Kids Will Find Interests Other Than Baseball While On The Field
We can give our kids a glove, a ball and a bat, take them to a ball field and talk about baseball until we are blue in the face, but this is no guarantee that our kids will be thinking baseball the whole time they are at the park.
Other things they will find of interest include: other kids to poke, grab, talk to, and chase bugs, dirt, birds, airplanes, fire trucks, etc. These all can and will trump baseball in importance at times during a practice or game.
Adults who recognize these realities, accept them and work baseball in along the way will enjoy their time with the kids much more. Coaches who resist accepting the reality of the Tee-Ball world will experience high levels of frustration, bewilderment and blood pressure.
Have Your Son Throw A Few Balls In The Backyard
Teaching your son to throw a baseball is a great way to bond with him and have some fun at the same time. Its important to start young, so have your son practice throwing during his free time.
You dont need any special equipment or materials to start practicing with your son. Just take some batting cages, balls, and a few pitching machines out to the backyard for some fun throws. Have your son try different techniques such as using both hands or lobbing the ball overhand.
Once your son is comfortable throwing, you can start teaching him how to hit a baseball. Teach him about proper stance, swing mechanics, and strategies for hitting home runs. Let him compete against other kids in local leagues or tournaments. Baseball is a great sport that can be enjoyed by all ages, so get started early!
Hustle Rule #4 Dont Lecture Drill
There are many baseball skills that require hustle. In my experience, the least effective way to teach these skills is explain them, or tell players what they should have done every time they do it wrong during a game. The most effective way is to drill it.
You may need a few words to explain how the drill works. But then you demo the skill, have every player on the team do it, then have them do it again. If its a very simple skill, you may only need to do it once. It its a more complicated skill, or one which players tend to forget over time, you may need to drill it at several different practices.
I have yelled at my players out of anger only once in my two years of coaching. It was when, for the third time in a game, a player failed to slide into home plate, and he was called out for not sliding. After all, I had already pointed out twice earlier in the game that everyone must slide into home, right after someone forgot. I had also drilled sliding at several practices.
I felt bad about yelling, yet frustrated that my players werent sliding into home. My son pointed out that on this particular play, the catcher was blocking the plate, which made it difficult. I realized that the fault was not the players, but mine, for not drilling this situation. In general, if seasoned players are making the same mental mistake over and over, it is the head coachs fault for neglecting to drill something. My bad.
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Baseball : Teach Your Child How To Throw A Baseball
Prepping your little one for their first ball game or practice?
Learning to throw a baseball is a simple yet fundamental part of the game. And the right throwing technique can give your budding athlete an early leg-up on the field. Use this simple guide to help your child learn to properly throw a baseballfrom arm motion to stance to a proper grip on the ball.
Focus On Two Pitches Only No Junk Allowed
When a kid starts pitching at eight or nine, there should not be thinking about anything other than a four-seam fastball. Its the most consistent and easiest pitch to throw, and when a kid is learning, Belmont says theres no need for them to throw anything else. When theyre ready, they can learn the two-seam fastball. The motion and windup should be the same for both. If a young kids throwing consistent strikes, Belmont says hell teach a change-up, but certainly no breaking balls.
We dont teach curveballs until youve got some hair on your face or under your arms, Belmont said, echoing a sentiment shared by coaches and orthopedists alike. Breaking balls put too much strain on the arm and can lead to serious injuries in young players and even the need for Tommy John surgery. Breaking balls should not be thrown, per experts, until girls are 11 and boys are 13.
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Teach Your Son How To Hold The Baseball And Throw It
Teaching your son how to throw a baseball is an important skill that can last a lifetime. The key to throwing a baseball effectively is to have good hand-eye coordination.
When teaching your son how to throw a baseball, start by holding the ball correctly. Next, teach him how to get into the throwing position and then release the ball. In order to improve his accuracy, work with him on practicing throws at different speeds and distances.
Encourage your son to take batting practice with you so he can learn proper hitting techniques as well. Finally, make sure he knows when its time to stop playing and put away his baseball equipment.
Tips And Drills For Teaching Kids To Catch A Baseball
Catching the ball can be quite difficult for a young player who is new to the game of baseball. Most young kids are not very coordinated with their dominant hand, let alone with a glove on their non-dominant hand. It can be quite awkward for them at first.
Here are a few tips and drills that I like to use when Im teaching kids to catch a baseball.
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Tee Ball Vs Coach Pitch
A quick word on Coach Pitch before we move onto each age group
As we already know, Tee Ball is an adapted variation of the game taught to younger players to help them develop their baseball skills. It removes the difficulty of pitching freehand to players and allows younger players to focus and get used to making a connection with the ball first by using a batting tee.
Coach pitch is used with age groups usually under 9 years old with an overlap between ages 7 and possible overlap between 9-10 years old depending on the skills level of your young budding star.
Coach pitch involves the coach pitching the ball to the player. Now, its worth mentioning coach pitch isnt easy.
So, while you may introduce your 7 year old baseball players to coach pitch at some point within your practices, it generally recommended you dont use coach pitch until your players have had at least 1 years experience with tee ball.
Heres the age groups in a little more detail
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The Unzip And Release Drill
There is perhaps no warm-up drill in baseball more common than a pre-practice game of catch. But Herbst says that for young kids, there is a version of catch that breaks down each component of the throw to help them throw with precision and accuracy. Herbst has kids line up across from each other, tossing the ball back and forth but has them freeze in various parts of a typical game of catch in order to think about the motions.
As one line is getting ready to toss, I will tell them to unzip, which means they will mimic the exaggerated motion of unzipping a jacket as they are winding up to throw and freeze with the ball as far back as they would have it go if they were throwing.
Herbst will then go down the line and examine form to correct anyone who isnt doing the wind-up properly. Once he has gone through everyone, he will tell them to release and they will throw the ball to the teammate across from them.
And they will go back and forth tossing the ball. It can seem unnecessary but it gets the kids really thinking about the process of making the throw, which will limit the number of times they accidentally overthrow the ball or throw it in the dirt. Its great for keeping kids focused.
See Saw Happy Gilmore
The See Saw Happy Gilmore drill ties together the four drills before this. It works rotational power, the load, getting off the back side, and a good swing path. This drill is done by starting a few feet back from the tee in a normal relaxed stance, with your feet about shoulder width apart.
From here, you want to take a small step forward with your foot while loading the hands back towards the catchers feet and load up while not wrapping the bat behind the hitters head.
The next phase of the drill is to take a step with your back leg behind where your front leg is with a reverse crossover step. Note how Coach Lisle has his hands loaded towards the catcher and is in a good launch position.
Then, take another step with your front foot to the tee, and attack the ball from here. This drill is excellent for tying the previous four drills together. Creating rhythm and good habits in loading, weight transfer, and top hand driving all comes out of this drill when executed properly. While it is a little complex in its origin state, it is great for youth baseball hitters to master and practice regularly.
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Ranging Laterally For Ground Balls
The diagram below was pulled from a section of the website for older players.
Modifications for Tee-Ballers:
Shorten the distance the players are working in the drill from 50 to 35
When delivering the ball in the drill, only make the kids move 15 to field the ball
Deliver the ball at a pace that allows them to get to the ball and and get their Feet Wide to Catch
Experiment with a player receiving the ball and an adult. You will be able to determine when the kids are ready to receive thrown balls in this drill. Until then, have an adult receiving the throws.
Adapting to running the drill given the mistakes the kids will make and running the drill with less than six players:
1. Kids usually want to ‘line up’ within a few inches of each other*.
Shortstop Position: Place two cones at shortstop, one for the player who will be fielding the next ground ball and the other cone 5′-10′ away for the next player.
Second Base Position: we instruct the extra player to stand behind the assisting adult, while the player participating in the drill is positioned next to the base. After the player participating in the drill moves away from the base, the coach/adult tells the next player to get into position next to the base.
Players positioned next to the coach at the pitching rubber: just before the coach rolls the ground ball to the shortstop, the coach instructs one of the players standing next to them to rotate to the ‘waiting cone’ at shortstop.
The Body Stuff: Turning Proper Baseball Hitting Mechanics Into Athletic Movements
The next step in teaching a young athlete how to hit requires you to shift your mindset a bit. Its going to sound weird, but stick with us here: To teach a young player proper baseball hitting mechanics, you dont actually want to think about mechanics. Instead, you want to think about movements and feel.
The word mechanics implies that X part of your body MUST BE HERE, or some other body part MUST BE THERE, Beck says. Efficient body movements that begin from the ground up , on the other hand, allow a hitter to remain athletic and react to different pitch locations and speeds. They can see the ball well and be successful as a result of efficient movements.
There are certain elements of hitting, such as the athletes stance, that are purely up to them. Whether or not they prefer a wide stance or a narrow stance is their choice. But whats consistent across all batters, Beck says, are movements that allow a hitter to get into a strong hitting position, especially the Load-to-Launch phase of the six step hitting progression program Beck uses to teach hitters to be athletic at the plate. Those six steps are:
3. Launch The pitch is on the way and you like it. Youre going to take a swing at it. Whats next? The stride toward the ball. As you stride, you are down into your legs and ready to deliver a controlled and powerful swing. The rotation of your hips is sending power to your shoulders and hands.
Helpful Drill: STRIDE SEPARATION
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How To Teach My Son To Throw A Baseball
It can be a challenge to teach your son how to throw a baseball the right way, but with some patience and guidance, you can make sure he learns quickly. Here are some tips on how to teach your son to throw a baseball: Have him practice regularly at home.
Teach him the correct grip and footwork needed for throwing a ball properly. Equip him with the right equipment, such as batting gloves and cleats. Encourage him to keep practicing even when things dont go his way, as mistakes are part of the learning process.
Let him know that there is no shame in making mistakes everyone makes them at some point!
Practice Throwing With A Ball
Teaching your son to throw a baseball is an important step in his development. A good way to start practicing is by having him toss the ball with you. You can also have him practice throwing the ball outside when its warmer out.
As he gets better, you can gradually increase the distance and height at which he throws the ball. Practice makes perfect, so be patient with your son as he learns how to throw a baseball correctly. When he masters the basics, you can teach him how to play catch using different objects around the house.
Playing catch is a fun activity that can help strengthen your sons arm and hand-eye coordination skills. Always make sure your son wears safety gear while playing catch, including batting gloves and helmets if necessary. Its also important to set some ground rules for playing catch, such as no running or fighting with each other while catching the ball.
Finally, have fun with your son by cheering him on as he practices hitting and throwing the ball!
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Early Learners In Sports
When you teach young children around the ages of two to five, you are working with some of the most impressionable and resilient athletes in sports today. While many of these accolades are reserved for elite adult athletes in sports, it is young children who are performing phenomenal feats in sports that we do not see.
With the dawn of each new day, they gracefully defy and overcome their many physical, emotional, and mental limitations that are just a natural product of their immaturity. Sports offers young children constructive ways to overcome their limitations, develop, and grow.
Hustle Rule #: Listen More
I do have chalk talks with my players, but as much as possible I use a question and answer format. Are you guys interested in winning? Are you willing to work hard to achieve that? What do you think it takes to win? How many of you are interested on being on the high school team? If a high school coach was watching you at the last practice, would this coach be looking forward to having you on the team? Why or why not?
More than these general questions, I ask baseball-situation-specific questions. When does it make sense to let a pop fly bounce in front of you? After you hit a ball into play, how long do you wait before running to first base?
I asked such questions, and listened to kids answers. Giving the kids an opportunity to talk did seem to help a little, and you could almost see the wheels turning in their heads as they at least began to get this stuff on an intellectual level. But after a string of lackluster February practices, hustle was still lacking, and I was literally losing sleep over my failure as a coach.
So then I took 30 minutes out of a practice, so that everyone could take turns telling a story about some time in their life when they really worked hard to accomplish something, they accomplished it, and something good happened as a result.
Mine was just one of many stories. The kids and coaches each followed with amazing stories. Everyone listened, much better than they had to anything I had said earlier in the season.
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