As an athlete growing up, life as a 10-year-old was a pivotal time, both on the court and the diamond, and off of them.
It was an age at which things just started clicking, and I really started to get serious about the prospects of getting better and performing at a high level.
And then off the field, 10-years-old is also when my fandom started blossoming—transforming from just a kid who liked sports to one who was checking schedules and box scores, analyzing game decisions, and more.
Now as a dad, I’m seeing the same things unfold from a different viewpoint…and while my sons still have a few years until competitive play, their athletic development and sports interests have compelled me to share some of the best gifts you can buy for that 10-year-old (give or take a few years) who likes sports.
SKLZ Catapult Soft Toss Baseball Batting and Fielding Trainer
It was around 10-years-old where I completely wore out my parents’ garage by routinely throwing tennis balls against it for ground ball practice in the evening hours. It was the best way to get some reps!
I would have loved to have something like this SKLZ Catapult Soft Toss Baseball Batting and Fielding Trainer; a machine that does it all—pitches for batting practice, while doubling as a fielding helper thanks to balls being tossed every eight seconds, and an adjustable arm to shoot out grounders or mock flies.
It’s perfect gift for the kid who wants to get better, and is feeling more and more independent in their endeavors (and who knows there is a better alternative to solo garage play).
Scientific Explorer Sports Science Kit
One amazing thing about sports is that you can watch every game of every season, year after year, and still be routinely surprised by something you haven’t seen before.
And that’s just as a casual fan, and before even digging into the science of sports, and all of the information, statistics, and facts waiting to be unearthed.
That’s what makes something like this science of sports gift so fun and valuable! Advertised as “7 experiments to help you become a better athlete using science” the kit allows kids to tap into their baseball bat’s sweet spot, or how to throw a “mean” curveball, and more.
With this gift, 10-year-olds can take a good step towards figuring out what, besides pure athletic ability, is going to help them perform at a higher level.
Team Logo 6′ Pop-Up Table Tennis
Some sports gifts appeal to the athlete and can help them practice and play the game they love. Other sport-related gifts are more geared towards the fan, and allow kids to show off the team they are proud to root for.
This sports gift, though, appeals to both! Sporting a weathered finish and team logo, the 6′ Pop-Up Table Tennis option is available in a number of team logos, and is currently on sale for 70% for Black Friday.
Glow-in-The-Dark Light Up LED Balls – Variety 3 Pack
So, kids are stuck inside more than usual, and without many different play settings to choose from these days. It’s either have fun indoors, head out to the backyard for a change of pace, and/or if you’re lucky enough to live by a park, spend time there, too.
So, why not open up their possibilities simply getting more time out of the day rather than trying to find somewhere new for them to play?
This glow in the dark sports ball set extends your sport lover’s play hours, allowing them to shoot, throw, or kick a bit more once the sun goes down.
A couple things I like: one, the 30-second continuous glow upon impact, so all kids have to do is kick or bounce the ball to get their glow, and then two, the football and basketball are advertised as “official sized.”
GlowCity Light Up LED Rim Kit with LED Basketball Included
And what good is a glow in the dark basketball if you can’t see where you’re shooting? To go with the above, the GlowCity light up rim illuminates your hoop with LED lighting upon impact, and stays lit during use.
There are eight different color choices, and this particular package comes paired with a basketball with your choice of three different sizes.
Spalding Back Atcha Ball Return
Along the same lines as the ground ball machine mentioned above, having a basketball hoop is great and all, but there is nothing more demotivating than hitting a great shot and then having to then sprint towards the ball before it even leaves the net so it doesn’t bounce into the neighbor’s yard!
Especially when your child is practicing their free throws, rhythm and consistency, and holding that follow through are all important factors.
This easy to install basketball return requires no tools, and allows kids to more easily practice free throws (or straight on jump shots) by facilitating the ball’s return towards the shooter once the ball goes through the net (rather than the ball sitting at the base of the or kicking off elsewhere).
Baseball Card Subscription Box
Not all gifts for sport-loving boys and girls have to be presents that encourage athletic activity. One big thing that advanced my love for the game of baseball was getting into the hobby of collecting cards.
These boxes work like any other subscription box you’ve probably had experience with, showing up once a month filled with fun—only this time, the fun is packs of cards (and even single cards in some instances) and to help get kids going in card collecting. There are a variety of boxes and subscription plans to choose from.
CHAMPRO Reaction Ball
Going off the above, not all gifts need to be big and huge, requiring large outdoor spaces—so think of this gift option as more of a stocking stuffer for the child who wants to improve in any sport really, through building up their hand-eye coordination.
While practice makes perfect, there is a lot that can be done outside of engaging in full-on practice to help make strides in the coordination area. And that’s the genius with this mis-shaped reaction ball.
To explain, a round ball bounces up with regularity, but a reaction ball will bounce randomly in any number of directions, causing the “catcher” to quickly see and react to the bounce in order to grab it. It can be used independently with kids throwing it against the wall by themselves, or with a partner who can bounce the reaction ball towards them.
DribbleUp Smart Basketball with Included Virtual Trainer App
While being stuck indoors isn’t great by any means, this new way of life in 2020 has caused us all to make adjustments, and some of the most valuable tweaks have come from focusing on things we would have otherwise neglected.
For the athlete, this is a chance to get back to basics. For instance, while a basketball player would love to be able to hit every single 3-pointer taken, there is so much to be said for properly handling the ball, which might allow that shooter to create better shots for themselves, and increase their shooting percentage in the longrun.
A smart basketball focuses on dribbling skills, and yes, while kids are stuck inside, they can still accomplish skill-building thanks to the independent, virtual nature. The accompanying app allows kids to train with a DribbleUp virtual coach who provides analysis and feedback. (Soccer ball available too.)
The United States of Sports: An Atlas of Teams, Stats, Stars, and Facts for Every State in America
Life is all about balance, and while a lot of “something” might increase skills or interest in that thing, balance allows for a more well-rounded appreciation. Plus, if we can get our kids to read more, than all the better!
There are a lot of really great sports books out there for kids, but the highly-rated United States of Sports is fun given its combination of reading, geography, and sports.
Where is the baseball hall of fame? What city were the 1984 winter olympics held? Which state has the most professional sports franchises? As the book’s description touts, “The United States of Sports takes kids on a first-of-its-kind journey across the U.S. with stops in every state in the union.”
SCOREMORE Soccer Training Targets
One of the more difficult things for kids who love sports is that fully practicing at home or on their own isn’t always possible depending on a variety of circumstances. Meaning, sure, while anyone can shoot at a hoop or kick into a goal, the experience doesn’t translate given the lack of defenders, and more.
With soccer, kicking into a giant net is great and all, but it’s tough to visualize the goalie that would be standing and waiting to defend the shots in real life.
So, these soccer targets provide an easy way to kick things up a notch (no pun intended).
By securing the targets to goalpost corners (and anywhere on the posts for that matter), targets give kids something to shoot for – the prime outer, hard to reach goal edges – and can help improve accuracy while providing a much-needed “real-life” element to really improve their skills.
All in all, hope you find value and fun in the above gifts, and would love to hear any suggestions you might have for this age group or others.