Benefits of Team Sports After One Season

There are multiple benefits to youth sports! These benefits can include anything from confidence and character building to making new friends and improving your child’s athletic capabilities. If you don’t believe us, listen to Simone’s first experience with her son and team sports. 

Simone McKenna just finished her first i9 Sports® season with her son Grayson in Columbus, Ohio and has seen Grayson make huge strides in both his personal growth, and his athletic abilities! 

Grayson’s First T-ball Season

This past week, we just wrapped up Gray’s first baseball season with i9 Sports®, his first season of playing a team sport in general. As I reflect on his season, it is so clear that this little three-year-old has hit a home run in terms of personal growth and development. Playing a team sport at such a young age may seem premature to some (and I’m learning, a little controversial too)  but after discussing it with my husband and our local i9 committee, it was made clear to us that we were at no loss for trying it out & seeing how he goes. Gray had shown an innate love of the game even before he was 2. He would ask to throw and catch, hit from his plastic tee and even watch full baseball games more than any other toy or pastime, so we made the decision as a family to give him the opportunity to HAVE FUN in a team and with some instruction from coaches, other than ourselves.

We were concerned at first when we arrived at the field as he didn’t want to leave my side, but like anything, with regular attendance & routine, he adjusted well. The benefits he’s gained over the course of the season are nothing short of remarkable.

For Gray, the world of t-ball and i9 Sports® became a gateway to a realm of new experiences. The benefits of introducing children to team sports at an early age are numerous and profound, and Gray’s journey is a testament to these advantages.

    1. Independence: One of the most noticeable changes in Gray has been his growing sense of independence. Learning to put on his baseball uniform, carry his own equipment, and even participate in team training sessions has empowered him to take ownership of his actions and belongings. This newfound independence extends beyond the baseball field, impacting his daily life as well. Although it is still a work in progress, his ability to make decisions and take responsibility for his actions is undoubtedly a result of his participation in team sports.
    2. Self-esteem: Gray’s confidence has soared throughout the season. The cheers from his teammates (and the parents on the sidelines) and the encouragement from his coaches have instilled in him a sense of pride and self-worth. I still remember in his first game of the season, he had a pretty good hit off the tee so everyone cheered and clapped and he instantly came running off the field crying to me, he was just not used to the noise & recognition. Now, each time he successfully hits or catches the ball, his self-esteem gets a boost. I love that Gray has carried this over into his everyday actions, clapping for himself and others when they succeed at any task. (Last week he told his Dad that he did ‘a great job Dad’ for making breakfast! So cute.) The positive feedback and sense of accomplishment he gains from his teammates’ support are invaluable life lessons that will carry over into his future endeavors.
    3.  Skills development: Gray’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination have improved by leaps and bounds. Catching, throwing, and hitting the ball may be fundamental aspects of baseball, but they are crucial for overall physical development. His budding skills in these areas have not only made him a better baseball player but also a more agile and coordinated child. 

Gray’s first baseball season with i9 Sports® has been a remarkable journey, leaving a positive impression on his young life. He’s learned the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, and perseverance. These lessons are sowing the seeds for a bright future, not just in sports, but in life as well. 

In conclusion, Gray’s experience demonstrates that playing a team sport at a young age can be a life-changing opportunity for children. It fosters independence, self-esteem, and skills development, all of which are vital for a child’s holistic growth. As Gray hangs up his baseball cap at the end of this season, he takes with him a treasure trove of memories and valuable life lessons that will serve as a solid foundation for the adventures that lie ahead.

At least until the Spring, when new memories will be made when we take on i9 Sports® Soccer. Find your local i9 Sports® programs and sign up with us!

About the Author

Simone posing for a photo with her son Grayson standing in her lap.

Simone McKenna

Simone was born & raised in Perth, Australia but has called Columbus, Ohio home since 2017. Although she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education, Simone now pursues her passion for health & fitness as a certified trainer & nutritionist. As a busy toddler mom and business owner, she loves to share fast & effective workouts, simple recipes & her favorite products & services as a content creator. As the founder of her work is dedicated to making mealtimes more enjoyable for busy families by eliminating the stress of planning healthy, home-cooked meals. Follow Simone (and Gray) on Instagram (@simonemckennafitness) and learn more at

Grayson in his tball uniform.