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Thread: Coaching T-Ball

  1. #1
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    Coaching T-Ball

    I am attempting to help coach a T-Ball team and would love to hear some tips or ideas. Keeping the attention of a group of 5-7 year olds is VERY hard to do.

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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    The main point is not to have too many kids standing in line for anything very long. You probably have 12 or 13 kids on your team, right? Get 4 or 5 other dads/moms and set up five or six of the following stations: fielding grounders, fielding flies (short popups really), throwing (throwing arm straight back, pull glove hand to chest), getting the ball out of their glove with a four-seam grip (very important for accurate throws), batting, catching thrown balls (someone has to play 1B, it's the most important position in t-ball), baserunning, and sliding. Use big pieces of cardboard for the sliding drill. Rotate these drills for a while, then have a scrimmage. Whichever drills you don't use one practice, use the next.

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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    The most important things you can teach kids at this age are probably love of the game and keeping their eyes on the ball. Anything beyond that is gravy. It's probably not the time to explain the suicide squeeze or the infield fly rule, have fun with it and they will to. Don't get me wrong, I love winning, but that has to start somewhere.
    I'm just like everybody else. I have two arms, two legs and 4,000 hits."

    -Pete Rose

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by MississippiRed View Post
    The main point is not to have too many kids standing in line for anything very long. You probably have 12 or 13 kids on your team, right? Get 4 or 5 other dads/moms and set up five or six of the following stations: fielding grounders, fielding flies (short popups really), throwing (throwing arm straight back, pull glove hand to chest), getting the ball out of their glove with a four-seam grip (very important for accurate throws), batting, catching thrown balls (someone has to play 1B, it's the most important position in t-ball), baserunning, and sliding. Use big pieces of cardboard for the sliding drill. Rotate these drills for a while, then have a scrimmage. Whichever drills you don't use one practice, use the next.
    You have nailed it right there.

    I have been coaching kids for about the last four years (ages 5-9 during that span). The worst thing you can do to a kid that age is ask he/she to come to practice and make him wait 3-5 minutes without doing anything.

    Gotta keep them moving...or else you will lose them to the daisies and butterflies.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    I would start practicing without gloves. Perhaps have them practice rolling the safety ball back and forth between each other. Teach them to trust their hands rather than using their gloves as nets.

    I'd urge the parents to buy the kids small gloves so the kids learn to field rather than try to basket catch the ball.

    Also, be sure they don't dip their back shoulders when hitting off the tee.
    Last edited by Spitball; 03-30-2007 at 09:25 PM.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    One drill I found very helpful to my 6 year old is take a 5 gallon bucket and a hand towel turn the bucket upside down and have them hit the top of the bucket with the towel(in a throwing motion) it will teach them the proper way to follow thew on their throws and it's fun for them.
    Last edited by Lockdwn11; 03-30-2007 at 09:06 PM.

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    Member MississippiRed's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    I would start practicing without gloves. Perhaps have them practice rolling the safety ball back and forth between each other. Teach them to trust their hands rather than using their gloves as nets.

    I'd urge the parents to buy the kids small gloves so the kids learn to field rather than try to basket catch the ball.

    Also, be sure they don't dip their back shoulders when hitting off the tee.
    These are very good points. I used to use "no-hand" drills for kids up to about 12 years old. Reminds them to keep their throwing hand next to their glove hand, give with the ball when catching it. Works very well.

    And on the shoulder dipping, one thing that will help is to raise the tee. A lot of t-ballers keep the tee low and the hitter will try to lift the ball. Doesn't work, just like it doesn't work in golf.

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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    Stress making contact with runners in scoring position.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    Teach them how to run the bases the correct way. I know this sounds simple but kids don't understand that they can run past 1B or round first when going for a double or more. Kids really love to run the bases also. It is probably the biggest thrill they get in pratice. I use to time each kid running (every practice at the end) and celebrate when the beat their best time. Even 12 year old kids love this.
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
    I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the batter, that the only thing I knew about pitching was that it was hard to hit.

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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    I'm coaching right now also (9 and 10 year olds) and everyone that posted above is correct, keep the kids busy. I try to keep practice moving without the kids just standing around waiting.

    Another thing I do is take the last 10 - 15 minutes of practice and play wiffle ball, or we call it Bubba ball. It's no gloves, the biggest bam-bam bat you can find, and shortened bases, and the kids get five swings with me pitching (although you would probably still use a tee). My kids love it and they don't even realize they are still learning, they have to field using both hands, they have to get the out at first, and they have to keep their eye on the ball when batting. I always try to end Bubba ball after one inning, sometimes two if it goes quick, but I always end it with the kids wanting to keep going. That right there is the key, if they leave while still wanting to stay, they are more likely to come back. Also you can use it as an incentive for the kids, after one particularly bad practice where kids were just horsing around, and not paying attention, I took Bubba ball away and we didn't play. You better believe they were all perfect little angels that next practice.

  12. #11
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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    In my experience coaching Tball if you can make sure everybody has come basics like:

    1) run thru first base
    2) play a position instead of running to every ball
    3) throw the ball instead of running it
    4) pay attention to every play instead of planes, trains, butterflies, etc.
    5) hands correctly on the bat
    6) keep your eye on the ball on the tee and hit the ball instead of the tee

    and don't get anybody hurt and work to ensure that everybody has fun and you've been a good t-ball coach.

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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    All great advice, I'll only add this nugget. "The only ball that will ever hurt you, is the one you take your eye off of". -My Dad

  14. #13
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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    I've done t-ball off and on 5 years--this is my final year as my kids are going to be graduating from it.

    Most of the above advice is very good.

    Keep it simple and short. I tend to teach very basic things like what the positions are (playing 2nd base and 2nd base are very confusing to little ones).

    And finally, have them debate various things--should the Reds carry 2 or 3 catchers, trade Adam Dunn?, what to do with Milton. It will make you feel like you are logged on to Redszone.
    Hacktastic: The Story of the 2014 Cincinnati Reds

  15. #14
    HS Athletic Director alexad's Avatar
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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    Teach them the good things like keeping your shirt tucked in and hat on straight at all times. In the past our team has been the only team to do this and the kids think it is pretty cool to be the only ones doing it. Also tell them you will buy ice cream at the end of the season if they stay out of the dirt.

    Of course teach them the beginning fundamentals of the game.
    Taylor High School
    Home of the "Yellowjackets"

  16. #15
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    Re: Coaching T-Ball

    Don't keep score, keep it fun for the kids and parents. They can learn to win and lose as they get older, plus it keeps the parents from fighting. History based on experience.


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