One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive by phone or e-mail is: "I am a new coach. Can you help me teach my players what to do." The following checklist outlines instructional actions by position that should be repeated in practice sessions during the tee ball season. It is equally valid as a reference for experienced coaches.
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- Show where 1st baseperson is to stand when no runner is on base and when one is on the base. Practice fielding plays; ball thrown to 1B by infielders.
- Position player in place, anticipating action. Practice fielding plays; such as,tagging a runner out.
- Show positions: one between 1B and 2B; the other between 2B and 3B. Practice action; such as, fielding balls and throwing to 1B or 2B for an out.
- Show position, anticipating action. Practice action; such as, player diving to knock down ball.
- [Stands in pitcher's area but acts as an infielder.] Practice action; such as, fielding ball and throwing to 1B.
- [Stands behind and away from home plate until ball is hit] Demonstrate: after ball is hit, adult removes tee and bat; catcher moves up to cover plate. Practice actions: catcher tagging baserunner out, catcher throwing to 1B.
- Staying behind Playing Line until the ball is hit. Catching short fly balls. Field balls and throwing to a base or to home plate. Tagging runners on the basepath. Relaying a ball from an outfielder to a base; to the catcher at home plate
- Position players. Practice catching fly balls in a crowd. "I've got it" Practice catching ground balls and throwing to infield. Have one outfielder receive relay from another and throwing to an infielder.
- Give basic hitting instructions. Practice hitting ball, then dropping bat properly and running to first.
- Instruct actions at 1B [Coach at 1B signals to run past base or to turn and go on to 2B] Instruct that forced runner on base must advance. non-forced runner can hold position on base. player on base watch what next batter does; where the ball goes. Instruct sliding.
- Team sits in batting order, encouraging the batter. Coach talks to team: Listen for instructions. Play fair; follow the rules. Have fun.
- Summarize team's activity. Specifics, not generalities. Recognize progress. Note any humorous thing that happened. No public criticism; as necessary, take player aside. What's next [practice at home, next team practice and game schedule; tell parents] Other comments, as appropriate.