Baseball is America’s great pastime, there’s no doubt about it! As a people, we have always enjoyed a baseball game on a hot summer day, when the breeze is cool, the dogs are hot, and the beer is cold. As a parent, getting to watch your child experience the tradition and sportsmanship that accompanies the great sport of baseball is something that can fill you with great pride. If your kid is into baseball and wants to start playing, there are a few things that you can do to get them ready and set them up for a successful baseball season…
Make the backyard a great place to practice
First of all, in all things that we do, practice makes perfect. This is twice as true in baseball, where the stakes are twice as high! (Maybe not twice as high, but winning baseball games is really fun.) For this reason, you need to teach your child good habits to get them to practice every day, even on days that they don’t have a team practice. Practicing for even just fifteen minutes at home each day can go a long way, and should be easy to do if it is also fun! To encourage this, make your backyard a great place for them to play ball with a healthy lawn, and take the time to go play some catch each day.
Get to know the coaches
Once you know what team your child is going to be playing for, it is a good idea to get familiar with the coaches on that team. Coaches play an important role as a figure for kids to look up to, and need to be great communicators who have discipline, but also know how to recognize the different ways that these kids work. When meeting coaches, talk to them a bit about your child and any history with the game. Remember to give them any important information that they should know about your kid (such as allergies and whatnot).
Nutrition is important
As with any sport that your kid takes up, baseball games and practices take quite a bit of energy, and require a lot of physical exertion. For this reason, it’s important for kids to start to develop healthy habits that will put them in the best shape to compete and stay safe and healthy. Nutrition is a major factor to do this. Make sure that your child is getting the nutrients and protein that they need to be out running around and playing games. While you don’t need to have a hard cut off on junk food, definitely keep it down to a minimum. In addition to this, make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation and athletics are a dangerous cocktail that shouldn’t be mixed!
Help the team in little ways
Hopefully, your child knows that you are involved and interested in their activities. However, if you want to take a couple extra steps towards being involved, you can look for little ways to volunteer your time and help the team out when they need it. This can be as simple as picking up snacks for the kids to have after the game (look back to that nutritional section), helping plan team transportation to get to a game in another town, or even fundraising to help the team get some swanky jerseys. Running a raffle is a great way to raise money for your team, and there’s a great step-by-step guide here about how to raise the most money from your raffle. Either way, being more involved helps you know the team better and can make the baseball season even more of a community experience. And really, that’s part of what baseball is all about!
Keep a place for gear to be organized
If you want your kid to feel like their activities are important, then it is a great idea to carve a little space out for them in your home in honor of those activities. In terms of baseball, and any sport, there is a host of different equipment that kids need to have and keep track of. Having a space for this equipment, such as in a shed or a garage, is a good way to be organized throughout the season and gives your kid a base for their interests. Take good care of sporting equipment and teach your child to store and maintain them properly.