Youth sports bennefits
Biking For Baseball is happy to be starting a new blog series: Every Kid Needs a Coach. We’re sharing stories about how youth sports made an impact on our lives. Our first entry comes to us from a close friend of B4B, Christie Conner.
When I was younger and my six brothers went out to play football with our dad, I became the designated “Water-Girl,” bringing water for the manly athletes at half-time. Years later as a sophomore in college, I told my mom that if a guy were to ask me to play football, I would not say, “Oh I’m sorry I can’t play. I might get sweaty or break a nail.” I would respond with, “Bring it on! You’re going down, sucka!!!” What happened in those years to change me from the sideline fan to active athlete myself? Besides a growing interest in the opposite sex and the great influence of six brothers, it was the allure of participating in social activities while playing a sport I loved.
As a young girl, I tried many different activities including ballet, gymnastics, and piano, but all of these endeavors lacked the one thing that I enjoyed the most: socializing. And we all know that that is of supreme importance in an adolescent’s mind. In 7th grade, then, my best friend at the time, Michelle, invited me to join her recreational soccer team. I told her that I had very little experience in soccer, always having been just the fan at my brothers’ innumerable soccer games. But she persisted and I joined.
This rec team was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed practice as I hung out and chatted with the other girls on the team, and I got to know people from other middle schools. It was exactly what I was looking for in my extracurricular activities. Additionally, we were horrible and lost every single game so I felt no condemnation for having very poor soccer skills.
That was the key though. I had found a group of people, led by an understanding coach, who enjoyed being together and playing sports too. As a middle school girl, I had found something that I really enjoyed doing and made me feel accepted–a climatic accomplishment for any middle-schooler.
And of course, this is what Biking for Baseball is all about–providing that opportunity for adolescents to connect with their peers in an inviting, energetic, and accepting environment in every city. The gift of youth sports and the subsequent benefits that come with being a part of a team should be available to all children, and that is the goal of Biking for Baseball.