Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie! It’s America’s pastime, and a great way to ensure children learn important life lessons while they’re young. As a little league coach, I might be a little biased in favor of the sport. However, I’m also a father, and have seen firsthand how baseball has strengthened my family.
Baseball is fun to play, exciting to watch, and serves as an example of many important values. That being said, it may still be unclear as to how the sport can have a positive impact on the family unit. Here I’d like to share with you three reasons why I believe watching and playing baseball together can strengthen your family’s relationship to one another.
- It’s a great reason to go on a family outing: whether you’re going to see a major league team, a minor league one, or the team at the local college or university, attending a baseball game is like a small vacation. There’s so much to enjoy: fresh air, snacks like hotdogs and peanuts, getting to know fellow spectators while doing the ‘wave’—and that’s not even counting the game! Whether your children are young, and need you to go over the rules while they watch, or they’re old enough to understand and appreciate the magnificence of the sport, the time you spend watching the game together is priceless. Going to see baseball live and in-person is a great way to create lasting memories, have fun, and bond as a whole group.
- Little league can allow everyone to join in: one thing I love about little league is that everyone has a part to play. Your child or children get to play on the team and learn all the great lessons baseball has to offer: teamwork, waiting one’s turn, and achieving goals through hard work are just a few examples. Parents also have to be involved: little league doesn’t happen on its own, and there’s fundraising to do, practices to help out at, and every team needs a coach, too. Even younger kids can help out by carrying small pieces of equipment. Additionally, everyone can root for the team; standing up and cheering for even a base hit can make a huge impact on the child who made the hit, and the morale of the team as a whole. Little league is something the whole family can get involved and invested in, and having the common goal of helping the team succeed will really bring the whole family together.
- Everyone can play: sure, little league might just be for children, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play at home! Whether it’s just a simple two- or three-person game of catch, or a game with four players on each team, the family can spend quality time playing together. Maybe a bigger game at a neighborhood park can be organized with all the families on the block. Working together to practice and play baseball also has the added benefit of getting everyone active. So, it’s a great way to keep the entire family happy and healthy, in more ways than one.
With families busier than ever before, and modern technology keeping everyone distracted and staring into screens, it’s never been more important to find ways to come together with your loved ones. Baseball provides a much-needed impetus to come together, whether you’re going to see a major league game, helping out the little league, or simply playing catch. So, enjoy America’s pastime—and some much-needed bonding time, as well.