Baseball may pale in popularity when compared with the giants of the world like football, basketball, soccer, cricket, and so on, but it continues to be a popular choice for parents looking to get their children out of the house and onto the field. Here are ten reasons why baseball is still a solid choice for kids:
1. Learning to work as a team
As iPads and impersonal communication continue to dominate the world, teamwork and communication becomes more of a challenge.
In baseball, no one player can win on his or her own. Teamwork and communication is absolutely necessary to driving in a run, turning a double play, or fielding a fly ball in a contested area.
2. Hand-Eye Coordination
A baseball player can’t get through an inning without it, which makes the sport a tremendous opportunity to develop this key skill.
From hitting a pitch to catching and throwing a ball, even the mitt-to-hand transfer, baseball helps kids develop great hand-eye coordination.
3. Natural Strength Development
When former U.S. President Barack Obama visited the MLB All-Star Game, he asked future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki how he could throw the ball 300 feet like a laser beam. The answer was simple: “Soft muscle, you don’t need to be big”.
The repeated motions of throwing, swinging, lateral movement, etc. in baseball lead to some pretty remarkable strength in children. When your child makes a throw from third to first on a line for the first time, you’ll see it.
4. Patience and Concentration
Being disciplined at the plate is heralded and praised in baseball. Making the right throw in a tricky situation requires an awareness of the game. Baseball will give your kid plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.
5. Understanding of game play
Every sport has its weird rules, but perhaps none more than baseball. Coming to understand the ins and outs of the game takes time, patience, and builds confidence as your kids learn to tag-up on fly balls or tag the kid who turns left after running past first base.
Just as kids learn to communicate and work as a team by getting outdoors and onto the diamond, they’ll learn respect by working with coaches and umpires. To keep the game flowing the way it’s supposed to, one needs to learn to follow the lead of their coach and respect the calls of the umpire, even when they disagree.
7. Keeps a Calm Head
By getting them out with others, working as a team, kids learn to develop a calm head. They may be less likely to scream out in anger when things don’t go their way or if they pop out to the left fielder.
8. Friendship and Comradery
As your child learns to communicate and work with teammates, they’ll also build friendships. There’s something about waiting in the dugout and cheering on your teammates and having a great time together.
9. Family Time
There’s a great tradition of family time around baseball. Even better than going out to a pro game is setting out a blanket or some folding chairs and watching your child field some ground balls. Even if they let a few roll between their legs, it can help siblings learn to support their brother or sister and get the whole family out together.
All in all, baseball is fun. Win or lose, you get to swing a metal stick at a ball, throw things and play in the dirt. What more could a child want?