As the major leagues gear up for the spring season, local youth gear up for spring play, too.
On most evenings, local baseball, softball and soccer teams are practicing on lighted fields throughout the city.
Research shows children involved in youth sports graduate at higher rates, develop positive team-building and leadership skills, and become responsible adults.
But with more injuries being reported among young athletes and parents around the country throwing punches in the stands, how do players learn wholesome values and technical skills?
Angie Toebben, recreation supervisor for Jefferson City Parks and Recreation, oversees youth sports, recruiting coaches and distributing rule packets.