Quick Tips Presented By T-Ball America

Teaching T-Ball Today
Playing Baseball and Softball for Life!

T-Ball America is the national youth sports organization dedicated to the development of the game of t-ball. T-Ball America wants to make the game of t-ball fun for the participants as well as instill an interest in both baseball and softball so kids will continue to come back to play every year. Providing the resources to put kids in a position to succeed, T-Ball America offers a variety of programs and services. It is the center for information on how to improve existing t-ball programs and establish new ones. T-Ball America is happy to work with national, regional and local youth baseball leagues, civic or community groups, parents and kids.

* T-Ball America is a Youth Sports Club company.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

#TeeBall #LittleLeague #BaseballCoaching #YouthSports #BaseballPitching #TBallAmerica

Bench Throwing
You can have books written just on throwing. Coaches and parents need to understand that if there is one skill that should be worked on individually this is it! Because five year‒olds may not lack strength and coordination, we as t‒ball coaches may be asking them to perform the throwing skill a certain way that they physically cannot do. With that said, I have found that one of the biggest bad habits of young players is not bringing their arm all the way back and the bad habits developed are hard and sometimes cannot be undone. Understanding the concept of throwing by bringing the arm back can be hard for young t‒ball players to understand. Coaches need to be creative with techniques that enable the player to experience the act of the arm rotating back. Take a free standing bench or even a bleacher seat. Have the player lie down with the coach in front of him. The player then brings his arm down then up and throws the ball to the coach. By lying down on the bench, gravity will force the player to bring his arm all the way down. This technique should immediately be followed up with the player standing up and throwing a ball, focusing on bringing his arm back. I have seen players throw thinking they are bringing their arm back when they really aren’t. So in the Bench Throwing Drill they are actually experiencing how it feels when their arm is brought all the way back. This is an important drill to bring to a young player because proper throwing techniques early on, such as bringing the arm all the way back, will prevent injuries later in their career.

With the player lying on the bench, the coach stands at the foot of it and catches the ball thrown by the player.

Some players will understand a concept in a different physical position. Many players standing straight up do not understand the throwing motion. Players will “short arm” the ball throwing it from the ear, meaning they will not bring the ball past the ear. Many young players think they are bringing their arm all the way back when in fact they have never experienced this feeling. With Bench Throwing, this will help give the player the actual feeling of his arm going back. Watching as well as doing helps the young player understand the throwing concept.

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Five Small Changes to Consider In T-Ball

  Good news for baseball fans! In the younger age groups there has been a slight uptick in baseball participation. Hopefully this will continue! Baseball is fortunate now to have two rookies
Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger who may become the face of Major League baseball. Everything adds up. Baseball has also been pushing their “Play Ball” program to try and increase participation. We’ve seen baseball lose players to lacrosse and soccer over the last decade. Until we see lacrosse players switch to baseball, it is still a big challenge to retain young players. 
  Retaining players all starts in t-ball. Leagues have got to give their t-ball coaches the best instruction possible. Remember that t-ball will be the first involvement on an organized team for many. I’d like t-ball to consider four small changes.

1.Softer balls and no gloves. Yes, you saw it right! How about the first quarter of the season have the players play the game with their bare hands. Combine that with a softer and maybe bigger ball. Remember that catching balls bare-handed is the best way to learn fundamentals. After say four or five games, players then play with their gloves.

2. Make bases 20% bigger. I’ve been a huge proponent of this for a long time. Bigger bases means less collisions. Also let’s color or label each base. My idea is to make them red, white and blue. Some t-ballers will know the color of the flag before they understand baserunning. First base is red, second is white and third is blue. Home can also be white. Also write right on the base in huge letters 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Home.

3. An alternate bigger ball. Players even at 5 and 6 will vary in ability. Let’s use a bigger ball for some or even everyone for a few games.

4.Bat 1-12, them 12-1. I started this in our t-ball league which played 3 innings. My theory was the number 11 and 12 hitters don’t experience the baserunning. After they get to bat, it’s time to take the field.

5. Consider only 6 on a team. How about only infielders in t-ball? Most of the balls are not hit to the outfield. Or better yet play with only infielders the first half of the season and then field both infielders and outfielders the second half of the season.

    T-Ball is one of the most fun organized games around.  There are tons of what people of my generation would call “Kodak Moments.” I’ve seen people who never even smile have a small change in their personality and look like they are having fun!  Fun can be contagious. Parents who are competitive will have plenty of time for that in a couple of years. Let’s tweak t-ball to keep players engaged and to keep them playing the great game of baseball.

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Friday, January 4, 2019

Newspaper Ball Catch

This is a great T-Ball drill right from Marty Schupak's best selling book T-Ball Skills & Drills that is non‒threatening to players who may have a fear of getting hurt. Roll up a few newspapers, and do it right in front of your players. They will have fun with this. Have a catch with the newspaper ball with his players. The newspaper is lighter, and moves slower than a baseball. Players will have a great shot at being successful in this drill. This is a progression drill when introducing the skill of catching early on to your child. Remember, kids of all ages love to use props. The players can help the coach roll up the newspapers. A variation is to use the rolled up newspapers to hit with a plastic bat. The key the coach should emphasize is to just make contact with the newspaper, not concerned with where or how far it goes. The players should also help pick up the newspaper in‒between rounds. This is another example of taking a common household item and creating a drill with it. The rolled up newspaper is very safe, either catching it or hitting it.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Color Code Baseballs For T-Ball Drill

#TeeBall #LittleLeague #BaseballCoaching #YouthSports
Color code some of your team’s supply of baseballs with blue and yellow masking tape. One third of the baseballs will be coded blue, a third coded yellow, and a third natural white. We want to emphasize the importance for young players to keep their eyes on the ball. The Color Code Fielding Drill is excellent and challenging. The coach will toss a ball on the ground and the fielder must watch the ball into his glove, recognize the color of the ball, and yell it out. The player watches the ball into his glove and yells out blue, yellow, or white when he recognizes the ball.
It is also highly recommended to do this t-ball drill (and others) bare handed before you use gloves.

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