Hitting Mats – The Groundskeeper’s Secret Weapon

Beacon AthleticsHitting and pitching mats are a great tool in the groundskeeper’s tool box. You may not think of them as a “tool” but they are absolutely effective at helping you maintain the mound and home plate wear areas.

They provide two major benefits to the playing surface.

  1. Mats eliminate the wear that would normally occur in the batters’ boxes or the front of the mound when any kind of practice is occurring.
  2. The mat helps to manage moisture in the clay areas beneath the mat during practice since those two clay areas would normally have been exposed and susceptible to the evaporative forces of sun, wind and low humidity. These are the culprits that can rapidly steal valuable moisture from these high-wear areas.

Other uses for hitting mats

These hitting mats and pitching mats are not only beneficial outdoors or on natural fields, they also work great for protecting:

  • Permanent artificial turf playing fields
  • Batting cages (turf or non-turf areas)
  • Soft-toss areas (hitting stations)
  • Gym floor
  • Turf at your indoor facility

Just like with natural surfaces, when permanent artificial turf is installed it’s smart to use a hitting mat to hit off whenever possible so that that routine concentrated foot traffic does not cause excessive wear and damage on the permanent turf. The bottom line is this: not adequately protecting your playing surface — natural or artificial — will result in costly repairs.

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been with Beacon for more than two decades. Among his many accomplishments he authored Groundskeeper University, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Paul continues to seek innovative ways to help groundskeepers.

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