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Hitting Aid Thumb Thingee
August 07, 2020
Hitting Aid Thumb Thingee
Today we're looking at the hitting aid thumb thingee that the majority of major league hitters use. (Don't tune out softballers, this is for you too.)
What do Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts, and Aaron Judge all have in common? Take a look at the following picture.
You'll see they're all wearing the Prohitter Batters Training Aid . You'll notice it can be worn over your batting gloves or just over the bare hand of your top hand.
The Prohitter is not the only device like it on the market. If you watch Justin Turner, he seems to wear a flat piece of rubber on his thumb and Franklin also has a competing product called the Franklin Sports Baseball Bat Swing Trainer - Gator Grip Grip Trainer - Baseball and Softball Hitting Aid - Knuckle Aligner and Swing Trainer . That's quite a mouthful, but I'll get back to why they added all of the other stuff.
And there's a new player into this market called the Thumb-per. Which seems to solve the problem as to how you wear it properly and they have a couple of cool neon colors the other don't have, but they're missing yellow and navy that the other two companies have.
All of them are able to be placed on either hand.
This may be a company with too narrow a focus, I mean really, how hard is it to position a piece of rubber into the correct position?
But it will accomplish the same goals as the other two and costs only $15 which is comparable to what the major sporting good chains charge for the ProHitter.
Let's see what all of these thumb hitting aids do.
How the thumb thing actually helps hittersAll along the ProHitter (which was the first commercially available hitting aid to be worn on the thumb) has touted its product as something that can help hitters increase bat speed, more power, and more consistency, but they never explained why.
Franklin gets more to the point with their long descriptive title and they say that theirs
All of them do those things (and actually more), but they don't tell you why so you're left to deciding if you really need one or not and still wondering why the best hitters use them.
The real benefits1) It does help you hit better initially. By wearing it, it positions the bat into the fingers which gives you or your batter the correct grip which will increase bat speed if you were holding or gripping the bat incorrectly.
2) By having it on, it takes some of the sting out of a mishit ball, thus again helping the energy going into the ball and not having as much vibration in the bat or hands.
3) It strengthens your grip when you're in the hitting zone, therefore the batted ball is driven off of the bat more than without having it on.
Why would you not wear one?I posed the question, "What do you think of the thumb thingee?" in one of the Fastpitch Facebook groups and many of them liked how it got their kids to grip the bat correctly, but a number of them felt like after their kids had graduated past knowing how to hold a bat correctly, they no longer needed it.
Re-read #'s 2 and 3 above to see why the best hitters in the world use it, and that should convince you that every batter should use one.
It will feel weird at first so don't make your first time using it being in a game. Do some practice rounds first, off a tee, in a cage, or toss or live pitching.
So the only reason not to wear one would be if the batter just can't get the hang of it and would make their batting worse.
Or you're a freak of nature, like Mike Trout, who doesn't use one, but last time I checked, I was no where near as good a batter as he is, and I doubt that you are either.
So just get one. If you're a coach, get your team to start using them, you'll thank me later.
I had another coach look at it and I think he must have been a manufacturer or something, because he told me that he wouldn't pay $10 - $15 for a small piece of rubber, which I thought was so short sighted. If it helps you hit better wouldn't you gladly pay $50 or so?
So many people spend $300 on a new bat to help them hit better or spend hundreds or thousands on hitting lessons to help them hit better and I can tell you from personal experience I hit harder with it and I've known how to grip a bat for a very long time, and I'm playing slow pitch so I don't have to worry about stingers, it just helps with the grip strength at the time of impact. And everyone I show the advantages and uses one, loves it, and sees improvements in their hitting.
Try one tomorrow for under $10Run to the sporting goods store and pay the $10 - 15 or use these links to get the Prohitter Batters Training Aid for $7.98 plus free returns if it doesn't fit or work from Amazon where if you have Prime you can get it in a day or two.
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