Backyard baseball – a must for baseball loving families
For those parents that love baseball and want their children to have the same love, backyard baseball, not the video game but the real thing, is an absolute; I know that was a big part of my lifelong love of baseball. The cool thing is that almost any size yard works for backyard baseball, with some imagination.
In the modern day, kids do not go to the park very often and play pickup, so playing in the yard is necessary to develop interest in baseball, get a start on learning the game and having an avenue to get the amount of repetitions the game requires for long-term success.
Some of my most valued youth memories are of playing many backyard baseball variations of the game. Not only did those fun times in the backyard help develop my love of the game, backyard baseball helped develop the competitiveness necessary to make if to major league baseball, as there was no way I was going to let one of my sisters ever beat me. Just kidding of course, but learning to compete at a young age is a good thing.
- Give backyard baseball field a name – “Perconteville” for example
- Start playing when kids are young – it’s never too early as long as they can swing a (safety) bat
- Use a safe ball – be it a nerf, whiffle, tennis, or other type safety ball – it is important to think of safety first for all surrounding things, not just people
- As players age and when room is available, using player’s game bat is good for hitting practice
- Be careful not to disturb or disrupt the neighbors’ yards or houses, especially with one in the morning games; using a tarp or netting to keep balls from flying everywhere may be necessary
- Include all interested family members – father/daughter vs. mother/son, for example. Father and or mother may have to bat opposite handed
- Having only one base is sufficient, as players can go back and forth to same base for extra base hits
- Designate home run, single, double and triple areas when no room for base running
- Get neighbors kids and adults involved for neighborhood tourneys
- Create a league with scheduled games
- Do not make it too instructional where kids get turned off by all the to do pointers
- Put some protection mats or rugs down at home plate, pitching area and sliding spots to protect the grass, but then again, no grass is a small price to pay for fun.
- Set up a few seats on porch, side of the field or patio for fans.
Adults can use their imagination to use the yard for baseball purposes, like home run derby games and tee ball practice. A rundown game, also known as pickle, when a runner has to advance back and forth between bases without being tagged out by one of two fielders is always fun backyard baseball game. Finally, setting up a little pitching plate and practicing pitching is also good for backyard baseball fun. The possibilities are endless and it often hooks a child for life on the game of baseball, the ultimate goal and result.