (or not), since it's a much lighter weight netting.
A batting cage substitute for around $300.
Where I got my Batting Cage
Even though I have all the cool toys I've mentioned above it is still really cool to tell people that I have a batting cage at my house.
So if that's the only reason you need or you still think it would be better to have the fuller area to hit in, I'll tell you where I bought mine. I got my
batting cage at Cages Plus
It cost less than $570. But I did have to pay for the shipping (but no sales tax) and I had to buy the poles locally to save money on the freight. This added about $75. But, I didn't have to mount it, it's portable, so there are no extra building costs or time. Three of us put it up in about an hour and a half.
Another way to save money is to use someone else's :)
If you're taking lessons from me you can use mine. Give me a call 805-642-5827. This way you can channel your money into making sure the swings you're taking are the perfect ones.
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