Spring baseball and softball practices are underway and the games will start soon for kids across East Texas.  For many parents like me that means lots of equipment shopping, meals on the go because practices always seem to be at dinner time, and usually a really bad case of bleacher butt. But it's so much fun.  There are at least 5 reasons why little league is awesome, and I bet you can add to the list.


My daughter Finley played soccer in the past, but one day she just decided that softball was it for her, and there was no turning back.  She's played softball every spring and fall for six years, and since she's 9 right now that's two thirds of her life.

She's played mostly second base to this point, but with a new team this season she's going to be the first baseman.  And we're visualizing her first ever home run, so it's coming soon!  Last year on her birthday she hit a triple.  Oh, so close.

Getting kids into sports is fantastic I think for so many reasons, and helping them become a top athlete has very little to do with it.  The things that it teaches the kids are valuable not only in elementary school, but the life lessons will help them when they are forty too.

5 Reasons Why Little League is Great for Kids

1.  It teaches them teamwork. It takes nine baseball or softball players to make a team happen, and at some point it's a fair bet that each one of those players will drop a ball, strike out, or have a wild overthrow that costs the team in some way.  And just like that guy at work who misses a deadline and makes your life heck for a minute, softball teammates have to give each other a high five and tell each other it's okay.  The teamwork thing might be a little easier when you're 9 than when you're 35, but still.  We've all got to shake it off.

2.  It helps them overcome obstacles.  There was a stretch of time a year ago when Finley struggled with strikeouts, so much that she became scared to step up to the plate and every once in awhile I would see her wipe away a tear from underneath her helmet.  But she went up there anyway.  And before long she started hitting singles right up the middle every time, and then doubles, and then that birthday triple.  There were some big mental and physical challenges that she had to work through, and she did it.  That's going to help her down the road for sure.

3.  It gives them a chance to experience rejection.  There have been times that Finley wasn't chosen to start, and other times that she didn't get the position that she wanted.  One time several girls advanced to a new team and Finley didn't.  Those cases led to some great conversations about how we can't always control our circumstances, but we can always do our best.  And faith plays a role for us too, so we talked about how challenging situations will work out for our good in the long run.

4.  It teaches them commitment.  There are some days when school is rough and she might not feel like going to softball practice, but that gives Finley and me the chance to talk about finishing what we start and being there for people who expect us to show up.  We can't let them down.  And when we keep showing up, we get better and better at what we do.

5.  It keeps them active.  They're having so much fun, they don't even realize they're getting exercise.  After a long practice with repetitive hitting and fielding, Finley will beg me not to stop at Target on the way home because she doesn't want to walk another step and just wants to go home and rest.  She had fun practicing, AND she was active for more than the recommended 60 minutes per day.  That's a huge win.

Many of the kids' leagues around Tyler have started practices, with the season openers coming up in early April.  I am so looking forward to those Saturdays this spring where we're packing the cooler and spending all day at the ball park, cheering on the kiddos. Not just to smack the ball and turn double plays, but to win at life too.  And that's way more important.

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