The game of baseball has been shaping young lives ever since Abner Doubleday published the first rules of the game in the summer of 1839.
It’s only natural to feel nervous the first time a young boy or girl takes the field in baseball. You can only hide but so much under that cap or helmet. Facing your fears in baseball is part of the game. In this game, the highs are high but the lows seem even lower. You can experience both ends of the spectrum in a matter of pitches and if you play the game long enough, that emotional roller coaster ride will be all too common.
As a parent, you may ask yourself, if my kid plays this game long enough, and once his playing days are over, what can I expect he will have gotten from the game? In this game, they should experience joy, frustration, satisfaction and humility.
So let’s dive a little deeper into what they should get from playing the game of baseball.
Here are my the top 5 life lessons learned while playing baseball:
5. Teamwork – From your first practice to your last game, you will learn to get along with other players and coaches. Win or lose, your team will come together with a common goal. You will not win without the help of others.
4. Hustle – In this game, there is no room for less than 100 percent effort. Sure there are down times in baseball. There is plenty of time to catch your breath between pitches and in the dugout, but when your number is called, you better be going all out or suffer the toughest life lesson which comes next.
3. Overcoming failure – Failure is a part of life and the game of baseball. Do not let it define you but make you stronger. Take that moment and build on it. If you make a mistake, and you will, make it going all out. Nothing leads to bench time quicker than lack of hustle. In this game, you will strike out. You will drop an easy fly ball. You will get picked off first base. No you shouldnt like it, but it happens. Get ’em next time kid!
2. Respect – In a game that is defined in part by failure, it is hard not to admire greatness either at the individual or team level. Stay in this game long enough and the humbling moments will balance out with the great moments of personal accomplishment or realizing a team goal. Just by showing up at the ballpark early for a game, with polished cleats and tucked in shirt shows respect for yourself and the game.
1. Hard Work – While some players make baseball look easy, it is not. The very best players got to where they are by working hard. If you want to play for your middle school, high school or even in college, you better be putting in the time. The more familiar you are with the details of baseball like hitting, pitching, catching and running, the easier they will come to you during a game. Baseball is a game of repetition. Repeated movement in practice becomes routine movements come game time.
The game of baseball is good about teaching players the principles of Teamwork, Hustle, Overcoming Failure, Respect and Hard Work. Long after the cleats have been put up, these valuable life lessons will carry over to whatever path life leads you.