Cliques begin to form at this age, and many kids begin to identify themselves as “athletic” or “non-athletic.” This can be extremely difficult as much of a young boy’s sense of self-worth is tied to athleticism; at a young age friendships are often made or re-buffed on fields, courts, diamonds and playgrounds across the country. IBA is sensitive to this dynamic, and we talk to our players daily about treating one another with respect and a sense of equality.
Leadership, Responsibility and Effort become our key focal points for boys between the ages of 9 to 12. Our Words Of the Day are set up to invite the boys to think about what they can now do to make positive life choices for themselves. In so doing, we believe that these young players can become role models for their peers. That is what we strive for when it comes to teaching character for this age group.
While at this age some are still being introduced to the game, most players are beginning to understand some of the nuances of the game. IBA coaches are able develop players at any stage of their baseball pedigree. Players are now willingly making time to practice with focus and intensity. Consequently the level of play is raised, and the level of expectations is raised as well. Young players are growing, and the game has picked up with regards to its pace.