Thursday, July 29, 2010

4 Tips to Make T-Ball Tons of Fun for Kids and Parents

I love T-ball.

I admitted at the beginning of the season that I wasn't thrilled with the boys playing T-ball. But we ended up have a great season! I'm so glad Joel vetoed me and we let the boys play this year!!

From observing opposing teams, coaches and parents over the last 2 months, I can state that, without a doubt, we had the BEST team in the T-ball division!

With that said, I give you my 4 tips to make T-Ball tons of fun for kids and parents:

Start with a coach who is patient, excited about T-ball, wants to be the coach and models good sportsmanship for the kids. I never heard our coach speak harshly to or act frustrated with our players.  I think that speaks volumes about our coach.

Next add committed and involved DADS (or men) for the assistant coaches and helpers.  It's so important for boys to have their dads (men) involved in their activities.  We had several boys on our team who live with single moms so I think it was especially important for them to have these men taking an interest in them every week.  This impressed me greatly!

Then add encouraging parents who stay for practice and games. Parents on our team cheered for everyone's children - including the opposing team!  NO ONE shouted anything ugly or put unnecessary pressure on the children.  And every time a child came to bat or ran home he looked in the stands to see if mom and dad were watching.  Parental support cannot be underestimated for kids!

Finally, invite as many friends and extended family members to attend the games as possible.  We were able to have 2 different sets of friends each come to a game.  My boys loved being able to share the experience of the game with them and they definitely enjoyed the attention our friends gave.  One player on our team had her parents, sibling, aunts/uncles, and grandparents at almost every game.  Such attention tells kids they are important and valuable.

I realize that some of these tips are out of your control but if you can make them happen, I promise you'll have a great T-ball season, too!

What tips do you have for allowing your children to play organized sports?


ajourneyinmommying said...

I need tips for wrangling little sibs on the sidelines!!! :) I think that is the biggest obstacle for my enthusiasm about the boys playing sports. I love the season and we get into it, but I find myself dreading games at times. By the end of the season, Ethan and Connor were NOT excited about games in the least. In fact, they were not happy about going to the last couple of games. It was a hot season and my non-players were not amused by the end of it. Ethan was upset because he wanted to be at home. Connor was upset because he wanted to be on the field playing. Sawyer was upset because he wanted his Daddy (who was on the field coaching) and he wanted the ball. :)

We tried to get Ethan to agree to playing flag football with Caleb this fall, but he was definitely not interested.

Todd will asst coach for football. The guy that was asst coach for him for baseball is going to be coaching and we'll work together again. Neat set up. I hope to get to know his wife better. She has other children, too, so she missed games and we usually saw each other in passing. REally nice, though.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

To begin with, I always keep Sam in the stroller. It's too much to wrestle him and keep track of Ellie! Also, our games only lasted an hour. That helped big time! Drinks, snacks, and their own gloves at the games helped keep my little spectators happy.

I also tried to keep them involved in the game - specifically Ellie. I'd point out where "The Brothers" were on the field and we'd cheer together if they made a good catch, throw, hit or ran home.

One thing I was intentional about is that this was a family experience, regardless of whether you were a player or spectator. We went to the games to cheer on our family NOT to play with other kids or on the playground (there was one on the other side of the field).

We talked about how sometimes it's our turn to play and sometimes it's our turn to cheer on our family.

Hope that helps!

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