When I was growing up we didn’t do sports. I remember swimming lessons, a year of gymnastics, and my brothers played a bit of hockey or football. My husband was much the same, a little bit but nothing to carry forward, and nothing to encourage him to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. We are, determined that would not be the case with our own children. So when Levi was three we registered him into soccer, the only sport available for that age. He loved it for the first year, after that he quickly lost interest. At that point, we put him in T-Ball.
T-Ball was the way to this boys heart. From the very first time, he hit the ball off the tee he was sold. There was no looking back. All last winter he was checking to see if the snow had melted because he knew that when spring came that was when he got to play ball again.
He recently just completed year two of T-ball and he will be moving up a division onto Mosquito next year. While I am not sure what the coaching or skill level difference there will be between the two here is what we loved about T-Ball:
Working together to achieve a common goal is a skill that everyone needs to have. While at the T-Ball there is no score keeping it is still a team sport. They work together, and there is the “no man left behind” spirit when they make sure everyone gets a chance at each position.
LEARNING THE BASICS
They are going to learn how to play regardless of what age they start playing, but in T-Ball they learn how to hit a ball without it flying at their face. Fear of getting hit in the face is exactly why I still flinch and often cower when a ball is flying my direction. Towards the end of his second year, they started to try it without the tee, which will be an advantage to next season.
The very first time Levi hit the ball off the tee he didn’t have a clue what to do, when he finally started running he brought the bat with him. This was a similar story for nearly every kid on his team. By the end of the season, you would never know they were the same kids because their skill level and knowledge had increased so much.
We have one local minor ball tournament a year, each team plays the other local teams in the same division, in one jam-packed baseball filled day. Even without score keeping the tournament still, gives them a great idea of what to expect when they move on to the next divisions where they do keep score. While I am not a huge fan of “participation medals” I am a huge fan of anything to keeps kids interested. I really enjoy the tactics they utilized in T-Ball where they do not know everyone gets a medal and they feel like they really earned it.
Last but the most important:
Finding a sport they love is all you probably need to keep them involved in it. while it took a couple attempts before we landed on baseball it seems to be the sport that he loves and wants to keep playing year after year. That being said if the time comes in which he wants t try something else he will absolutely be given the chance.
At the end of the day, the only thing I really care about is that my children are happy. Baseball makes him happy and is one of the few things that can him smile like this:
What age did you put your kids into organized sports?