Millions of kids throughout the country participate in organized youth baseball and softball programs each year. It’s an exciting world of colorful uniforms, post-game ice cream treats, and lots of smiling faces. It’s also one in which you as a parent can make a positive difference in helping your youngster grow and make the most of this experience. A Parent’s Guide to Baseball & Softball lends a hand by offering advice to help your child set and meet season goals; develop the necessary skills for the sport; gain self-confidence and self-esteem; develop good sportsmanship; strive to always do his or her best; deal with challenges; prevent injuries through safety measures; and respect coaches, teammates, and opposing players.
Children are going to remember this time forever. A Parent’s Guide to Baseball & Softball is an invaluable resource to help them maximize the experience.
The National Alliance For Youth Sports is America’s leading advocate for positive and safe sports for children. The Alliance features a wide range of programs that educate volunteer coaches, parents, youth sport program administrators, and officials about their roles and responsibilities in the context of youth sports. The Alliance’s programs are provided at the local level through dynamic partnerships with more than 2,400 community-based organizations.
No matter where one lives, organized youth programs have the potential to provide a wonderful (although sometimes chaotic) experience for the entire family. Moms and dads who don’t volunteer as coaches can always be depended on as die-hard fans, while siblings tag along to root for their brothers or sisters. Daily schedules revolve around games and practices—meals are often devoured on the run, and many a family vacation has been put on hold for those can’t-be-missed playoff games. But best of all, through their participation, youngsters create scrapbooks full of memories that they will cherish for a lifetime.
Chances are you played on an organized ball team yourself as a kid. Think about that involvement and consider the important role it played in your own growth and development—both physically and socially. If your experience was typical, it served as the foundation for a number of key life lessons, such as always trying to do your best, winning and losing with dignity, being a good sport, and abiding by the rules. You can probably still recall the crack of the bat when you delivered a hit, and how great it felt to get your uniform dirty while sliding safely into second base. It was also a time of posing for team photos, breaking in new gloves, and having warm-up catches with teammates before games.
Now it’s your child’s turn to experience the journey—and you’ve got a front row seat for the ride! To a great extent, you can help ensure that the course is smooth and the trip enjoyable; however, don’t expect your job to be without its challenges. Being a youth sports parent means much more than simply arranging car pools, keeping ice-cold water bottles on hand, and making sure your child gets to practice on time. You have to be able to recognize and negotiate around potential obstacles that can drain away all the fun and excitement. And it doesn’t matter if you have a five-year-old who is playing T-ball for the first time, or a fourteen-year-old who has been playing for years, be prepared to come face to face with some challenges. The good news? Help is here.
This book is designed to help you maximize your child’s sports experience, while dealing responsibly and effectively with potential problems that can occur during this time. Part of a series developed by the National Alliance For Youth Sports (NAYS)—America’s leading advocate of safe sports for children—this book offers lots of useful advice to help ensure a safe and fun-filled season for your child, while giving you a greater understanding of your own role.
You’ll learn how to help your child set and meet goals for the season, gain an understanding of how to talk to the coach, and become aware of the do’s and don’ts when resolving conflicts that may arise during the season. You’ll gain insight into how to handle a nervous child before the game, ways to provide positive feedback during the game, and what to say after those games that don’t work out like everyone had hoped. You’ll also learn how to handle other issues that can derail your youngster’s enjoyment—from dealing with disappointment over not playing a desired position to managing personality conflicts with coaches or teammates.
Yours is a significant role in helping your son or daughter get the most fun and meaning from this sports experience as possible. Always keep in mind that children are going to remember this time forever. A Parent’s Guide to Baseball and Softball is an invaluable resource to help ensure that their memories will be happy ones.