As far as American sports go, there isn’t really one that’s more famous than baseball. It has become known as the ‘national pastime‘ and has been around for hundreds of years – it is said to have originated just before the American Civil War, where it was originally the game of rounders. As rounder developed into the game of cricket for the British, the Americans took the classic game and with it, baseball was born. Now, it is a sport played all over the country at many different levels, and it is loved and adored by people of all kinds of backgrounds. If you are someone who has been thinking about playing baseball, good for you! Anything that gets you fit and moving is something to be celebrated, and the friendships you can make from a team sport like baseball are very valuable. Here’s how you can step out onto the pitch as a total novice – Babe Ruth had better watch out!
Although at lower levels, baseball can be a sport which everyone can enjoy regardless of age, height or weight, if you want to play it professionally you will need to be of a certain fitness level. All the roles within the game – whether you are a pitcher, a catcher, a first baseman or a short stop – all require a certain amount of running around and advanced physical ability. If you are currently carrying a bit of extra weight and you get out of breathe easily, make it your mission to get fit before you try out for a local team. You also need to have good hand eye coordination as a baseball player, so get plenty of practice in before going anywhere near a professional team.
Get hold of the right equipment
Ever heard the phrase ‘all the gear, no idea’? Well, baseball is one of those sports where getting the right gear in hand can be pretty integral to your success at the sport. It is simply impossible to play the national sport without a certain amount of kit, such as the catching mitt and of course, the bat itself. If you are unsure what it is you need, make sure you visit some sites such as The Baseball Diamond, where you can read up on reviews and find the kind of kit that works for you. Plus, remember that some team positions also require players to wear protective gear – after all, no one wants a broken arm or leg coming off the field.
Find a team
This is easier said than done. If you are at school or college, it should be pretty easy to find the school team to join – provided you get past tryouts, of course. If you are a little older, or you have taken a break from baseball for a number of years, things get a little more complex. You can try joining up to independent leagues – although be aware that the touring is often physically and emotionally exhausting. Failing that, why not give team tryout camps a go?