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A backyard batting cage is a great way to improve your skills at any time of year, depending on how the structure is built. You will need to make a few key decisions before you take on a project to build a backyard batting cage, the first of which is whether you want a very simple cage or a more complex one such as an indoor cage. You will also need to decide if you want a portable cage or a permanent structure. Think carefully about your budget for the project as well.
Perhaps the least expensive way to create a backyard batting cage is to buy a cage kit. The kit will include upright supports as well as the netting that will surround the hitter and pitcher, but it will not include any pitching machines or concrete necessary to secure the upright supports. Some cages do not require the uprights to be sunk in concrete, which makes the installation process much easier, but such cages are usually not intended for year-round use and will need to be taken down during the winter. You can also assemble a backyard batting cage from scratch by buying durable piping for uprights and a net intended for use as a batting cage or other similar activity.
If you intend to build a permanent structure, you may want to consider pouring a concrete slab for your backyard batting cage. This will provide a solid surface for the structure and will prevent damage to the yard from constant use. A slab will add significant cost to the budget for the backyard batting cage, and it will be a labor-intensive project, so be sure to research the steps involved with pouring concrete before you commit to such a plan. If you intend to build an indoor batting cage, a concrete slab will be necessary to act as a base for the structure.
Think about how pitching the ball will be accomplished. If you will have a human pitcher inside the cage, it will be necessary to buy or build a protective L-shaped screen behind which the pitcher can stand. This screen will protect the pitcher from getting hit by the ball while still being able to effectively throw the pitch. If the cage will require a pitching machine, be sure to do some research into the various machines on the market. Choose one that will fit your budget, but keep in mind that some machines are far more adjustable than others, both in speed and accuracy.