Tuesday, October 17, 2017

T-Ball America Mail Box

It’s time to open up the mail box and answer some questions from all you T-Ball enthusiasts.

1) I have followed the T-Ball America web site and in particular the “Quick Tip” page which is very informative. My five-year old son is not progressing as I thought he would with throwing. He cannot or doesn’t understand to bring his throwing arm all the way back. Any recommendations is appreciated?                  

If you follow the T-Ball America Quick Tips, review tips #36 and #37. These go briefly into the stages of throwing. You need not be an expert understanding the concept. But if you get anything from it, remember that kids develop at different paces. Your son is five and I’ve seen 15-year olds that don’t bring their arm all the way back. I’ve written about the bench drill. With a free standing bench, have your son lie down with you at the foot of the bench and have him throw you a soft covered ball. Gravity will bring his arm back. it is very important he learns the feel of the arm going back. Remember to make the skill of throwing fun. If it is still warm enough where you live a great technique is the “water balloon” fight. Fill a dozen or so water balloons (round baseball size) and go out back with him in your bathing suits. The water in the balloon will make it heavier then a regular ball and this will help him get his arm back. Have a blast! A wet blast! Another thought is to remember that with the arm motion, the wrist is extremely important and show him to bring his arm down as it goes back behind his body. Another idea is to spend a couple of minutes in front of a full length mirror so he can actually see the motion. Don’t get impatient! Don’t overdue it. He will come around with your enthusiasm as long as it is not marine boot camp like.                                                                                                           

2) Coach Marty, I played baseball in college and in the minor leagues for two years. I want my 6-year old  son to have an opportunity to maybe do the same but don’t want to overdue it. Any advice?  

I know you are enthusiastic but at 6 you have to let him be a kid. I think it is just as important and helpful in his athletic development to play tag or red light green light in the  backyard. Our Baseball and Softball Hitting Blue Print specifically recommends parents have their kids step away from baseball or softball for at least 1-2 months a year. 
Sport specificity is not the healthiest  in the development of young kids. Diverse activities will do more for your son than say, hitting lessons at 6 or 7. 

3) Coach, my 5-year old does not want to play t-ball. I’m on my Little league board so this is embarrassing. Any suggestions? 

The worst thing you can do is to force your child to play a sport or take piano lessons for that matter if he doesn’t want to. I would introduce t-ball to him just one on one. With his friends in school, he might be ready next year. Hang in there. This isn’t the worse thing in the world.

Send any t-ball or youth baseball or softball questions to Marty Schupak via e-mail to:

GreenRewind@gmail.com

Marty Schupak is President of the Youth Sports Club and T-Ball America

He also has a new blog called Schupak Sports.

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