Every baseball player, no matter how high of a level they reach, can look back on their careers and have vivid snapshots of different parts of their time playing baseball.
These memories can be great; receiving their first college offer or hearing their name called on draft day. They can be bad; an injury that set them back or getting cut from a team. However, one memory that will almost always stick out from their mind is their start in the game: kids’ t-ball.
My time in baseball started in Kokomo, Indiana at the UCT baseball league’s kids’ t-ball program.
Obviously, like most memories that are a quarter of a century old or more, I don’t remember all the details but what I do remember is very clear. We were new to Kokomo at the time, but a couple of players from that team ended up being friends through high school. Their dad was a former MLB player who helped coach teams I was on until I was about 14 and ended up being influential in other ways in my life. My dad was a coach on the team…. which started both of our lifelong (we’re still on it together) love and pursuit of baseball!
There are 2 memories from my kids’ t-ball experience that stand out above the rest:
First, I remember going in the backyard and playing with my dad. I remember using the bouncy (and soft) kids’ t-ball to practice with. Then, I remember one day, we pulled out an actual baseball that I was not too fond of trying to catch…. Why was it so much harder than the other one we had been using?
Second, I can recall very clearly one of my first kids’ t-ball games. It was a warm, sunny day on the “minor league” field at UCT. I remember hitting a ball to right-center that rolled all the way to the fence (at least I remember being able to hit a ball to the fence at 6 years old!). I ran all the way around the bases for what was my first homerun!
I truly believe my kids’ t-ball experience kindled the love for baseball that I have had for most of my life.
Having been around baseball at a very high level for the past 16 years, I have seen it all when it comes to kids, their parents and baseball.
The dream and vision for the career usually starts with the parents, as it should. However, IF that dream ever has a chance of coming true, the player must have a deep love for baseball.
I would recommend joining a kids’ t-ball program as early as 3 years old.
Putting a bat and baseball in their hands, beginning to teach them how to put their hand in their glove to catch, and how to hold their hands on the bat will not only give them a strong foundation for their careers, but it will do something much more important; act as the kindling that can ignite into a life-long passion with many memories for both you and your child along the way!
If you are looking for a great kids’ t-ball program, where the focus is on developing the love of baseball and then to give them a great foundation skill set, check out our youth training page. For more information, you can also give us a call at 719-445-8500 .