Tips For Your Child's First Ball Season
1. Get The Right Youth Gear
When it comes to ball gear, there’s certainly a lot to choose from in the sporting goods world. Does your kid need cleats? A glove? A bat? It’s important to communicate with your child’s league or new coach to know what pieces of equipment you are expected to supply for your new ball player. Once you know what’s needed, our experts at Source For Sports can help get you in the right gear for your game – sizing and all. Typically, bats are provided by the league for each team, but if your kid still wants a bat to call their own, make sure you’re getting a bat that’s approved for their league as well as a comfortable weight for them to properly learn how to swing. Check out our blog on Choosing The Right Youth Baseball Bat for more information. You’ll almost certainly need a ball glove and cleats for your all-star but be sure again to speak first with your league to ensure you are meeting the requirements. Some leagues may require a proper cleat while others may only call for a supportive running shoe. These necessities vary based mainly on the player’s age group and style of play.
2. Practice With Your Kid
Practice makes perfect, and it also makes for quality family time! Once your kid is all geared up, it’s a good idea to toss the ball around outside to get game-ready. Not only will this help break in the new gear, but it will make your child feel more comfortable about the start of the season as well as provide some quality bonding time. It’s so important to encourage your child to practice, as it helps develop a hard-working attitude. Hard work is important for athletes at all levels, and certainly a great life skill. Plus, the earlier they get in a bit of practice before the season, the more easily they can crush any preseason nerves. It’s also crucial to show your child that practice is necessary to improve. Sports can often put a lot of pressure on kids to do well, but a positive attitude toward practice and improvement will show them that they can be expected to be a super start right off the bat. Elevating your game takes time and passion. Take time to help your new baseball player find their love of the game!
3. Get To Know The Coaches And Parents
You’re going to be spending the better portion of the summer around your kid’s new ball coaches, as well as the parents of the rest of the team. There are many reasons why it’s beneficial to be on a first-name basis. You’ll definitely want to introduce yourself to the coaching staff as soon as possible, especially so they can put a face to your name. This will allow for open communication about your child’s progress and needs, such as things they can work on, allergies to be aware of, and schedule conflicts. The other parents are important to know for a couple reasons. Firstly, the more of them you get to know, the more opportunities you’ll have to carpool to practices, games, and potential tournaments. Perhaps more importantly however, the more parents you get to know, the more fun you’ll have in the stands throughout the season!
4. Prepare Yourself And Your Child For Each Game
Think of each game as a long day out in the sun. Make sure both you and your child are well-equipped for the heat with plenty of water, healthy snacks, sunscreen, and proper coverage. Proper protection and hydration will allow your child to play their best, and for you, it will allow for a comfortable and positive #1 fan experience! Baseball games can be long, too, so if your all-star has a little sibling or two, make sure they have what they need to last the entire game, be it snacks, a toy, or a book. You’ll thank yourself later when they’re occupied leaving you to cheer on your athlete without too many interruptions in the stands.
5. Let The Players Play
Speaking of being in the stands, it’s incredibly important for all parents to remember that winning isn’t everything. Certainly, winning is the goal, but the lessons learned along the way are the most valuable part of the game. Criticism from the stands will lead to your child feeling confused and upset. Also, aggressive criticism of the umpire from parents and coaches alike will demonstrate to the young athletes that this type of behavior is acceptable. Remember that these young baseball players are still just kids, and they will mimic the adult behavior they see at the diamond. Ultimately, the kids are playing to have fun, exercise, and learn to love the sport. Save the commentary – it’s not an MLB game. Help instead to create an encouraging atmosphere in the stands by sharing only positive cheers, and not hurtful words. That’s not to say you can’t teach your kids about mistakes on the field, but when mistakes are noted, they should be calmly discussed and shared with coaches to suggest areas of improvement to focus on in practice. Positive and constructive communication is key to the enjoyment and continued success of our children on and off the diamond, so think twice before you share your thoughts from the stands!
For expert advice on baseball gear and equipment that is right for your game, level of play, and budget, come see us at your local Source for Sports baseball store near you. We Fit Your Game.
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