Tee Ball Tips

I finished practice today and wandered into the field house to find our league president finishing his annual "tee ball coaches meeting." The room was filled with apprehensive guys who weren't sure what they were in for.

I offered a few of the guys these tips:

KEEP PRACTICE UNDER AN HOUR- 50 minutes is long enough for 6 year olds.

KIDS LOVE TO RUN! Break up any training exercises with a bit of running. Twice around the bases is good, so is the old "everybody run to the fence and back." Even if they learn nothing about baseball in your practice, they'll get some exercise and they won't be bored.

A fun running drill for kids is to divide the kids into two teams, have one group start at home and the other at second base. Have a relay race with each kid running around the bases. Each kid carries a baseball and passes it to their teammate as they come back to the starting position. The kids LOVE this and you can do this drill at the start of practice, in the middle and at the end. They'll want to do this all night! Have some gum for everyone after the last race as you end your practice-they'll leave happy and want to come back the next time.

It is also important to get the kids to throw the ball correctly. See who can throw well on you team and pair those kids off for a game of catch. Take the kids who need help and pair them off. Have the parents involved here. Have each parent stand behind their child holding the ball in the palm of their hands so the child has to lift their elbow above their shoulder to retrieve the ball to throw it. Have the kids reach back, "pick the apple off the tree" and throw the ball to each other. This helps teach and reinforce keeping the elbow above shoulder height for throwing.

Get the kids in a circle (or two) and have them roll the ball to each other with their glove hand. Have the kids keep their thumbs pointed to the ground, glove open, to roll it to each other. This reinforces proper positioning of the glove when going to retrieve a ground ball.

Have the kids pair off. NO GLOVES for this drill. Have them 8-10 feet apart and gently UNDERHAND TOSS the ball to each other. Make sure they use both hands to catch the ball. This will reinforce proper catching "mechanics."

Have the kids 8-10 feet apart with gloves on, "baseball ready" with the throwing hand behind the back. One kid gently rolls the ball to the other who retrieves the ground ball with his glove hand. Once each kid has retrieved a dozen balls or so, have them use the throwing hand to assist in retrieving the ground ball. This will reinforce good ground ball skills.

These are just a few tips, check back for more.

Read about the BEST BOOK for a new Tee Ball coach. It is loaded with drills to keep your team busy and learning the great game of baseball!

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