So if you're a baseball player, coach or parent, you've undoubtedly seen the new “pro style” tees that are taking over the baseball tee world. The unique difference between these tees and the more “old-fashioned” models is the rubberized cone at the top.
The big advantage to this cone is that when you make contact with the tee, there is less resistance which gives a hitter a truer feel for the ball. Rather than feeling a clunk and knocking over the tee, the cone simply flexes down and out of the way without impeding or damaging the bat in any way.
So it would be natural to think that all of these types of tees are the same. And while we've tried, liked and reviewed several, it's always tough to compare something to a JUGS product. They just seem to know exactly what coaches and players want.
JUGS Sports is famous for their iconic pitching machines, but they do so much more. The JUGS T is their newest example of brilliance. The first thing that jumps out is that there is no pro-style tee with a lower price and longer warranty. We could end the review there and have given you all the information you need.
But when we tried the one they sent us, we understood there was much more than immediately meets the eye. They know that not everyone will be using the tee outdoors. So the base is rubber covered with rounded edges so it can be placed on a gym floor with no worries about scuffing. Let's stay with the base: See that ergonomic handle? Seems like a small thing, but it's a big deal. It allows you to pick the tee up and carry it easily, which none of the other ones we've seen can do. And the base is sturdy and balanced perfectly so that no additional weight is needed to keep it upright. You'll love how the stem easily unscrews so that you can conveniently store it in your bat or equipment bag and have it whenever you need it.
Speaking of the stem, it can be adjusted, quickly and easily, which is what we liked the best. It will go from a low of 24” to a high of 46” making it great for working on pitches anywhere in the zone. And the internal interlocking bolt design prevents slippage so once you make the adjustment you want, it stays in place.
We've never tried anything from JUGS Sports that isn't top quality and brimming with innovation. You'll be able to find similar products on the market but when you add up all the features, benefits and craftsmanship they bring to the table, they're running through every season undefeated.
Source: JUGS Sports
Avid fishermen take their gear seriously and have a special relationship with everything they use to land the big ones. The Smoke PT reel from Quantum might end up being you new best friend.
The Smoke PT features a PTX aluminum frame design that reduces overall weight and adds rigidity. The Speed Freak version features a screaming fast 8.1:1 gear ratio that pulls in 35 inches of line for every turn of the handle.
Are you a lefty? The Smoke is available in right and left hand retrieve. The continuous Anti-Reverse clutch Titanium-nitride coated line guide means you can bring in any size fish with no tension. It glides. It boasts a micro-tuned spool clicker and tension knob. The soft-touch EVA handle knobs are unmatched and you'll love the durability of the strong aluminum frame and gear side cover.
The best feature may be that it is super light weight and fits in your hand comfortably, allowing you to fish all day without getting tired at all. The Smoke PT handles big fish with ease. Those of you who bass fish know that speed is so good for so many techniques. Keeping that slack out of the line can be critical. This reel does it's job and does it well.
It will cast a mile, it's durable and good looking. What more could you ask for from a good friend?
AMO, (Advanced Multi-sport Optics) contacted us and asked if we'd like to try out a pair of their top-of-the line sports sunglasses. AMO is an up-and-coming brand but with a global following that provides high quality sports sunglasses and is fighting hard against the mega sports brands. It is niche, small but very interesting.
The pair they sent us was their Ironcatcher model, which looked very similar in style to another well-known name. However, digging in, one finds that these are not simply knock-offs, (though they do cost less), but that the AMO brand is out to beat the competition in quality and, from what we can see, they've succeeded.
The AMO frames are made from Grilamid TR90 – the best of the best. It is lightweight, resistant to stress cracking and material fatigue and stands up well against UV exposure and extreme temperatures.
The polycarbonite NXT lenses are vented for optimal performance when going fast, (think running, cycling). NXT lenses hands-down beat other lenses on the market. They're optically clearer, UV resistant, with hydrophobic and anti-scratch coatings. They are also interchangeable and easily clipped in and out of the frames.
Maybe the greatest benefit to the athlete is the way these glasses fit. With an adjustable nose piece and adjustable temple arms, you can actually contour your AMO's to fit your face, the way you like. This customization option means it is almost like ordering from the factory to meet your individual specifications. I can tell you that I've never worn a pair that fits better than these. We also liked the cool style feature of being able to switch out the black temple arms with an included set of yellow that give the glasses a hot two-tone look.
They market their products for action sports like cycling, running and triathlon. Being a baseball dad and having to wince at the cost of the most popular baseball sunglasses out there, I could totally see these for hardball players too. But whatever your sport, we'd be surprised if you didn't find them to be superior in quality to those big boys. And you'll be surprised that once you put them on, you won't want to take them off.
My son, who is a professional baseball player, swears that playing Playstation MLB The Show makes him a better hitter. He claims that having to guess which pitch is coming, the timing of the controller in his hand, seeing the realistic pitching motion, it all helps. I think it's his rationale for playing video games instead of doing something more productive. But I wonder what he'd think of the ProBatter. Actually, I know what he'd think. He'd love it.
He's already the one who can't get enough hitting a baseball. We never got to a point where we had our own batting cage at the house when he was growing up, but if we had, he'd have worn it out. The ProBatter system combines the best of both pitching machines and video games, and then takes it to a new level.
The ProBatter incorporates technology and video to nearly duplicate the experience of facing a live pitcher. Standing at the plate, you see video of a pitcher going into his windup. The pitcher's hand comes down exactly at a hole in the screen out of which comes a live pitch. Unlike conventional pitching machines, the ProBatter can throw an astounding eight different pitches at any speed from 40-100 miles per hour. The pitches can come at any location in and out of the strike zone to eliminate the biggest flaw in ordinary machines, which is that they groove the same pitch at the same location at the same speed over and over, making the process too easy and unrealistic.
This is, on the other hand, extremely realistic. From the windup, to the pitch, it really looks like a person is pitching to you. Hitting is all about timing and this system can't be beat for working on that. Many pro and college teams swear by it. It's great for fan zones at stadiums and batting cage facilities. If you have a basement at home and really want to make an investment in your son (or daughter - they do a softball version too), we can't think of a better way. It can even be used to train catchers.
The ProBatter is ingenious, effective and fun. It can be used by the most serious future hall-of-famer and the up-and-coming Little Leaguer. It takes the doldrums out of training and turns it into a virtual reality thrill. What more can you ask for when you step up to the plate?
Imagine you are a young, North American soccer player, age 11-18, and you live and die with "The Beautiful Game". You watch all of the European teams play and love to pretend you're Messi, or Marta. Now, imagine you could go to Italy for a soccer camp coached by professionals. Wouldn't that be a dream come true?
That's exactly what you can do, with the help of Soccerkix. They offer full-immersion camps which provide a unique Italian language-soccer experience that combines international travel, daily Italian language instruction, high-level professional soccer training, and cultural excursions. What a tremendous opportunity for youngsters.
Campers enjoy full room and board in a top-quality hotel in Umbria, Italy. A private, air-conditioned bus is theirs for all travels. They receive daily Italian language instruction from a native speaking, certified Italian teacher and chaperoned excursions to places of cultural interest in and around the Umbria region. Each day their game will improve as they benefit from technical soccer training at SCUOLA CALCIO training facilities. They'll also receive a complete SCUOLA CALCIO practice training Kit which will make them the envy of all their teammates when they get back home. Students are supervised by an experienced and qualified bilingual Soccerkix Director and social and ultural activities are shared with Italian kids.
Surprisingly, all of this is available at an affordable price. We don't know if our youngsters are going to ever be good enough to play on the international level. In fact, the odds are pretty heavily stacked against it. But, thanks to Soccerkix, at least for a week, you can make this dream come true.