Today’s post is sponsored by Ripken Baseball through the Bloggy Moms Network.
Growing up in Maryland, when you hear the name “Ripken“, one word immediately comes to mind… BASEBALL! Cal Ripken, Sr. spent 37 years associated with our hometown team, the Baltimore Orioles. He first played as a catcher, before moving onto manager and company man. Of course any fan of the Orioles, or really any fan of baseball, will recognize the name of his son, Cal Ripken, Jr., a Major League Baseball Hall of Famer. Cal Sr. dedicated his life to teaching the value of hard work and effort to his sons. Together Cal Jr. and his brother Bill played a combined 33 years in the Major League, with Cal Jr. setting the Major League record with 2,632 consecutive games played, and Bill owning a .985 career fielding average. I can definitely say that Cal Sr. taught his boys well!
I knew if I ever was going to send my little baseball fan to a sports camp, I’d of course want him to learn the “Ripken Way” when it comes to playing out on the field, or batting at plate. Ripken Baseball is committed to maintaining baseball at the highest level, while making sure campers still have fan and enjoy the game!
The Ripken Way
There are a lot of attractive philosophies in relation to the Ripken Way, but I think my favorite is to “Celebrate the Individual”. Ripken Baseball understands that no two players are identical. Players can vary in not only their physical attributes, but also their skill levels and understanding of the game. While baseball is built on core fundamentals, not every child will learn the game the same way. Ripken Baseball sees it as their responsibility to use a child’s preferred style of learning to help enhance that child’s skills. Children are more often apt to learn if they have flexibility and freedom. As parents though, we must understand this as well. This is why I provided a few points of advice for parents whose kids want to play sports. Now I’m not an expert, but these are a few tidbits I’ve learned from my time as “Team Mom” while my son has played tee-ball.
Advice for Parents
Encourage your child to play any sport they think they may enjoy. If your child dreams of being a baseball player, support them. You want your child to have fun, and feel accomplished. However, let’s say your child takes up baseball, but after a year doesn’t enjoy it. As parents, we should support our child’s decision, and guide them to another sport they would find enjoyable. The key is not to PUSH our child into a sport they don’t enjoy. Let them move onto a new activity. Who knows, maybe in a few years they’ll want to give baseball another try.Now that your child has picked a sport, enjoy what you child can do. Go to your child’s games, help them with practice, be supportive. For instance, I’m not a fan of golf. However if golf is the sport my son chooses to play, you bet I’ll be there to support him no matter what!
Make sure you encourage your child to set realistic goals that can measure their progress. We don’t want our children to become overwhelmed. Influencing achievable goals, and not pushing unrealistic ones will help your child succeed on and off the field. Let’s remember, our kids are individuals, therefore their goals should be unique to them.
Kids make mistakes. Therefore you must allow mistakes to happen. Mistakes are all part of learning. If your kids become so afraid of messing up, very often they will just quit, which doesn’t allow them to improve.
Finally one of the biggest pieces of advice I have to offer is do not focus on winning, but focus on participation. Too many times parents become obsessed with their child’s team winning and look for any excuse of why the team might have lost. If a child feels you expect them to win every time, this can cause anxiety or the pressure can make them loose interest in the sport. Focus on your child having fun, learning new skills, and achieving those goals you have help them set!
Baseball Camps, The Ripken Way
Let me tell you a little bit about Ripken Baseball camps. While attending, campers get to live and breathe baseball while coached by certified instructors (including former Major League players!) who are all trained in the ‘Ripken Way’ philosophy of teaching. I absolutely love that the camper to instructor ratio is approximately 8:1, meaning my son won’t get “lost in the crowd” so speak when learning. By living the Ripken Way, Ripken Baseball inspires their campers through an amazing experience to teach not only fundamentals of the game with innovation, but also to prepare them for “life beyond the diamond”.
While browsing the camp’s information, I learned that campers will receive on-field instruction while learning the technical aspects of baseball. Campers who attend the Ripken Experience Camp in the summer will have the opportunity to select two different defensive positions to focus on. They can then focus their time each day developing their skills in those positions. All players will also focus on the fundamentals of hitting, base running, & other team fundamentals. There is even a Rookie Camp program which is designed specifically towards the younger 7-8 year olds, who can focus on developing the foundation skills for baseball development.
Ripken Baseball Giveaway
Win It: One lucky reader will win a Ripken Baseball Instructional Package! Simply fill out the easy Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway ends on July 13th at 11:59 pm EST and is open to residents of the contiguous US only. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. Once a winner is drawn via Rafflecopter, I will contact the winner through email. They will then have 24 hours to respond. If there is no response, I will draw a new winner. Please add mdmommareviews at gmail dot com to ensure the email does not end up in your SPAM folder. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Good luck!
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