10 Myths About Youth Baseball
Organized youth baseball has been around for a long time. I remember spending my spring and summer days playing in more than one youth baseball league. Not only are the memories of those glory days still fresh in my head, but I learned a tremendous amount of life. Even today I still see some of my old coaches and remain great friends with some of my Little League teammates.
Recently I had a discussion with some friends who asked my opinion on youth baseball. One of them was thinking about signing their child up for a local youth baseball league. My recommendation was that organized youth baseball is a great way to get involved in the community and learn the basics about life. I went on to say that youth baseball helps teach kids responsibility, respect, hustle, teamwork, how to overcome adversity, gain confidence and become independent.
But one of the parent was hesitant to sign their kid up because of some negative things they heard about playing youth baseball. Well, I immediately dis-spelled his concerns and convinced him that youth baseball would be a great experience, not only for his child but also for him and his wife.
For other parents hesitant to let their kids play organized baseball, here are the top ten myths about youth baseball that parents should know about.
1. Youth baseball Is dangerous
Youth Baseball Organizations throughout the country make safety a number one priority. Players wear helmets, catchers wear full equipment (protective cups are mandatory for boys), bats are not allowed in dugouts and coaches teach kids how to be safe. But accidents do occur and in almost every case, the children are fine.
What parents fail to think about is their children maybe more likely to get injured if they were playing outside of youth baseball. I mean, just crossing the street, playing in the playground, rough housing, playing tag, etc. there is always that chance of getting hurt.
There is no truth to the myth that playing youth baseball is dangerous. In fact, it's as safe, or safer, than them playing outside with friends. Youth baseball is very safe.
2. Youth baseball coaches are mean and they don't care about my kid
Nothing more can be further from the truth. Prospective baseball coaches are required to pass a background check and league interview.
With few exceptions, all youth baseball coaches treat the players fairly. You'd be pleasantly surprised this is true for coaches who have their own kids on the team.
You have to remember that coaching youth baseball is voluntary and requires a commitment of time and energy. This takes a special person, someone who truly cares about people.
Parents should never prevent their kids from playing Little League or other baseball venues based on the myth that youth baseball coaches are mean and treat kids unfairly.
3. My child won't learn anything
Again, the game of baseball is an extension of life. Youth baseball may be the first opportunity for the kids to learn and socially interact with kids of different races, nationalities and religions - something they will do the rest of their lives.
Youth baseball teaches kids how teamwork, respect, discipline, hustle, confidence and how to deal with adversity.
4. There are better things to do with my time It's not about the parents!
Yes, there is a very big responsibility of each and every parent. Getting them to and from practices and games. Making sure they have their gear and are on time. But youth baseball does not have to be the only activity they are involved in.
5. Youth baseball takes all up all of our time
Back when I was a kid, we played Little League from May until September. But today, many youth baseball leagues end before the fourth of July. This is done for two reasons, allow for the All Star teams to participate in tournaments and to give the parents and kids time in the summer to go on vacation.
6. Youth baseball costs too much money
Most league do charge a fee. Some leagues don't charge money but request that the kids sell chocolates, candies or other products to fund the operations of the league.
But consider how much money it would cost if you needed to hire a person to watch your kids. The price for the incredible education can't be beat.
7. Youth baseball is too competitive
Boloney! Life is a competition - and the earlier our children understand how to be competitive and learn how to come back from adversity, the better off they will be.
However, in some communities there is a difference of opinion. Some parents have gone as far as to file suit to make league non-competitive - no final score, no keeping track of the game. I respect their opinion but strongly disagree with their position.
8. I don't have a say about anything that's going on
Take it from a youth baseball coach, nothing more can be further than reality. Coaches love when parents get involved and interact. Most coaches are understanding and will listen to all parents and take constructive criticism.
9. There is nothing in it for me
You may not think so, but think about the learning experience your child gets. They learn to interact with kids their own age without their parents hanging all over them. It is the beginning of independence for them.
10. My kids will hate it
Some do, some don't. I have had many, many players with the same attitude on the first day. But almost all come to really enjoy it - even if they are not good at it!
Youth baseball is not only for your kids. Parents learn a lot too! For some parents it is hard to let go, hard to see them fail, hard to watch them lose a game and extremely hard to see them fall and get hurt. But that is what being a parent is all about - letting them experience life on their own.
Parents should never believe the myths about youth baseball. First of all, it's a great way for kids to learn about while making friendships that last a lifetime. It offers parents a rewarding experience watching their kids grow and allows both parent and child the opportunity to share accomplishment both can be proud of.