Youth baseball competes with other sports, TV, video games, and parent’s concerns over Covid, time and money. But it is still the most popular sport among children in this country. Here are the some reasons why we thing kids should play baseball.
Baseball builds a child’s social skills
When a child plays baseball, they learn important lessons like how to take turns, how to treat others with respect, how to behave when they lose, how to follow directions and how to share. These are important life skills that a simple game can give them. Parents, imagine having to teach all this yourself.
Baseball can build friendships that last a lifetime
My son played baseball with his best friend Gary from the time they were five year’s old. Just last year I took a picture of them playing in a men’s softball league together. I do not think there is anything that fosters friendships better than playing sports. If you have ever witnessed the chatter in the dugout of little boys and girls you will quickly realize the fast friendships that come from baseball. Here's a picture of the two of them, then and now.
Baseball teaches kids how to remain focused, but it takes time to develop
Baseball has a lot of dead time. If you are in the outfield as a t-ball player, you might never get a ball hit to you. T-ballers play with the grass, they look around for something more interesting, they sit and wait to be called into the dugout, it’s normal. But the longer a child plays, the more capable they are of creating and maintaining focus. You often see a 12-year old biting their nails or playing with their hair or chewing on the front of their shirt. These are the attention mechanisms that they have developed over time to stay focused while playing baseball.
Sports participation consistently shown to support all aspects of academic achievement
According to Keeping Girls in the Game, a research study by the Woman’s Sports Foundation, girls who participate in sports show higher academic achievement including “positive academic self-concepts, a positive attitude towards schoolwork, improved academic performance and higher grades, and higher educational aspirations and attainment.” If these things are even a little bit true, then you should be looking for the first available sports program, now.
Baseball can improve overall fitness
When you have a good coach who makes practices fun, the kids come off the field sweaty, tired and thirsty. There is no doubt that being on a baseball field will develop things like balance and hand-eye coordination, but can also be amazing for overall fitness. The younger a child starts, the better. I’ve noticed that if a boy or girl is 11 or 12 and starts playing for the first time, body image is already an interesting third wheel. If a child starts early, those body issues don’t exist yet. Don't worry, it’s not too late to start playing. Just recognize they will take more than one season to develop their baseball and fitness skills.
Obviously, there are other factors in the success of your child in reaching all these benefits, like good coaches. But, that doesn’t stop me from encouraging you to get your child playing ball!