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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just Beginning Youth Sports? Two Questions to Consider

Just Beginning Youth Sports? Two Questions to Consider
By Guest Author Greg A. Marshall

If you are the coach of a youth team (or planning to be one), you should share these thoughts with the parents on your team. You may want to prepare a handout with your coaching philosophies and distribute them at your pre-season team meeting.

Before a parent signs a up a child to participate in a youth sports activity, the parent must answer a couple of questions about the child's role in the activity as well as his own

A. Make sure your child is ready for Youth Sports.

Obviously, this is the most fundamental element of whether you and your child enjoy the youth sports experience. Many children play sports simply because their parents want them to play. Children WANT to please their parents, so naturally they will usually do what their parents wish whether they want to or not.

Ask yourself:

1."Does my child even WANT to play an organized sport?"

2. Is he/she physically/mentally ready for an organized sport?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, it is better to wait until next year, simply because of the level of interest and safety concerns.

B. Assuming your child is ready and wants to play, what must you, as a parent do to help get them ready to play?

Long before the first practice, spend some time in preparation. Begin by making the experience a fun and learning one. The best way is to begin teaching without the child even realizing that he or she is being taught - so it doesn't become "work." For example, to get ready for the baseball season, indulge in the pure enjoyment of "having a catch" with your child. This is great fun for you and your child, and will lay the foundation for many enjoyable hours later on. In "having a catch," you are teaching the proper way to catch and throw the ball. As your child's skill level improves, you (and they) will begin making more difficult throws and catches.

In addition to "having a catch," playing "wiffle ball" is a great (and inexpensive) way to begin developing batting skills. Developing the hand/eye skills necessary for batting is vital to success and satisfaction. Take a moment at the outset to demonstrate the proper grip, batting stance and swing. Don't allow yourself to become frustrated if it takes awhile for your child to grasp the concepts you present. That is the surest way to kill the desire to learn.

Whatever you do, give lots of praise and encouragement when warranted. The surest way to speed up the learning process is to praise when your young player gives solid effort and executes a procedure well. They will work extra hard to earn more praise. If they struggle, take a break, get a treat, and come back later. Sometimes a little time off does wonders.

Greg A. Marshall is the creator of Teeball-To-A-Tee.com, a unique website offering excellent teaching and coaching tools for coaches and parents of very young baseball enthusiasts. The resources on the website are designed for the parent or prospective youth coach who is overwhelmed at the prospect of starting from scratch. The website and materials offered are full of practical advice to help youth coaches from the very first day of practice. http://www.teeball-to-a-tee.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Greg_A._Marshall

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1 comment:

Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick