Teaching Kids T-Ball
T-Ball is the entry sport to baseball and softball for young players, generally four to eight years old. Members of two teams take turns hitting a ball off a batting tee set on home plate.
Batters try to get on base and advance to home; fielders try to prevent that from happening. The elimination of pitching allows children to participate without the fear of being hit by a pitched ball. Tee ball develops the primary baseball skills of hitting, running, fielding and throwing. The players gain an understanding of the fundamental rules, which allows minimally competitive league play at all age levels.
In some leagues there is a "coach pitch" option where the coach is allowed to pitch (underhanded) 3 to 5 pitches to the batter. If the batter does not hit the ball fair then they bat off the tee. There are no strikeouts in T-ball.
The Little League Guide to Tee Ball
Helping Beginning Players Develop Coordination and Confidence
Teaching T-Ball can be a stressful task for any dad. You want to teach your kid good skills, but don't want to be "one of those dads" who are so into making their kids perfect that they forget to have fun.
This illustrated, easy-to-follow guide covers all the Tee Ball basics, explaining the skills that help rookie players develop coordination and confidence, preparing them for future Little League play.
If you don't get this book - just remember a few tips:
- Keep tasks short - don't keep the kids doing the same thing for more than 15 minutes
- Keep positive - Instead of saying "no, not like that", try to redirect with something like "here's a good way to do that better"
- Keep it fun - If you can make the drill into a game, then you're much better off - and they won't even know they're learning!
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Coach Pitch or off the Tee?
Some leagues offer a "coach pitch" option where the coach has from 3 to 5 pitches for the batter to put the ball in play, after which the batter hits off tee. Other leagues only use a tee for hitting. Proponents of coach pitch feels that the pitching prepares the kids for future leagues while proponents of tees only feel that pitching too soon can hurt the kid's confidence.
Which option do you prefer for 4-5 year olds?