Nearly every day, my four year-old son Brendan comes into my bedroom around 6:15 a.m. and asks me, "Is today my baseball day?"
He is referring to his weekly Lil' Sluggers class. For nearly a year now, Brendan has been participating in the Lil' Sluggers baseball program for kids age 2-8.
He loves it. I love it. My (former college baseball player) husband loves it.
I can honestly tell you that this my absolute favorite Chicago-area extracurricular program that our family has participated in. Ever. Yes, seriously.
What makes it so great, you ask?
Lil' Sluggers teaches baseball fundamentals to kids ages 2-8 in a
fun, positive setting. The program offers instructional classes and well
as league play. Boys and GIRLS are welcome (you go get 'em little
My son Brendan has been enrolled in a Lil' Sluggers class since January
of 2010 (so we are in our fourth seasonal session). He has had the same
coaches for all four sessions. The same coaches -- how rare is that?
They know my son's name, his strengths and his weaknesses. Brendan knows
and trusts them. In his mind, they are rock stars (Matt, Noah, and
Callie -- I am talking about you). All of the coaches are consistently
positive, kind and knowledgeable. And that is the real strength of the
program, in my opinion. Plus, Brendan absolutely adores each and every class -- and kids
know a good thing when they see it.
Each class is a series of face-paced drills. The low coach-to-kid ratio
means that no one wastes time standing around waiting for their turn --
one of the many coaches is always right there working on a skill or
encouraging the kids to cheer on their teammates. This format works
really well, given that kids in this age group tend to have super short
I'm no Ernie Banks (obviously), but even I can see that my four year-old is
learning important fundamentals -- like using two hands to catch,
sliding with one foot tucked under, and developing a consistent hitting
Lil' Sluggers is a year-round program. Summer baseball takes place outside and indoor instruction is offered for the
remainder of the year. We've taken classes at BASH Academy, Windy City Fieldhouse, and Waveland Park. I can recommend all of those locations to you.
now, Lil' Sluggers has been a city-kid-only offering. However, the
program has recently expanded into the suburbs for the upcoming winter
session. Your little slugger can now get in on the action in Glenview and Northfield as well.
Thinking about signing up? Have questions about how the program works?
Email Coach Jeff Kapp at email@example.com.
is the man at the helm of Lil'
Sluggers. He is an experienced player and coach and is very hands-on in
his management of this program (trust me, he will know your kid's name
too). Go ahead and email him. He will genuinely welcome your inquiries
(as he has mine).
Registration for the winter session is taking place now (so get going on that). Registration for the Holiday Camps (December 27-30 at several city and suburban locations) is also ongoing -- although the Windy City Fieldhouse location is now full.
little guy Colin is about to turn two - which means that he is almost
eligible to become a Lil' Slugger himself (he can't wait to get in the game after a year of watching his big
brother play). Starting soon, there will be two little faces standing
next to my bed each morning asking, "Mommy is today my baseball day?"
Disclosure: I am working with Lil' Sluggers to spread the word about their excellent program.