At Mommy University, we love looking at the benefits of activities we enroll our kids in. We all know sports and clubs are fun, but it is important to know what kids are really getting out of the program they are signed up for. I have brought you the benefits of soccer and skiing, and now I am bringing you the benefits of playing baseball.
My son started playing T-Ball at age 5. He may not have been the best athlete on the team, but he tried hard and loved the sport. He is now turning 8 years old and about to begin his second year on our town’s minors baseball team. Last year was intense for all of us as he had about 16 games, home and away, with us often having 3 games a week. Again, my son may not be the best on the team, but the experience definitely helped him grow as a person.
I believe sports offer amazing developmental benefits for children especially baseball. It is not just about getting a homerun and stealing second base. It is about growing as an athlete and an individual.
10 Benefits of Playing Baseball
Although each time you get up at bat, baseball appears to be an individual sport, it is more about the team than the player. Ever wonder why a batter purposely gets out? It’s called TEAMWORK! Beginning at a young age, kids learn that being a part of a team is more important than being the star. Kids learn to work together and cheer each other on.
Last year, my son started the season off a little shaky. It took him more times than I would like to count to actually hit the ball when pitched to him, but by season’s end, he had improved greatly. By encouraging him to keep trying and not giving up, he improved his skills which helped build his self-confidence. Although he struggled at bat, he did very well at second base. Each time he got someone out, his face beamed with pride, and I just knew his self-esteem and confidence was getting stronger.
Enhances Gross Motor Skills
Sports are great for enhancing gross motor skills. Baseball in particular helps kids build core muscle strength, leg muscles and upper body strength. As kids get stronger, they gain greater balance and control which improves their overall skill and level of success. Enhancing gross motor skills help kids prepare for other sports as well.
Increases Motor Planning
Baseball involves a great deal of motor planning. Kids have to know where to hold the bat, how to balance it, and then know exactly when to swing it. It doesn’t just involve strength. It requires concentration and careful motor planning. Getting your head to tell your body exactly what to do when you want it to do it can be very difficult for some kids. It takes practice and determination to master this skill.
Promotes Family Involvement
Baseball offers so many opportunities for parents to get involved with their child’s athletic career. From selling chocolate to running the concession stand to coaching, recreation baseball is a wonderful way for parents to become active participants in their kids’ lives. Last year, I volunteered to be the Assistant Coach for my son’s T-Ball team. Although I knew very little about coaching baseball, it was a wonderful way to spend time with my son and create memories to last a lifetime.
Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle
Playing baseball is a fun way to keep kids fit and healthy. While playing, kids increase stamina and endurance as well as build muscle strength and coordination. Cardiovascular exercise that takes place during practice and a game helps improve lung capacity and increase metabolism. Baseball also keeps kids active and forces them to unplug!
Enhances Social Skills
Joining the local recreation or school baseball team is a wonderful way for kids to make new friends and build upon current friendships. Kids also learn socially appropriate behavior such as respect, turn taking and following directions. They also learn to support each other and provide a positive environment for the entire team.
Baseball can be a stressful sport. Think about it, a player only needs to do well at bat 30% of the time in order to be considered amazing! Kids learn patience beginning at a young age when playing baseball. They learn to patiently wait their turn at bat, then take their time to hit the ball off the tee and eventually patiently wait for the perfect pitch to hit the ball out of the park.
Improves Focus and Attention
Let’s face it, baseball is not a fast action sport (well most of the time). When you are not running the bases, you are either standing at your outfield position waiting for a play or hanging out in the dugout. Learning to wait not only builds patience as stated above but also improves focus and attention. Players have to keep their eye on the ball at all times to know when they need to catch, who to throw to or when to steal. Players on the bench also need to pay attention to the score, number of outs and who is on base. Without paying attention to details, the game will not be successful.
Builds Math and Science Skills
Who knew you could gain academic skills while playing baseball? In fact, there is a great deal of math and physics involved in this complex game. From simply keeping track of the score to calculating batting averages, math plays a huge role in baseball. Physics is also integral to success as pitch speed and direction will impact a player’s swing while the way the player holds and swings his bat will impact the direction the ball will go. Kids need to learn all about energy and force in order to be successful players.
Why do you find baseball beneficial?
You may also enjoy: