This year, make both you and your child’s experience with “America’s Favorite Pastime” a home run event. Move past typical passive spectatorship and make this an award-winning little league baseball season where you connect with your child on his or her home plate and even learn a few new skills.
For parents who have never played baseball, heard calls from umpires, watched other players and listened to more knowledgeable parents, this enterprise can be a dizzying experience. Familiarizing yourself with a few basic terms not only demonstrates your investment in your child’s sport and learning process, it ups your enjoyment of the game.
Pull one or two of these baseball terms out of your wheelhouse during a conversation and watch an amazed look pop-up onto your kids’ face – this bit of learning will be worth the effort.
Baseball terms that hit the sweet spot with your kids include:
- Inside the park home run - a hit which gets a runner home but doesn’t go over the outfield wall
- Heater/high heat - a fast, powerful ball
- Alley – The section of the outfield between the outfielders. Also “gap.”
- Beanball – an illegal, hard pitch thrown at the batter’s head
- Check swing – when a hitter starts his swing and then stops it
- Chopper – a hard hit into the ground
- Closer - A team’s relief pitcher who finishes the game.
- Drive in a run – when a batter’s hit allows a base runner to run into home for a score
- Fielder’s choice - when the fielder chooses to let the hitter reach first base in order to get a batter at second or third out.
- Play at the plate - a throw to home base which will arrive at the same time as a runner seeking to score
- Screwball - a curveball that winds toward the hitter
- Walk off – when a batter hits a home run in the bottom of the final inning winning the game
Knowing baseball jargon will help you feel more confident and engaged in the game. If the above list piques your interest, it’s easy to find even more baseball terms online.
Watching an award-winning Little League season is much more fun when you can show off your understanding of the game (and actually understand the plays, too!)
Watch for Your Child’s Specific Contributions to the Little League Season
Therapists and child development experts tell us that praise resonates more deeply when it is specific. If you’ve gotten to the Little League stage, you are well aware of how much your child watches your reaction to his or antics. “Look, ma. No hands,” is just the beginning.
Satisfy your child’s itch for your undivided attention by coming up with specific contributions the child has made to a “drive in run” or “play at the plate.”
As short stop, did he keep his attention honed on the path of the ball? Did she “back up” the third-baseman? Encouraging positive plays your child made during the game supports the goal of an award-winning Little League Baseball season.
Groove with Your Local Baseball Team
Once your child is assigned a position (possibly not until a few games in), research your local baseball team to find which professional ball player has the same position.
A city’s website will include a search function where you can type the name of the outfielder, catcher, hitter or any player on the roster. The results should list videos, statistics of his performance, photos and a bio. Going through this information together provides a great chance to connect and talk (especially if you’ve learned some of the terms!)
Explore details about the ball player’s family and hobbies to humanize him. When a child pretends she’s a baseball great when out in the field, on the mound or at bat, her game can only improve.
How to Top off Your Award Winning Little League Season – Make a GRAND SLAM with Crown Awards
The Awards leader for over thirty years, Crown has a large variety of Little League medals, plaques and crystals to reward your Little League baseball team’s hard work. You only have to see the delight in a player’s eyes once to know that he or she will cherish the reward for great play for years to come.
With SAME DAY SHIPPING and 24 HOUR TURNAROUND (on web orders placed by 4:00 PM EST) on many awards, we can even help if you have a last-minute order! Feel free to connect with us through our Facebook page and through our Trophy News Blog. Call 800-542-6044 with questions any time.