Thursday, October 12, 2017

Quick Tip #35

Parents Can Be The Straw That Stirs T-Ball Players Correctly

There is a baseball league that states “any time a player is throwing a ball that another player is to be catching the ball.” In t-ball this cannot be further from the best way to teach players the skill of throwing and the skill of catching an object. Notice that I say object and not necessarily a ball.  I have stated over and over again that early in t-ball or even with parenting, it is imperative that the skills of throwing and catching are separated. As parents we are anxious to see what type of ball players we have. Do I have a chance to bring up the next Derek Jeter? This may be a question a lot of parents may ask themselves and want what is best for their future major leaguer. Parents must realize that kids develop at a different pace from other kids. When as parents or t-ball coaches we take our 4 or 5 year old players out for the first time it may be in the long term best interest for the player to have him throw bean bags one after another against a fence. No catching yet. And if the player seems to be mastering the bean bag throw, run a strip of blue painters tape along a fence and call out “hi” or “low” and the player must throw the bean bag where the parent or coach is instructing them.
  When working with the t-ball team, ideally if you have one parent per player, this is ideal. The parent will make this drill run smoother and quicker. I have written about the four stages of throwing. Parents must master knowing this like they do knowing the alphabet. The main reason I want parents to learn the four stages is to understand what stage their kids are in. Let’s face it, most kids will neither be a Jeter or a Chris Evert. But if parents understand the most important t-ball concepts and make it fun, putting their young boys and girls in a position to succeed will pay long term dividends.

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