Baseball & Softball Coaches Equipment - Magnetic Lineup Board Review
By guest author: Jim Moyer
If you don't have an easy to read line-up posted in the dugout you are hurting yourself, your players, and subsequently your team by allowing yourself and the team to be distracted from the game. Let's face it, it's information that you want to have ready access to, and you want your players to have ready access to as well. So why are you keeping this vital information on a scratch piece of paper or on a carbon copy that is barely legible?
The best magnetic lineup board is about 8.5" x 14" and consists of a position diagram of the softball field on the top, positions for a batting order on the bottom, and a hook so it can be easily hung in the dugout for everyone to see. You simply place magnets with the player's names in the position on the diagram that they will be playing. If you will be subbing in to a position you can go ahead and put the sub's magnetic above or below the starter's magnet. The same is true with the batting order. If you know you will be subbing in for a hitter just put the sub's magnet next to the starter's magnet.
The real beauty to a magnetic lineup board is before the game has started when you are putting together your game strategy. After making your initial batting order it's very easy to adjust for who's hot and who's not, or if you need a bunter in the second or third position, and if you change the batting order will that change who you want to play on defense and where you can make those changes. You can also see the effect your substitutions will have on positions and the batting order. What you used to have to envision in your mind you can now see on the board, both offensively and defensively and for the entirety of the game not just the start of the game. It let's you create your game strategy prior to the game. It's called HAVING A PLAN.
Hey Coach, Listen Up
The decisions you make in determining your lineup WILL AFFECT the outcome of the game. Once the game has started there's not much opportunity to correct a poor batting order. Sometimes it's easy to put together a line up. Other times, we've spent 10 or 15 minutes maneuvering players around on our magnetic lineup board to assess the strengths and weaknesses and determining what we needed for the upcoming game. I can't imagine going through this exercise with paper and pen.
Whether your fastpitch softball team, or baseball team, is a beginning team or a highly skilled tournament team, putting your players in the right positions, building the best batting order, and having a plan for your substitutions, will decide the outcome of many fastpitch softball games. A magnetic lineup board costs about $20.00. Twenty dollars is a cheap investment to KNOW that you have given your team their best opportunity to win. Hey, it's worth the twenty bucks just not to have to answer the question "who do I bat after" 500 times during the season.
There are two magnetic lineup boards on the market. The Easton brand and the Coacher brand. They both cost about $20.00, HOWEVER, the Coacher board is the clear winner. The Easton board does not have a field diagram which prevents you from visualizing the starting defense and, just as important, the defense after substitutions have been made. The Coacher board does have the field diagram.
In conclusion, I would grade the Easton board a C because it is better than using a piece of paper. The Coacher board gets an A+ as it is the complete package and the superior product. For the same investment, you have the choice of the Mercedes or the Pinto.
Having coached over 500 youth fastpitch softball games, Coach Jim decided to put his insight online to allow parent/coaches to draw on his unique experience. At http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/coaching-fastpitch-softball-successfully.html he has compiled a comprehensive list of softball game strategies, softball drills, softball tips, and techniques that are sure to help any coach become successful.
Visit http://www.mysoftballcoach.com/softball-equipment.html for numerous reviews on softball equipment, softball bats, pitching machines and other essential coaching tools, to make your team a Winning team. Before you make any softball equipment purchases be sure to read Jim's review to make sure you don't buy the wrong equipment.
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