If you’re a big fan of baseball, I bet you watch it 24/7. And, with baseball being on the TV all the time, your kids will probably grow fond of it as well. And if the kiddo can throw a ball, that pretty much means they’re in business. But what about a more serious approach? When will be the right time to get into organized baseball? Well, it’s up to the parents!
Say, CC Sabathia got into the game at the age of four. Teixeira’s family bought him a glove when he was a toddler! In contrast, JD Drew started playing at 13. So, there are no 100% right or wrong answers to this question. With that said, here’s a breakdown of the most popular ages for kids to start playing baseball, with pros and cons.
4 Years Old
We begin at a very tender age – four years old. Some kids can’t even walk properly when they’re this little, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help them fall in love with baseball, though! The biggest problem will be the lack of focus. Children at this age aren’t very good with discipline. All he/she will be doing is running around and playing with the ball.
That’s not all bad, however, because if there are other kids like yours in the neighborhood, they’ll have an exciting time together. Just don’t expect your kiddo to get a head start, because, at the age of four, the brain doesn’t really remember anything, especially if you try to teach the little one something difficult like batting or pitching.
5 Years Old
Did you know that most recreational leagues, including Minor League, start at this age? But, again, socializing will be the only significant pro of starting the kid(s) this early. Have you ever heard about Tee-ball? It’s an entry-level program, specifically developed for little kids (4-6 years old). It will serve as a great springboard into baseball or softball. At the same time, if you’re a bit low on money, you can teach the boy/girl the basics yourself.
There’s nothing hard about throwing balls and swinging bats, which means the kid can learn all that at home, in the backyard. A quick note: some parents believe that buying their children proper equipment while they’re still very young will help them with developing the right skills. I have nothing against that, but if you’re looking for the Best baseball cleats, gloves, or bats for your kid, make sure you get the right size!
And do remember that at this age, kids grow very fast and it would be wise not to buy the most expensive outfits and equipment when the boy/girl is 4-5 years old. Besides, they might end up not liking the game, and that will be an unnecessary expense for your family.
6 Years Old
At six, I still recommend playing with the kid in the backyard instead of doing something more serious. But, if you’re confident that your son/daughter will be more successful at baseball while playing with a team, practice once or twice a week may work. Machine Pitch and Coach Pitch will be ideal for helping develop the right batting techniques. Keep in mind, however, that if the kid is left on their own, they can develop wrong swinging habits.
That’s why Coach Pitch is a far better choice than Machine Pitch, as it will have the coach pitching and fixing the batting habits.
7 Years Old
According to doctors and scientists, seven years is a perfect age for a child to play organized games. Both the mind and the body will be ready to learn something new and still treat it as a game, not something boring and hard. Depending on how good your kid is at baseball, you might want to switch from Coach Pitch and get into team play. That means it’s gonna be another boy/girl pitching, which is more exciting.
8 Years Old
Some people are convinced that eight years is way too late for a kid to get into baseball, but this is just a myth. More than that, it can be the ideal “window” for your child to start playing. Even if you don’t practice any swinging, throwing, or anything like that at home, Coach Pitch and Machine Pitch will be a lot easier to comprehend. And if it’s not, you shouldn’t push the kid to learn faster, no matter how “slow” they are.
9-10 Years Old
The LLBD (Little League Baseball Division), also known as the Major Division, introduces pitching at the 9-12 years old period. So, largely, this will depend on how successful your kid is at swinging and whether they want to learn pitching as well, or not. The most important thing here is to make sure your child doesn’t pitch too hard, as that can lead to arm trauma.
12-13 Years Old
Now, Intermediate starts at 12-13, and it will be quite a challenge for a kid that has never played baseball to get into it and not feel left out by the other players in the team. Yes, we did mention JD Drew in the intro, but he’s rather an exception to the rule. So, consider signing your kid for baseball sooner if you don’t want the game to turn into a struggle.