Drills That Guarantee Success
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.