Baseball is one of the most popular and suitable sports for all ages. Parents and kids can have fun together playing baseball and exercise at the same time too.
So, how to teach your child to play baseball? We will introduce you to some of the useful tips for easy baseball teaching and learning.
1. Let baseball be a fun experience for your children
Do not be too serious about playing baseball with your children at first. It is supposed to be a light-hearted and exciting experience for both you and your kids.
Rigid and tiring lessons will discourage your child. Parents should aim at having fun and playing together rather than training kids to be a baseball star.
If parents put too much stress on kids, they will feel that baseball is hard to learn, thus they will lose the will of enjoying this sport.
2. No expectation is the best for both parents and children
Believe it or not, but children tend to do better if parents don’t expect much from them.
Baseball is a sport that needs skills to excel. But not every kid has the quality of a baseball star at a young age.
Parents should keep an open mind in teaching their child baseball. If your kids do well, praise them. But if they fail, tell them there is nothing to be upset about it.
Remember that you are not a certified baseball coach either. It means that you may not be good instructors too, but the important thing is that you get to spend time and have fun with your family.
3. A good set of glove and bat is not enough
Many parents think that once we get the glove and bat, we can start right away. This is a typical mistake in teaching children baseball.
First, parents should choose the right glove for their kids. A lot of people think that getting a small glove so the ball won’t get stuck deep, but it is wrong.
Baseball gloves for children should be a big and nice fit. The glove should be big enough for your child to catch the ball safely.
However, a new glove is not totally suitable for a young starter. You should break it in a few weeks before actually playing baseball.
A new glove can be hard, so you can oil the glove and wrap a ball in it. Try to make the glove soft and easy for your children.
Parents should instruct your kids to open and close the glove themselves to get them familiar with it.
For a bat, determining a suitable bat for your child is of utmost importance. It is best for parents to take kids to sports stores and get them swings the bats. Choose the one that the kids seem to be comfortable swinging and holding.
However, if you want to shop online, you can go check out bat size calculators to find out some of the compatible bats for your children. These websites automatically generate the results based on your input, but you can try to measure and calculate yourselves based on bat size instructions.
4. Baseball lessons for kids don’t start with a baseball
Throwing a hard baseball towards a young first-timers is a big mistake, too. The idea of a big, hard baseball flying at you can scare any child. They will tend to avoid the ball instinctively rather than catch them.
Besides, children are not good pitchers at first, so using a hard baseball can be a bit risky.
When starting teaching children baseball, parents should go with soft, rag-style balls, for example, tennis balls. They are much easier to face and catch them, and you can avoid some bruises from little accidents on the field.
5. Exercise a bit
Baseball games require a good physique. If your kids are too weak or suffer from illness, parents should consult with doctors to see if they can play baseball.
If your kids are healthy and energetic, it is a good starting point. But they will have to learn about balance and power.
From pitching to catching, balance is a must. If your kids are not good at balancing their body, it is likely that they will have trouble when the ball is released.
Either they will fall easily, or their ball movement will not be good. So parents should let the kids practice a lot of time to help them gain balance.
Moreover, a baseball player cannot be out of breath after five minutes. In the fields, your kids will have to run a lot.
Before every lesson, parents should incorporate a warm-up session. It can either be running, jogging or rope skipping – whichever suitable to your kids.
The point of the warm-up session is to give your children more strength and durability. That way, they can enjoy baseball to the fullest.
6. Everything starts with good posture
The first thing kids are often taught is how to throw a ball. Parents should mind their posture carefully since it will become a habit and be hard to change when children grow up.
The most common mistakes when throwing balls is stepping on the wrong foot, and chicken-wing throwing (the elbows is below the shoulders and close to the body).
Parents can draw a line and get your kids to stand on it, facing the target. Both of their feet should be on the line, though the back foot will go off the line once the ball released.
The glove hand should stay straight to the target (the line will help) and the ball hand should be pointing away from the target. Gradually, kids will remember the right posture for throwing the ball.
Parents should also mind the elbows of the kids. Tell them to always keep their elbows up to shoulder level and a bit away from their bodies.
You should correct the posture right away when the kids have a tendency getting a chicken wing throw. You can let them watch videos to help them understand the pitching mechanics.
7. Teach them how to handle the ball
Holding the ball looks like a minor task, but many children got it wrong on the first try. Baseball should be held firmly with a four-seam grip.
Holding the ball correctly will help you direct the velocity and movement of the ball better. If the kids can do it well, pitching will be easier for them.
Parents should model a four-seam grip for them, and ask them to try copying it. If their hands are too small to hold the ball, another finger can be used to grip firmly on the ball.
8. Let children practice catching
Parents can design a warm-up session before the game by throwing and catching the balls. Throwing the ball casually and let your kids catch it.
This way, it will help the children have the reflex of catching the balls better and get the hang of it quicker.
Nevertheless, parents should teach them the right ways to catch the balls. For the balls that land above the waist, kids’ hands should be up in the sky. For the balls that land below the waist, their hands should be down to the ground.
Besides, parents can change the directions of the balls randomly once your children get better with catching. It will prepare them to face the balls in the real games.
Catching the balls is an important lesson of baseball learning. Therefore, it should be practiced as much as possible.
9. Keep your hands close
When catching, both of the hands should be stuck together. There is no gap allowed so the balls will not fall over.
Parents can remind your children to always keep their hands together when catching the balls. For balls above the waist, their thumbs should touch. For ball below the waist, their little pinkies should touch.
10. The more the merrier
Why don’t you let your children learn baseball with their friends? They can invite their friends from the neighborhood and form a small team.
Some moms and dads can group together to make a coaching team. More coach means more support in the game.
Learning with friends will be much more exciting and funny. Your kids will learn about teamwork and sport spirit, too.
11. Watch baseball games with them
Because both you and your kids are amateurs, learning from the pros will be especially useful. You can discuss together the drills of the players, learn some tips and tricks that way.
Baseball is a world-wide sensational sport, so there are a huge number of championships every year. For kids, youth championships will be suitable.
Parents can let them watch National Youth Baseball Championships, European Youth Baseball Championship, Asian Baseball Championship and so on.
Most of these championship records can be found online on youtube, or you can watch it broadcast on sports channels.
Baseball is a kid-friendly sport, and a lot of children show their potential as pro players at young ages. Therefore, parents should know the best way to encourage their children and create a good foundation for them.