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You may not immediately think about the association between friendship and youth baseball, but team sports are perfect for both improving physical fitness and helping children build lasting friendships and strong relationships.
Whether a child is new to an area, just changed schools, or is starting out in the world of sports, joining a team is an excellent way to meet new people, connect with kids the same age, and get everyone working together as a team toward common goals. In that regard, sports teams are a unifying entity that provides kids with a safe space in which to make friends, have fun, and stay active, all while improving teamwork and cooperation skills.
Creating a Sense of Unity
When you join a baseball team, it’s all about being involved, participating, and joining forces with a group of people who are all on the same side as you. When you compete against other teams, you must work together to achieve the goals that you all share. Being on a youth baseball team, therefore, is a trust-building exercise for kids, because they must learn to believe in each other, and must work together to put everyone’s skills and strengths to good use.
Moreover, because a sports team brings together kids from all backgrounds and who all have different interests and personalities, the friendships formed through youth baseball teach kids at an early age that people don’t have to be the same to be friends.
Sharing Team Victories, Losses, and Moments
Youth sports aren’t just about winning and losing, but wins and losses are elements of the game, and kids learn to accept those things as a team. All of this builds self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of community. When you’re part of a team, everyone is responsible for the outcome of a game, so kids help each other out, cooperate with one another for the good of the whole, and learn to grow as individuals and as members of the group.
Not only that, but youth baseball can also involve social outings, team meetings, and parties outside of practices and games, giving kids even more opportunity to bond and socialize with each other.
Helping Kids to Be Better Friends and People
Along with teaching kids to be gracious winners and optimistic losers, participating in youth baseball also teaches things like humility, respect, patience, and fairness. When kids work with other children who have different skillsets, they learn to appreciate differences.
This means not being arrogant when they’re more skilled than another player, not being intimidated when another player is better, and being patient with others who aren’t as advanced. In all, it comes down to children learning to respect one another.
Joining a baseball team is also like joining an extended family or close community that’s made up of teammates, coaches, teachers, and parents. This means that kids won’t just build friendships through youth baseball, but they’ll also have more opportunities to practice interacting with adults in different situations than family and student-teacher dynamics.
Just as importantly, this community provides kids with a safe and supervised environment to learn about themselves and others, set and work toward common goals and learn what it takes to be a true friend and teammate.
Often, the friendships that kids forge during youth baseball will last a lifetime. The bonds that form from being on the same team at a young age can last well into adulthood, and participating in a team sport like baseball is a great way for kids to meet new people, make new friends, and stay fit and active.