Breaking in a baseball or softball glove can be time consuming and outright uninteresting. So let’s get motivated and really understand how breaking in your glove properly not only shapes your new glove but will shape your future in the position you want to pursue.
1st step is one that is controversial but with no real basis for understanding it’s merits. Fill a spray bottle with warm water and be generous with each area you're trying to work in.
Start with a nice amount in the pocket. Then hold the glove firmly on the outside. One hand on the pinky side and the other hand on the thumb side.
Face the pocket of the glove away from you and start to sheer the glove up and down, like milking a cow. This will help soften the heel pad just below the pocket.
Once we have loosened up the leather, use either a small wooden mallet or just a ball you can repeatedly hit into the pocket to help it mold. Putting the hand in the glove during this process can help get a feel where you want to catch the ball.
Once we establish a good feel then you can take the glove off and give it a 100 good hits with the ball or mallet to really loosen it up. This entire process can then be repeated.
Start over with a little more water, then sheering. No bubble or crease should be in the pocket of the glove. The next step is to play some catch. It may be difficult but also great for developing some hand strength and dexterity in opening and closing the glove.
Glove conditioners can be useful only after the first week of break in. It’s not necessary to over condition the glove. Let the glove dry on its own. Water won’t hurt the leather. the glove can be game ready in less than a week if given some useful attention.
Only condition the glove enough to keep it from over drying. A little goes a long way. The last thing you want is a greasy film on the glove when you are trying to use it in games.
Lastly don’t just throw your glove in a bag it’s important to keep the mold of the pocket intact especially when breaking it in. Remember to place glove palm side down. When in your bag, use a pocket form tool to keep its shape or a hard glove case.