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Keeping Kids Active after School: Baseball

 

Being a kid is not just about going to school and studying tons of books. Children should also be exposed to several fun after-school activities in order to remain active and develop potential innate athletic abilities. Of course, you may already be well aware of the exercise benefits of participating in sports; but sports will also help children develop coordination and will provide opportunities to develop social skills and values.

The Benefits of Baseball

With so many physical activities to consider, parents may find it difficult to decide which one is best suited to their child. Baseball has been a popular choice for boys and is becoming more popular with girls as well. The benefits to baseball are much more than you may realize. It is not just about exercise; your kid will be able to observe how to behave in various situations (e.g. losing and winning). Children are keen observers, and they will notice if adults use good sportsmanship or try to use any edge in order to win the game. Aside from developing the love of sports, you are providing an opportunity to impart the valuable lessons of sportsmanship. Additionally, baseball helps to develop hand-eye coordination, and aerobic strength.

Getting Started

Many schools incorporate the game of baseball into their afterschool sports programs. Some parents choose to enroll their kids in baseball clinics during the summer, while others let their little ones participate in little leagues organized in their community. But if it is your child's first time to play the game, you may want to spend a little time teaching the basics of the sport. The first step is to explain to your child the general principles of the game; e.g. fielding field fly and ground balls. Next, focus on catching and throwing the ball. Remind children to use both hands since this will further help coordination and balance.

Developing Technique

In order to practice proper throwing technique, use a drill wherein your child will throw the ball at the chest of the catcher. Doing drills over and over again helps children get used to the motion of the technique.  It is important to appropriately match drills to the child's level of development; be realistic with your expectations and never lose sight of making it fun. Even if your child commits an error, stay upbeat and encouraging.

Once your child learns the proper techniques for catching and throwing the ball, the next step is to focus on hitting the baseball. This aspect of the game can be a little bit more difficult to learn since it requires more coordination. Patience on your part will help your child understand that baseball requires being able to handle failure and that is all part of the game. Explain to your child that hitting the ball is not possible at all times. Even professional baseball players miss a lot of balls during their games. With that said, the best way to teach your child to hit the ball is using a tee.

If your children develop a love for baseball, it is more likely that they will become focused on becoming good at the sport. As a parent and coach, you always have to emphasize sportsmanship. Baseball is not just about the game; it can actually teach your child to behave in socially acceptable ways and handle life events properly.


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