T-Ball America hopes that everyone had a great summer! Fall is a great time of year for most of the country. Please remember our fellow Americans down in Florida. If you donate to a charity, please make sure it is a legitimate one. My wife and I are animal lovers so in addition to donating to the American Red Cross, we have given a donation to the SPCA in Houston and the Florida Keys SPCA.
Did you ever realize that we don’t take advantage of the natural things around us as it relates to sports? For instance when I coached soccer I used to have a drill that the players had to kick the soccer ball between a “V” tree without touching the tree. The kids loved this. I have spoken numerous times about the “bubble hit” for the very young kids. Actually I have done this 12-year olds and they love it too! I did this with my kids blowing bubbles as they followed me around the backyard swinging a big red bat trying to break them all. This brings me to Autumn. In a few weeks the leaves will begin to fall off the trees. Take your son or daughter outside with a plastic bat. On the go command see how many leaves they can hit as they fall off the trees before they hit the ground in 30 seconds. They will love this while at the same time exerting a lot of energy.
In t-ball we are stuck on using the regular items without experimenting. Here is an example. One parent told me how his son, 7 years old starting to twist his wrist when throwing the baseball almost like throwing a curve ball. I suggested that he do two things. Stay close to a fence on his throwing side and have him throw to you. Being near the fence will make sure he is concentrating on not hitting it with his wrist and he will in fact keep his wrist the correct way. The second suggestion is to have him throw a basketball the same way he throws the baseball. The size and weight of the ball will force him to use his wrist the correct way.
Another example of using another item and something you have heard me call “cross sport” training is with a football. When your kid(s) are out of t-ball they will learn the concept of tossing the baseball to the fielder off the base but going toward it and leading him with the toss. I tried one year using a football where many of the kids on my team understood the concept of “leading the player” with the ball. We did a number of drills with the football.
If your league has a Fall T-ball league, I would recommend limiting the number of games. I am a huge believer in staying away from a particular sport for a period of time. There is nothing wrong with exposing a t-baller who loves baseball to soccer. Sport specificity is what is leading to all these injuries players get in their teens. Most from overuse.