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The Joys Of Youth Sports: Summer Softball And Baseball

Author : Shawn Mackey

Submitted : 2011-05-12 18:24:05    Word Count : 544    Popularity:   31

Tags:   Youth Sports

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I started playing little league baseball around the age of ten. We did not have the coach-pitch model nor did every one bat in every inning; we kept score, determined a winner, and pretty much the top kids played most of all the time. I am not sure how long the coach-pitch concept has been around, and I do not know when leagues stopped keeping score and determining a winner, but maybe this can be seen as a reason why so many kids today feel like they are owed something or that they can never make mistakes.

I remember having a talk with my wife about the proper age to enroll our daughter in sports. Yes, she wanted to play only because she was asked. My idea is that she should be close to being athletically developed before playing organized sports. I spent many hours watching my nephew pick grass on the soccer field, or running the wrong way with the basketball because he was not even close to being developed athletically. These things he did because he did not have the athletic skills, at the time, to be able to comprehend the concept of the games he was playing.

Could this occurrence have taken place because parents start their kids out in sports way too early? Many people think they have to get the kiddies started early because of the competition factor. If your kid posses the ability and talent to play competitively, the extra year or two of little league are not going to really help your ball player and may hinder his or her sport's growth.

One reason starting athletes too young can deter athletic development is that if your child does possess this talent, odds are he or she will be in the minority on his team. Therefore, while he may be hitting and making plays, no one else on the team is doing so, and this hurts junior's chances because he cannot learn game situations or concepts because the coach is always working with the other ball players so they will throw the ball to the right base and not be picking weeds in right field.

I say this because I watch my daughter's team play. She is in second grade as are most of her teammates. My wife coaches them and she asked me yesterday how the other coaches can get their kids to throw to throw right base or understand the game situation. I told her it is either because the team is overflowing with advanced players or the coach focuses on fundamentals. Anyway, the kids on my daughter's team don't field very well and still do not throw properly. Yes, they do learn some skills and the kids do appear to have, and that in itself is the best part of watching these games, but I am afraid her interest may wane because she bagan too early with youth sports.

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