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The Holderness family is back in the game with a funny take on youth sports that will look familiar to many parents who have spent weekend mornings watching the barely controlled chaos of little kids playing sports. But SmallStars: Team Express T-Ball is unlike the family’s typical parody.
Penn Holderness says he resurrected an old idea to create the video, channeling his past career as a local sportscaster as he narrates 5-year-old son Penn Charles’ T-ball team's game.
The video follows the team, the Raleigh Express, through an early-morning game, where the 5-year-olds lay in the grass, talk about Star Wars and occasionally complete an actual play.
As the coach explains that a player has never actually gotten another player out, Penn’s commentary suggests, “Maybe because they all chase after the ball and there’s no one left to throw to. Maybe because they’re too busy picking their noses, talking about light sabers.”
When Penn Charles makes it to first base, Penn narrates, “He celebrated by trying to make best friendsies with the first baseman.”
The Express do score a home run in the video, after which the kids can be seen hugging their moms and celebrating. Penn says it's successes like these that are the reason he loves seeing his son play.
“For me, the best benefit for youth sports is this: the kids can actually see and measure how much they improve...In baseball, it’s starting the season having no idea what a glove is and ending it catching a ball. That moment when a kid realizes he’s gotten better at something is one of the purest, greatest moments in the world,” Penn told TODAY Parents.
So are long mornings at the field worth it when kids are little? Dr. Patrick Cohn, a sports psychologist and mental coach at Peak Performance Sports, says yes.
Cohn says, regardless of age, kids benefit from the exercise sports provide, making and having fun with friends, being outside, learning about competition, and learning teamwork.
“Young athletes reap lots of benefits for participation in sports. Although the video shows kids that are unorganized and unsure how to play the game, this is part of learning a sport early on. Would you rather have your kids goofing off on the baseball field or in front of the Xbox or iPad? Easy choice,” said Cohn.