Baseball players are always looking for new ways to improve their game. Those improvements can come from a variety of adjustments to skills as well as equipment. Players will make modifications to all aspects of their game and one easy thing to adjust is your glove. Some players like to do something called “flaring” to their glove. But what is the best way to flare your baseball glove?
Benefits Of Flaring Your Glove
Flaring your glove can give you quite the competitive advantage if done right. Flaring your glove means that you take the finger stalls of your pinky and thumb and flare them out. This creates a flatter, shallower pocket for the glove. Flaring also creates a greater surface area in the glove, allowing for more room than usual to catch a ball.
Flaring is most helpful for those that are playing in the infield because the shallower pocket allows for a quicker transition from the glove to the hand so the player can make quicker throws across the diamond.
It is not unheard of for outfielders to use this technique to break in their gloves but it is much more effective for those playing on the diamond. There are also some techniques of flaring that will create a deeper pocket to use for outfielders. Overall, the preference on how you flare the glove and if it will benefit you will likely depend on your position.
There are not too many things that you need to flare a glove but the first step is to make sure you have access to these items:
- A baseball
- An oven
- The glove
How To Flare A Baseball Glove
If you think that flaring your glove could beneficial to your game, there are many ways to go about it. Flaring a glove is not too difficult but it is an intricate process so you need to be careful with what you do and follow all instructions. It is also recommended to check with your glove manufacturer to see if there are any specific instructions that they have. And if it seems too difficult for you to accomplish, there are some pre-flared gloves available to purchase online.
So how exactly do you go about flaring the glove that you already have? It is just a simple step by step process:
1. Heat The Oven
After making sure that you have all the necessary materials, the next step should be to preheat your oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grease The Glove
As the oven is heating up, the next step that you can do is to start oiling up the glove. The choice of what you use to lubricate your glove is up to your preference. Despite this being your choice, you may want to see if your manufacturer has suggestions of something you can use that won’t damage your glove.
3. Place Glove In The Oven
Once your glove is lubed up and the oven is fully heated, you want to place your glove on a cookie sheet. Then you should place the glove in the oven for no longer than five minutes. The heat will allow the glove to become more flexible and adjustable.
4. Test Mobility
After the five minutes are up, take the glove out and test its mobility and see if it is flexible enough to work with. If the heat did not make the glove more flexible, continuing placing the glove in the oven at one-minute increments until it is at a point where you can adjust it.
5. Stretch The Glove
Once you find the glove at a point where it is able to be adjusted, begin to stretch it out and play with it. This will improve the flexibility of the glove and allow it to better conform to your hand and grip. Continue to do this until the glove is as flexible and flared as you would like.
6. Apply Pressure
When you are beginning to stretch out your glove, it is important to make sure that you are applying the correct amount of pressure. The more pressure you apply, the more pronounced the flare is. So, again, depending on your preferences you want to choose the right amount of pressure to apply.
7. Build The Pocket
Once the glove is conformed to your grip and is flared as much as you would like, the next step is to form the pocket. The best way to do this is to take a baseball and place it in the pocket of the glove. Then take shoelaces and tie it around the glove with the ball inside to sit overnight. Conforming the glove to the ball will help create a more defined pocket for game use.
8. Repeat Steps As Needed
As you can imagine, it may take longer than one treatment to completely flare your glove to the desired level. It may also take some time for the glove to fully conform to your hand. Because of this, you should repeat these steps over several days until the glove is at the exact flare that you want.
While this step by step process is simple enough to follow, it may help to have a visual aid of how to flare a glove. If you want to see how to flare a glove in action, watch this informative video.
Flaring a baseball glove is not as difficult as it may seem. It can be beneficial for infielders looking to get a quicker transition from the glove to hand. It can also be beneficial to outfielders looking to break in their glove or form a deeper pocket. Essentially, any flaring that you want to do on your glove will be at your own discretion and to your own preferences. Do you think this is the best way to flare a glove? Have you done it a different way with good success? Comment below and tell us how you accomplished your flare.