Helping your child through youth sports presents a whole new set of parenting challenges and rewards. It’s very easy to become over-invested in your child’s sports endeavors, making them feel overwhelmed with excessive pressure to succeed. While it’s incredibly important to be supportive of your child in youth baseball, there are boundaries between helpful and overbearing that must be very carefully respected. That being said, there are important tips that you as a baseball parent can utilize to help your child improve at the plate.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
An oldie but a goodie, sometimes your youth baseball player will need a reminder to keep his or her eye on the ball. Kids have a tendency to want to hit the ball as hard as they can, when they really should just be focusing on making contact and improving their ability to get on base. As a baseball parent, you can remind them to watch the pitcher, to see the ball out of his hand, and not to swing to hard or, on the other side of that coin, not to be afraid of the ball.
Perfect the Swing
Starting with a proper batting stance, your youth baseball player should have his shoulders square with the plate, feet a little wider than shoulder width, knees slightly bent, and bat back ready to drive the ball. Youth baseball players will need some coaching to make sure they’re swinging smooth and level through the strike zone.
There’s a lot for a youth baseball player to be distracted by when he steps into the batter’s box. A baseball parent can be a distraction or a help in staying focused. Help your child learn to clear his head before he steps into the box, focusing only on the pitcher and tuning everything else out. Also under the category of staying focused is the importance of not letting them get too frustrated when they fail. Failure is a part of baseball. The best hitters of all time failed at least 6 of every 10 times. It can be hard for a youth baseball player to keep focus when they aren’t hitting well. Your role as a baseball parents means offering reassurance rather than sharing their frustration and putting more pressure on them.
There’s a lot involved in being a good baseball parent. Youth baseball offers plenty of trials and tribulations, but in the long run it will be a very rewarding experience for both you and your child.
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