Does your son or daughter show interest in playing catch or hitting the ball off a tee? Do they like watching baseball games with you? Have they shown a liking towards America’s Favorite pastime? Well, it might be time to get them into a program to help grow their skills and love for baseball! (Wondering about being a sports mom?)
First up is typically t-ball. The kids practice basic skills such as hitting the ball off the t, running the bases, and completing simple fielding drills. The age range for t-ball is usually 3-6 years of age. Some organizations have a program called “blast ball” which is typically before t-ball. We never played blast ball and instead, searched for an organization that started with t-ball.
Second, Coaching matters for your kids and their teams. With our second-born, we were lucky enough to find a coach we really adored. We started playing with his team in t-ball and have moved all the way up with him to 10U! If you can find a coach you really admire, I suggest moving up with them through the age groups if you can.
Third, we researched several nearby programs, to find one that was a good fit for our family. We were looking for distance from our home as well as the programs they offered. In the end, we actually chose a program further away from our home because we felt like the skills they were teaching more closely resembled the actual game of baseball. Our firstborn was immediately drawn to the sport and still continues to play today at the age of 12!
Additionally, you may want to explore the use of a private coach to build specific skills. Your athlete may need some help with things that can’t be taught during team practice. We have used the same private coach for 3 years and he works with the boys on hitting, pitching, and position play.
Lastly, remember to nurture their love of baseball while also listening to their other interests. Our boys have tried so many different team sports, camps, and other extracurriculars and I don’t mind! I love encouraging decision-making skills for them while they figure out what they love to do. I am a lifelong basketball player and coach, and sadly, neither one of our boys has picked it as their favorite. Isn’t that how it works?!
In the end, children who play team sports are much more likely to be coachable, work well with others, and tend to be more confident and outgoing. No matter what sport they try and like, parents can be there to encourage and show up for their kids. Your child might not remember what LEGO set you got them for their 7th birthday, but they will remember you there cheering them on at every event! (Looking for a great program?)