Baseball can often get serious; at times, a little too serious. Coaches, players, and spectators will forget the fact that, at its core, baseball is a game. Though you, as a coach, might be forcing kids to make use of baseball trainers, there’s no assurance that those kids are actually having fun. After all, spending hours in front of a baseball practice net is not exactly enjoyable.
As important as sports training is, players should still enjoy the game and the team they are playing with. This is especially important for kids. Participating in a little league baseball team is a great way to build confidence and self-esteem, make new friends, and get a great work out.
Here are ten ways to help your kids enjoy baseball practice
1. Encourage your kids. Whether you are a coach or a parent, support the kids on and off the field. This does not necessarily mean you should baby them. Just try not to be too hard on them for failures, but reward them for trying. No child enjoys being chastised for striking out or missing a catch.
2. Explain the game. Make sure each player knows the rules of the game and understands their position on the field. Lack of understanding can lead to confusion on the field and bickering amongst players.
3. Kids should develop good sportsmanship at a young age. Emphasize fun and disapprove of petty anger. Everyone is still learning, and getting angry will solve nothing. Make sure they understand what being a good sport means. Although it doesn’t apply to practice, always congratulate the other team on playing a good game.
4. Part of what goes into good sportsmanship is supporting the team. Remember to enforce the fact that, even if a player is on the bench, he is still part of the team and should cheer for his teammates.
5. Make sure to devote some time to each child individually. Each child is different and may require individual instructions. Paying attention to each child will also keep them from feeling unnoticed or overlooked.
6. Kids can get restless easily. Make sure they stay active. Avoid forcing them to stand in lines for long periods of time.
7. Introduce new drills each practice to keep kids interested. Similarly, get rid of drills that are boring, ineffective, or otherwise unpopular.
8. Try to involve parents every so often to keep up the excitement of the practice.
9. Be creative with the drills and practices. For instance, playing ping-pong, tennis, and volleyball are great ways to help players improve hand-eye coordination. Introducing new things will keep them active and interested.
10. End practices with the most popular drill so as to conclude on a high note.