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Leisure

Teach Your Child How to Play Softball

Softball is a direct descendant of baseball, although normally played by girls and women. Baseball is sometimes referred to as hardball to distinguish the difference in the sport. The rules of softball and hardball remain primarily the same. In addition, the ball that is played in softball is much larger than the ball played in hardball, yet the name softball does not exactly mean the ball is soft. While Softball may be different, it is also a great sport to be a part of and the game has raised the spirits of players and by-standers alike.

Softball was originally invented in 1887, as a winter version of the sport of baseball. During that time, it was called indoor softball and was intended for baseball players to keep in shape and in practice during the off-season. It wasn’t until the 1920’s the name changed to softball and became an organized sport resembling hardball.

Preschool
Just like baseball, you can start this age group off using a T-ball set. T-ball is much easier for younger children to learn how to hit the ball rather than hitting the ball that is pitched to them. A Softball is placed in a stable pole where younger children can hit the ball as it sits still. This is a great way for children to learn the art of batting.

While training them to use a T-ball set, you can use the ole Eplaying catch method to help them get some experience with catching the ball. As opposed to teaching children the techniques of this sport at this age, start with fun methods that you and your child can both enjoy. You can show them simple wrist movements for throwing the ball as well as ways to catch the ball with the mitt, but keep it very simple with positive reinforcements for effort.

Main points to address:

  • Use a T-ball set to get them started with hitting.
  • Play catch regularly so they can understand how to catch properly.

Grades K-3rd
Once children reach this age group you can expand on the information of Softball. Rent videos or books that teach children the fundaments, this is a great time to go over the rules of Softball, the innings, regulations and basic information on fouls and other important aspects of the game.

There is more than just one type of pitch in Softball, now is the perfect opportunity to go over with your child each one of those pitches and how they help to get the batter out. (See below for *Softball pitches in the resources section of this article) Between the fastball, the curve ball, the screwball, etc. you’ll have all the information you need to teach your child these pitching tricks with the resources provided.

Main points to address:

  • Provide them with the rules and regulations of Softball.
  • Show them a variety of pitches.

Grades 4th-6th
This is a perfect age group for children to enjoy the benefits of a major league or college-level Softball game. If you are currently inactive with the pro-level, triple A or college-level games it would be perfect time for you and your child to get some tickets and get out to the ball game, make this a learning experience as well as a fun one. There is a lot children can learn from the game while watching from the sidelines, it will also create a more balanced love for the game.

Be an active role in your child’s Softball games, if they play for a structured team. If they do not, be an active role teaching them the fundaments yourself. This will not only create a bond between the both of you, but will also give you both a better understanding of the game and resources for which to learn more together.

Main points to address:

  • Be an active role in your child’s Softball team.
  • Take them to a pro or college-level Softball game, if you can.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Posted in Leisure.

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