Baseball Parenting Tips: Organizing Home Baseball Activities for Your Child
Parents may want to become physically active in supporting their child in youth baseball. Participating in fun baseball activities that will help the child practice and serve as family time is a great idea. However, some parents might be a little intimidated by running an activity if they have never participated in baseball before. There is no need for parents to get stressed out because there a lot of simple activities that can be run using very little equipment and that do not require an extensive knowledge of the sport. Let’s take a look at some Baseball Parenting Tips for Organizing Home Baseball Activities for Your Child that will help parents organize some great activities for the kids!
Location will determine what type of activity is chosen or the activity chosen will determine the location. If the location has limited room then the activity may have to be something as simple as just playing catch. If parents and child have their hearts set on a particular activity then that will determine the location. For example, if the activity is a game of hits, runs and errors with a hardball then the location will most likely have to be at a baseball field. Also keep in mind, that improvising can always be used so an activity doesn’t have to be canceled. For example, if the baseball field is not an option then play hits, runs and errors in the backyard or at the park with a whiffle ball or tennis ball.
#2 Modify Rules to Improve the Fun Factor
Modifying rules or simplifying rules is a great way to lighten a game so fun can be the focus. For example, the game of hits, runs and errors can be modified a bit to increase the fun factor in the following ways:
Don’t keep score
If a team or player scores 5 runs then the half inning is over
A couple of simple rule modifications can take the competitive edge off of the game. However, the child will still be practicing basic fundamentals such as fielding the ball and batting.
Parents sometimes become intimidated by a sport like baseball because equipment can be very expensive. However, there are very inexpensive equipment that can be purchased that are great for home baseball activities.
Learn More: Essential Equipment for Your Baseball Player
Tennis balls and wiffle balls are great alternatives to a hard baseball and aren’t very expensive. Wiffle ball bats and even old broomstick handles are great alternatives to aluminum baseball bats. When I was a kid, I would load a wiffle ball bat with old newspaper and hit tennis balls with it. Hitting with an old broomstick handle is actually great batting practice because if you can hit a tennis ball with an old broomstick handle then you can certainly hit a baseball with an aluminum bat. Also when playing with a tennis ball or whiffle ball, a glove is not even necessary. As for bases, simple landmarks can be used in absence of bases. For example, that one spot in the backyard where the grass just doesn’t grow in that great; well that’s home plate! Parents should remember to be creative and use imagination when organizing baseball activities.
#4 Apply Tips 1-3
When considering the activities that follow and any baseball activities, parents should apply tips 1-3. If the first three tips are applied then the activity will be a lot more fun and much easier to organize.
#5 Wiffle Ball
Wiffle ball is an inexpensive and fun baseball activity that is appropriate for all skill levels. If any participant has difficulty hitting a pitched ball then use a tee or just let them hit the ball out of hand. The activity can be anything from a game played under simple baseball rules to a modified game like hits, runs and errors or pitcher’s mound. Wiffle ball is great because it doesn’t require a lot of room due to the restricted flight of the wiffle ball.
Pepper is a great game that focuses on both fielding and hand/eye coordination when using the bat. A good backyard version of pepper is using a tennis ball with any type of bat. Pepper is played with at least one fielder and one batter who are in close proximity to each other ( about 20 ft.). The fielder tosses the ball to the batter and the batter, using a controlled swing, hits the ball on the ground back to the fielder. Pepper is another game that does not require a lot of space.
#7 Wall Ball
Wall ball is usually played with a tennis ball and does require something to throw the ball at such as a wall. Wall ball is a great game but it maybe a bit difficult to find a place to play. As a child, I played wall ball in the local school yard. You might also be able to play wall ball at the local YMCA or Boys & Girls Club gym.Wall ball develops good fielding habits, hustle and stamina. The game is usually played with two players. One player throws the ball against the wall until there are three outs. Outs can be recorded by catching a fly ball or fielding a ground ball before it bounces three times. Extra base hits ( like doubles, triple and homeruns) can be determined by how far the ball travels before it lands. Scoring occurs just like in baseball.
#8 Pitcher’s Mound
Pitcher’s Mound is a modified baseball game in which outs are recorded by throwing the ball to the pitcher while on the mound before the base runner(s) reach base instead of throwing to bases. It’s a great game for when there are a limited number of players.
#9 Hits, Runs and Errors
Hits, runs and errors eliminates base running from the game. Outs are recorded when balls are fielded cleanly. Teams gain “base runners” by hitting fly balls that fall in before they can be caught, hitting line drives that fall before being caught or a fielder commits an error. Extra base hits ( like doubles, triples and homeruns) can be determined by how far the ball travels before it lands. Scoring occurs just like in baseball.
#10 Make Up Your Own Game
Parents can be creative and use imagination to come up with their own original baseball activities. The children should pitch their ideas in as well. I have seen so many different versions of baseball games in my travels and I’m sure I haven’t seen my last. New spins and wrinkles on a classic game could make the next baseball activity that you plan the best one you and your family have ever played!
It is great for parents to have experience with the sport that their child is participating in but not every parent will and that’s ok. Lack of experience or knowledge shouldn’t be an obstacle for parents to organize and participate in fun baseball activities with their child. After all, the most important thing is parents spending quality family time with their child in an activity that the child is interested in.