One of the best things about baseball is that it's a brilliant family sport. If you're a baseball-mad father, you'll want your kids watching and loving the sport too. Here are three ways you can get your child into baseball:
The love affair with baseball always starts with your first ball game. Feeling the atmosphere as the crowd filed into the stadium. Laughing at the mascot doing his pre-match dance. The smell of the hot dogs and burgers wafting around the place. It's a feeling you'll never forget. I still remember my first ball game, and I'm sure a lot of you do too. I'd never given baseball much of a thought before I saw a match live, but afterwards I was intrigued. I wanted to know more about this sport, wanted to see more games.
It stands to reason that your child will be feeling the same way after their first ball game. They'll get the same buzz you did, they'll be cheering every ball. As you walk back to your car, they won't stop talking about the game. They'll ask you more about baseball, and listen as you tell them all the best baseball stories on the journey home.
A great way to start them out on their baseball journey is to buy them some cool stuff. I'm talking about their first bat, ball & glove. When I was a child, my parents got me my first ball and glove, and I never stopped playing with them. I'd be throwing the ball up in the air and trying to catch it in my brand new glove. I was begging my parents and siblings to come outside and play catch with me so I could use the glove more. I felt like a star every time my dad threw me the ball, and it would stick in my glove. So, it only makes sense to give your child this feeling too. You can get youth baseball gloves to fit children, so they aren't walking around with a huge mitt on their hands. If you want, you can take them to a store and let them try on loads of gloves til they find the perfect one for them. Or, you could surprise them with it as a little present out of the blue. Either way, they're bound to love it. Of course, a baseball is pretty hard so you may want to think about getting them a softball to start off with. When they get a bit older and prove they can have a softball without throwing it and breaking anything, get them a proper baseball.
And then there's the bat. When I showed how much I loved my glove and ball, it wasn't long before my parents got me a bat too. This meant endless hours in the local park with my dad, swinging and pretending I'd hit home runs. I'd even be on my own chucking the ball up in the air and trying to slog it on the way back down. Your child will love having their own bat, it will really get them into baseball. Again, make sure you get them one in a suitable size.
After taking your child to a ball game and then buying them their baseball equipment, they'll want to play it all the time. Now, it's a lot of fun playing with them in the yard or park, but it's not the same as actually playing. They'll be eager to get out and play some proper games. So, have a look in your area for a little league team they can join. A lot of today's pros grew up playing little league and rose up through the ranks. Who knows, one day your child could step up to the plate in the final innings of the world series and hit a home-run. Then, in his post-match interview they thank you for finding that little league team years ago to get them more into baseball. Obviously this is just a dream; it's not guaranteed to happen!!
It's important that you find a team that they feel comfortable in. If your child likes their teammates, it will make the whole experience way more fun. I find that being in a team environment will only strengthen their love of baseball. By practicing with their team and winning matches, they'll soon become baseball obsessed just like their father!