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, February 23, 2019

T-Ball Tip:Recycle Bin Drill

Quick Tip From T-Ball America
and Marty Schupak's book T-Ball Skills & Drills

If you are willing to spend a little time in your garage separating your recycling bin, this is a great drill that will stimulate young t‒ball players. You have to take out anything that is glass, breakable, or potentially may inflict any type of injury. You will be left with mostly plastic, which is great! Carefully put one object at a time from the recycle bin on the batting tee with or without the plunger, depending if you need it to help balance the object. Have your players hit it off the tee, just like it is a ball. There is nothing that says players have to practice only hitting a ball off of a batting tee. Whatever method you can get your players to hit the object with the bat then do it! 
 The funny thing is kids see their parents putting things in the recycle bin and many do it themselves, so they are familiar with many of the items. One of the goals with kids and sports is to try to teach flexibility. We eventually want kids to try different positions and not be locked into one position on the field. By exposing kids to creative drills and practices, they begin to think creatively. I mentioned earlier that I have gotten numerous drills from my player’s suggestions at practice. Maybe not so much on the t‒ball level but let’s get everyone to think outside the box. The recycle bin drill works great as an at‒home drill. It becomes a challenge to explain to your neighbor what you are doing, but chances are the kids in neighborhood will want to do the same thing. Like in any batting tee drill, safety is the number one concern. Players will have a hard time trying to catch a one gallon milk container in their gloves, but they will have a fun time trying to do it. Isn’t this what we coaches want? Combining fun with a skill drill. The players enjoy this drill because each oddly shaped object presents a different “sweet spot” to swing at.

Here the player is hitting a plastic soda bottle off the batting tee.
Changing shapes and colors of items in the recycle bin is a great technique. Be creative. Tell a little story for each item. You’ll find your child laughing as you make jokes like “I remember mom cleaning our dirty underwear with this cleaner.”
A variation of this drill is to toss the recyclable items up for the batter to hit into a fence. Getting players used to hitting any object will help make this drill fun while at the same time giving the players a chance to hit at something different without the pressures of making contact with a baseball. Kind of a recycle item toss drill.

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

T-Ball Tip That Will Guarantee Success!

Quick Tip From T-Ball America
and Marty Schupak's book T-Ball Skills & Drills

Here is a quick easy drill that will pay dividends at the t-ball level and beyond. Remember that the simplest, most effective drills in most sports need not cost an arm and a leg for parents, leagues and coaches.
Have players at first catch a ground ball from the coach or parent barehanded. By using only bare hands this is forcing the players to use both hands to secure the ball properly. If done correctly, catching ground balls barehanded forces the player to have the dominant hand on top of the ball, which should also be the case if he were wearing a glove to field grounders in games. This prevents the ball from bouncing out of the glove for an error. 
  
Notice how the player has his hands in front of his legs. This is excellent fundamental fielding for every level of play. Coaches talk about the “triangle” that forms correctly with both legs and the hands. This type of basic drill is done at even the highest level of play to reinforce the basics.
The players will just roll the balls away and not back to the coach. At first we are separating the catching and throwing skills and just want the players to focus on one skill, which in this case is catching grounders. You can eventually have the players use their gloves. Remember they are tossing the ball underhand on the ground.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

T-Ball Basic Hitting Drill

Quick Tip From T-Ball America
and Marty Schupak's book T-Ball Skills & Drills

Older youth players are involved in baseball mainly to hit the ball, unless they are 100% pitchers. In t-ball, once the kids experience hitting the baseball off the batting tee, many of them get hooked. Coaches have to remember that for many new players hitting off the batting tee will be their first experience. Let’s put them in a position to succeed. If you approach t‒ball like we are all ambassadors of baseball, it is in the sport’s best interest to have the youngest of the young experience success hitting the ball. How do we achieve this? Well, putting a bat in a 5 year‒olds’ hands and having them try hitting a 9 inch sphere off a rubber tube may be the worst thing we can do at the first practice. Here is where we have to put on our creative hats. Remembering that the goal for batting is to hit an object. Why not start with a drill everyone can do?
How about taking one of those noodles (like kids use in a swimming pool) and give each team member one. You can also use a thin plastic whiffle ball bat. Have each member of the team line up at a tree or at a fence and hit the object 5 or 10 times in a row. This is something everyone will succeed in at the first practice. The next step may be to give each player a large plastic ball and spread them out in a field. On the “go” command, the players have to hit the plastic ball with their noodle or plastic bat and follow the ball and keep hitting it while the ball is on the ground. Everyone can do this. So right here we have two basic drills you can use in your first practice that everyone will succeed in. If you are concerned about returning t‒ball players being bored with this, then divide your team into first year and second year players. Have the second year players do another drill. The point is you want to first achieve success having these young players comfortable at what they are doing.
Here is another simple drill mainly for the youngest first time t-ballers.


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Monday, February 18, 2019

Instructional Cues Are Effective T-Ball Teaching Tools!

Quick Tip From T-Ball America
and Marty Schupak's book T-Ball Skills & Drills

  Instructional cues are keywords that can communicate a proper technique and do it quickly. Instructional cues are short phrases and sometimes can be comprised of one word. The beauty of these instructional cues are that young kids will absorb them. T-Ball can be considered “instructional cue heaven” for coaches and parents. When developing these instructional cues you should make them precise, short and action orientated. For instance when teaching throwing, the cue “step toward the target” is simple yet explains exactly what you want your t-ball players to do. Remember that the instructional cues you make up must be age appropriate. If you use a phrase like “shift your weight from the rear to the front” or “rotate your hips”,  t-ball players may not grasp the meaning. Simple instructional cues like “keep your eye on the ball” are more age appropriate for t-ball players. 
  As a t-ball coach you can integrate instructional cues to teach the whole skill. The instructional cue “step, rotate, throw” can be effective for t-ballers once they are became familiar with each word. Another like “swing through the ball” will be understood by some and may not be understood by others. The coach should always demonstrate the skill while quoting the instructional cue and have one of the better skilled players demonstrate while again quoting the cue.
  Instructional cues work! T-Ball coaches can be creative and develop their own instructional cues. Some will work and some may not work as well. But on the whole instructional cues are a great teaching technique to get points across to kids especially the t-ball players.


For the best baseball instructional videos FREE on Amazon Prime Video!
 Keyword: Schupak Sports
Watch every Marty Schupak baseball video free in your own home with your library through Hoopla! 
Keyword: Schupak Sports
Don't wait! Change the way you coach youth
baseball & softball with Marty Schupak's videos!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

T-Ball Tip! Leave the Cell Phones Home!

Quick Tip From T-Ball America
and Marty Schupak's book T-Ball Skills & Drills
I’ve already given some t-ball non-playing tips such as a team newsletter. Here’s something to try. A no cell phone day! I live outside New York City and frequent there a lot. I like many people are amazed with the cell phone craze and social media, texting etc. It has gotten out of hand. And in many cases rude. When I would be in New York City stopped at a red light, most people that looked to be under 30-years old would be looking at their phone or texting not lifting their head up while crossing the street in one of the busiest cities in the world. Unfortunately now when I witness the same thing, in addition to the under 30 crowd, many adults 40 and 50-years old are doing the same thing while crossing the street. We are addicted to our cell phones. I’m not telling you anything new. But this doesn’t mean we can’t instill some values to our sons and daughters. 
  One t-ball game a year, make it a no cell phone game. Parents cannot bring their cell phones to the field and must leave them in their cars. I have seen it at games that unless their son or daughter is at bat, many parents will bury themselves into their cell phones. What type of society are we becoming? Put the phones away for one game and get the other team to agree to this. Show the kids how important and enthusiastic parents can be watching a t-ball game. Don't forget, kids will remember!

For the best baseball instructional videos FREE on Amazon Prime Video!
 Keyword: Schupak Sports

Watch every Marty Schupak baseball video free in your own home with your library through Hoopla! 
Keyword: Schupak Sports
Don't wait! Change the way you coach youth
baseball & softball with Marty Schupak's videos!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

T-Ball Batting Order Quick Tip!

 From T-Ball America
and Marty Schupak's book T-Ball Skills & Drills

My first year ever coaching was for my middle son's t-ball team. The games were three innings and each half inning was played until the complete batting order batted around then the teams switched. About a third into the season I realized the players at the bottom of the line-up were missing out on a big part of the game. Because if they got on base they were the last ones to do so in the inning, once the last player batted, the inning was over. They never experienced the running of the bases because many times after the last player made out, they were still standing on base. Here's a hint of what to do and it will work well. If the games are three innings long, bat 1-12 the first inning then reverse it and bat 12-1 the next inning. This way every player in the order has a chance to get on base and experience a full inning of base running.



For the best baseball instructional videos FREE on
 Keyword: Schupak Sports
Watch every Marty Schupak baseball video free in your own home with your library through Hoopla! 
Keyword: Schupak Sports
Don't wait! Change the way you coach youth
baseball & softball with Marty Schupak's videos!
For more tips visit our "Quick Tip" page at www.tballamerica.com

Monday, February 11, 2019

Quick Tip From T-Ball America
and Marty Schupak's book T-Ball Skills & Drills

When the first time players on your team try to hit the ball off a batting tee, it may be the first experience for some of them. Here is a tip that will benefit some of your players especially the younger ones. Use as many batting tees as you can. If you have twelve players on your team and have four tees, divide your team with three players in each group using parents or assistant coaches. Try and keep the younger players in the same group. Make sure the groups are spread out. With the tee take a newly bought small bathroom plunger which should cost no more than five dollars. Turn it upside down in the batting tee. Place a soft kickball on the batting tee and have your players hit the kickball off the tee the first time. This is putting your players in the best position to succeed. Most should be able to hit the kickball. The fact that you have them in small groups is putting less pressure on them to succeed. This technique is a great introductory drill early in the season and it works well.




For the best baseball instructional videos FREE on Amazon Prime Video!
 Keyword: Schupak Sports
Watch every Marty Schupak baseball video free in your own home with your library through Hoopla! 
Keyword: Schupak Sports
Don't wait! Change the way you coach youth
baseball & softball with Marty Schupak's videos!
For more tips visit our "Quick Tip" page at www.tballamerica.com