I am fortunate enough to have a basement that is tall enough and long enough to allow my daughter to pitch indoors during our cold winter months. So we modified our basement enough to set up a hitting and pitching area. Upgraded to a nice heavy net, a plate to hit with, tee, a pitching plate with zones, a nice mat to stand on when hitting, and most important of all a good automotive creeper seat for Dad to sit on (if you are still using a bucket to catch I highly recommend!). Then things get a little more "home grown", don't judge. We started with just power lines on the concrete with duct tape. Which worked, but then we (yes daughter and I) thought we could do better. Then we made our own pitching mat, you know, indoor/outdoor carpet, rubber, painted a power line on it. Well it looked great for about 2 months. Now that we are getting late into the winter, she has worn a hole in the carpet and the painted lines have a definite drag leg pattern missing. While I think we can make this work until it warms up outside (hopefully another month or so), it may be time for an upgrade. I have 2 questions for you guys and gals. #1. Do you have a good pitching mat that you recommend? I see pricings from $150 to $400. Which one is good to get and will outlast our $40 home made jobber. I am hoping for multiple seasons out of it. #2. What homemade contraptions have you made for softball training?