Ahhh, the Great American Pastime! Grab a hot dog, a box of Cracker Jacks, and get ready to watch your kid hit a Grand Slam! Our kids aren’t quite there yet since they are still in T-ball and Coaches Pitch leagues. Let’s face it, we are excited if they make it to first base! Even though they aren’t hitting home runs yet, baseball is teaching them valuable lessons that can translate into their everyday lives.Jenny’s son, Weston, is in T-ball for the second year. The difference between year one and two is amazing. Due to Weston’s shyness the first year, his dad became Coach Chris in order to get Weston out on the field. Once he stopped crying and became more comfortable with the other kids, he did great! Although as parents, we still spent the first year reminding him to stop throwing dirt and pay attention to the ball. This year, he told Coach Chris that he didn’t need him anymore out on the field. He is excited to play and is making lots of new friends!
Rylan, Megan’s son, is in his third year of playing baseball. He has also overcome shyness and improved dramatically! Although Rylan’s not as shy as Weston, he still had to overcome his own struggles of making new friends and stepping outside his comfort zone. Rylan doesn’t like to be the center of attention, so stepping up to the plate with all eyes on him was a tough position for him.Baseball has helped the boys in many areas. Being a part of any team helps build teamwork, teaches children to accept constructive criticism, and learn some responsibility. Here are a few other areas we really noticed improvement in our kids:
Like we said, Weston was super shy when he started baseball. He barely made it out on the field for the first practice. We tried everything: bribing, hugs, empty threats…. It was a struggle. Weston is just one of those kids that needs to warm up to the situation. The coach was great and tried to make him feel comfortable. We weren’t giving up. After a few practices, he was one of the players and was excited to go. We saw his confidence soar not only in baseball but in his everyday life.Learning To Deal With Disappointments
You win some, you lose some. In Rylan’s case, he lost every game but one in his first year of Coaches Pitch. It is sad to see the disappointment on your child’s face, but they learn that winning isn’t everything. You still need to go out and do your best. This year, their team has won every game so far. Thankfully he had those hard lessons first. Losing is a hard, but important lesson to learn.
Making New Friends
There is nothing cuter than watching your child make new friends! Seeing them cheer each other on and bond over a common goal is heartwarming. Obviously, this translates into their everyday life. With Weston starting school, we are hopeful that there is a good chance he may know some of the kids in his class from playing baseball. Even if he doesn’t, he has learned that meeting new kids isn’t so scary.Patience
Patience and little kids are not usually used in the same sentence. If you’ve ever watched young kids play organized sports, you know what I’m talking about. Let’s just throw out a thank you to all those coaches that practice patience with our children! Our kids had to learn to wait their turn to bat, slow down when running around the bases behind a slower runner, and wait until the inning is over before running to the dugout.Trying Something New
Rylan’s feels comfortable when he’s blending in with the crowd. When his coach asked him to play catcher in the middle of the game, it was a new position for him and there was no time to ease in to it. To Megan’s amazement, he jumped at the opportunity. Rylan knew that he would have the support of his teammates and coaches. Even though he did not like catching, we were still proud of him for trying something new! Can’t knock it ’til you try it!
Whether it be baseball, dance, or 4H, we are firm believers that our kids find something to be involved in. They may not love everything they get involved in and that’s okay. At least they stuck it out and can try something new next time. Every situation in life will give you a chance to learn something. The more situations you put yourself in, the more opportunities you will have to grow. Our goal as parents is to start teaching these important lessons and hope that they draw on these experiences throughout their life.