I have posed this question to thousands of coaches and parents over years.
Everyone typically nods yes and begins rattling off things like, teamwork, grit, determination, respect, commitment, etc.
The reality is the answer is...maybe.
When done right, baseball has the potential to teach our children all of the great lessons mentioned above and so much more; it can be an awesome classroom for life. However, study after study confirms we as parents, coaches and adults often strikeout when we fail to reframe what happens on the field and use it as a tool that can benefit a young person long after the game's final out.
Baseball presents our kids with an endless procession of life lessons (before, during and after the game), but these lessons aren't learned automatically. It is up to us to seize, recognize, and embrace these life changing lessons by taking a big picture view of the game and its impact-- and not just the scoreboard view. It is up to us to discuss these lessons and model the behavior that will set our kids up for success in all areas of their life.
At the end of the day, whether your son wins or loses his next game, it probably won't make the biggest difference in his life. However, the lessons the game affords him when we take this big picture approach, can follow him for the rest of his life and have an impact beyond measure.
What else can baseball teach if we allow for it?