Welcome Parents and T-ball
We are always looking
to find kind, compassionate and fun individuals who want to get
involved with our association. That being said......many are fearful of what you
actually have to teach a child at this level. It is quite simple and our goals
are quite basic.
1. Helping the children to learn positions.
I have always found different ways to guide a child when learning where to
run and where to stand. I have put flags at the bases and have said, "run
to the first flag" emphasizing the word "first" and so on. After a
while the kids get the hint. I have also sprayed a line on the grass and said to
follow the line. I have encouraged kids to yell what base they are at when they
touch it to familiarize themselves with the terminology. They do not even
realize they are learning.
When learning the positions it is important to encourage repetition. I would
tell the children we are going to learn the positions in T-ball. I have
them follow me around the field and constantly repeat the name of that position
each practice. I encourage the children to repeat what position they are
going to once I give it to them and ask them to point to it for me. They just
love to run out there and have a special place to run to that is all their own.
I encourage all coaches to rotate kids at all the positions. They will find
their favorites, and that is great, but work them around the field.
2. Improving glove/hand coordination.
First and foremost and I know it sounds silly but ask the kids which hand
they write with. Why? Kids often do not know which hand the glove goes on
or which hand to throw with. The writing hand is most likely the throwing hand.
Remind them that the ball goes in the writing hand and the glove doesn't.
Also ,another hint when coaching or parenting at this level is to remind the
child not to remove the glove when in the field. I can't tell you how many kids
take them off to catch a ball. It is just their instinct to catch a ball with
both bare hands. Telling them that everytime a glove goes down grass/dirt comes
up or your glove is like a shovel encourages them to get that glove down so the
ball doesn't go under it. A very basic skill that does take some time to
accomplish. Another key idea to remind the child or group is that when you throw
the ball the last place you are pointing, with your throwing hand, is
at the person you are throwing to. All of these skill may not happen or develop
all at once, but as the season continues you'll see improvement. Praise it.....
praise goes a long way.
3. Improving the batters swing.
Proper stance and swing are the goals in this area. If you have these
two the actual hitting of the ball will soon follow. First make sure that the
bat for the child is not too big or too heavy. It ,the bat, should come up
to their hip bone. Always making sure the hands, feet and body
of the batter are in the proper place is a start. Lining up the knuckles,
reminding which hand is on top depending on the which hand they are, bat back
and up, back elbow up, setting the tee level with the belly button, proper
shoulder width position of the feet etc are all important basics
that will follow with them for years to come. Lastly, encouraging the child or
children to keep their eyes on the ball at all times. This goes for in the
4. Controlling swarming.
At this level everyone wants to get the ball. I have tried many different
ideas to control swarming after the ball. Reminding the children to stay
on their side of the field helps. I even once drew a line down the middle
of the field and said, " this side stays on this side and this side stays
on this side." I have used the "I got it'" drill.
Anytime in practice that I would throw or hit a ball at a player it was their
job to yell "I got it," kids love to yell trust me it can be funny at
times. Drawing imaginary circles or bubbles around the child and reminding them
to stay in their circle or bubble sometimes works. What really works better than
anything else is extra help in the field by a parent or coach. The more
the merrier works wonders in the field. From the beginning express to parents
their help would be so helpful and make coaching a playing much more fun for the
5. Remembering positive reinforcement!!
Whether you are a parent or a coach being positive and having fun go a long
way. The kids love being told how well improved. Having fun is our
number one priority in Delanco T-ball.