Kids join in a particular sport for various reasons. Most kids though likes being athletic because of the attention they get whenever they do good at the game. Other kids, although not that good at a particular sport wants to play to become socially active – to mingle with their friends or meet new people. The reasons vary by kid’s age and personality. Here are some of the main reasons why kids want to learn baseball:
1. For fun – The concept of fun to baseball players vary by age and personality. Younger kids want to play baseball mainly because of action and excitement. Older kids on the other hand, consider baseball as fun game because it is an opportunity to show they can be successful in any endeavor they enjoy doing.
2. For variety and organization – Baseball is an organized sport that offers variety and fun for kids. It is an opportunity to develop skills; with plenty of action, fun and excitement. It is not a boring sport although it is one game that needs organization. This is caused by the fact that organization is needed not to restrict players but to provide discipline and allow every player to have fun.
3. To build skills – Kids love learning and developing new skills. Baseball is a sport that challenges them to develop and improve skills like catching, throwing and base running.
4. To foster friendships – Baseball is a perfect avenue to interact with friends and meet new people. By working on a team, kids learn the value of teamwork and camaraderie. They are able to build confidence working in a team. It also helps them build group identity. Many kids love to play because other kids or their friends are playing too. And sometimes, kids play not because they see they are good at this sport but because they enjoy the friendship within the team.
5. For excitement and action – Baseball is a game full of excitement and action. Playing baseball let kids take part in an exciting, fun and action-filled sport that many of their peers are interested too. Younger kids love baseball because they enjoy running around. While, older kids especially high school teens love the sports because they enjoy exploring their physical abilities.
6. For attention – Some kids decide to learn baseball to get attention from their parents especially if they know that their parents are baseball fans. Parents or coach must be sensitive to this child’s motivation for the game. If this is one or even the primary reason why a child plays baseball, parent’s support is very important to avoid later disappointment.
7. Competition – Competition is listed as the least reason why kids want to learn baseball. Younger kids play baseball usually for fun and do not desire competition. The concept of competing with other kids is usually awkward to them and they fear the possibility of losing. Parents should not push kids to play baseball just to compete. Parents should also recognize that kid’s baseball skills will slowly develop and the desire to compete is not good to motivate them to perform better.
There is no doubt that baseball is currently among the most watched and followed games in the United States. It is slowly but steadily strengthening its foothold in many other countries around the world. If you want to learn baseball and know everything about this popular game, it is advisable that you first go through the fundamentals of the ballgame. You would surely realize that baseball is truly interesting and engaging.
The fundamentals of the game are known by everyone who regularly catches any of the televised baseball games. It has really become more like a religion to many suburban and urban American families. If you do not want to get left behind or if you want to get into lively conversations with your family and friends about the sport, you should first know about these baseball basics.
Each baseball team should consist of nine players. One of them should be designated as the pitcher. As a bat and ball game, a team is intended to bat while the other fields or pitches the ball. The team in the pitching side should have all its nine players out across the field. The team in the batting side could have any number of its players in the field, usually about one to four, at any moment. The pitching team should also assign one of its members to serve as the catcher, who would crouch behind the batter so that any pitched ball that is missed by the batter could be easily caught.
There are four bases scattered in a square-shaped playing field, which is called the ‘diamond.’ At the center of the field is where the pitchers mound. The batter stands opposite at the home plate. After hitting the ball, the batter goes to the first, second, and third bases that are designated to follow a clockwise direction. About 45 degrees of the batter’s both sides are foul lines. The inside area of foul lines is the fair territory, which is where all players are. The rest of the field is called the foul territory. Infield is the area enclosed within bases. The outfield is the other area.
The main objective is to outscore the opposing team. Each of the teams would take turn to pitch and to bat. As usual, the one that scores greater is the winner at the end of the game. One inning is counted per batting turn of a team. Technically, there should be up to nine innings in every game. The pitching team could prevent the batting team from scoring through catching the ball before it could touch the ground, touching base before a runner gets there, or touching the runner using the ball before he gets to any base.
The scoring system
It is important to learn baseball scoring. A score is earned when a batter hits the ball and he is able to go to first, second, and third bases without being touched by the ball. The score is completed when he is able to go back to the home base after going the round with all bases.
To be able to learn baseball and be adept at it, you must be prepared to adapt all the sport’s techniques. This is in line with achieving the twin goals of the game – hitting the most number of runs, and minimizing or eliminating the outs.
One of these is the art of bunting. Essentially, it is still part in the art of hitting. However, techniques used in the field are somehow different.
Primarily, bunting is used for advancing a runner or getting the batter on base. However, most youngsters who are introduced to this concept think more on getting on base more than anything else.
This frame of mind, however, totally reverses the intent of the sacrifice.
To sacrifice, the batter will squarely face the pitcher. For our demonstration, imagine that the hitter is right-handed.
As the pitcher goes on the rubber, the batter takes his normal position. Just as the pitcher begins his throwing stance, the batter then turns left, steps back, and moves out with the left foot, moving the right foot up to the spot vacated by the left.
In two quick steps, the feet will be parallel with the toes actually pointing at the pitcher. The right foot should be even with the plate and already inside the batter’s box.
For the moment, forget that you are going to use a baseball bat at all. Imagine instead you are going to catch the pitched ball.
Straighten right up a bit if you think the ball is high. If it looks low, squat slightly. Get your arms extended towards the pitcher with your hands.
This is to enable you to follow the flight of the ball. Use the same principle when using a bat and hitting into the baseball field.
If you are right-handed, make a fist with the right hand with the little finger pointing the ground. Extend the index finger and raise the thumb, then crook the index finger like you would pull a gun’s trigger.
Place the bat between thumb and forefinger at a point some two to four inches above the label and squeeze. The V made by the thumb and forefinger is the cushion for the shock of the ball’s impact.
Loosely wrap your left hand on the bat under the knob, palm down, extending the arm forward. Hold the bat level with the ground and “catch” the ball with the bigger end, which should be extended into the strike zone.
Directing the ball
To place the ball toward the first base, keep the right hand rigid while pushing the left hand forward.
Bunting it to third base, keep the right ball like you had a glove on. Do not poke at it. (Do the opposite movements when you are a left-hander.)
Bunting the strike
If in the act of moving into a bunting position and the pitch looks like a ball, immediately yank the heavy end of the bat back. This helps convince an uncertain umpire it is a strike, helps the runner, and avoids a foul tip.
Always expect a sign for a sacrifice bunt when a runner is on first, first and second, with none out, and with probably a close score. To learn baseball, it is imperative to learn how to master the art of bunting.