Jump to content


Coaching 4/5 Year Old T-Ball...any tips?


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 taterhill

taterhill

    AVS#18

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:46 AM

I will be coaching my sons team this summer and was wondering if any of you, that have done it in the past, have any tips for me.....I have eight 4 Year olds and one 5 Year old.....

#2 Just Jack

Just Jack

    Lifting things up and putting them down

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26,392 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:59 AM

Watch your language.

#3 Corp000085

Corp000085

    Stylin' and Profilin'

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,774 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:06 AM

As a pre-school teacher, I can recommend that you a) use all your willpower to increase your level of patience, b) don't underestimate what they can/can't do, c) don't overestimate what they can/can't do.

As far as coaching specifics, I know nothing about coaching baseball, so you're on your own with that.

#4 Wooderson

Wooderson

    Alright, alright, alright

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,084 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:09 AM

View Posttaterhill, on Apr 5 2010, 11:46 AM, said:

I will be coaching my sons team this summer and was wondering if any of you, that have done it in the past, have any tips for me.....I have eight 4 Year olds and one 5 Year old.....

Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement.  Nothing makes younger athletes feel better than a high five, or a "Great Job" after they've done something good.

#5 5 Wide

5 Wide

    Whaaa Happened?

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,520 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:09 AM

You have to make it fun.  Very Very basic fundamentals, but then mix in things where they just get to be boys.   Teaching them to not be afraid of the ball is rule #1.  After that, only get into the basics of throwing motions, like point your shoulder and step in the direction you want to throw.  Glove orientation is important on catching b/c most just want to catch with the pocket of the glove facing the sky.  One thing we did was we had a big thick gymnastics mat.  After 15 minutes of fundamentals, we would practice our "diving catches" onto the mat and lob a sponge ball to make them dive onto the mat to try and catch it.

#6 damj

damj

    Born again Jimbo fan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,497 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:15 AM

I coached my daughter's t-ball team last year ...

Keep practices short and mix things up alot to hold their attention.  We would get about 45 minutes in for a practice.

I would really focus on key skills ... running bases, positions, batting stance, catching/throwing.

A trick to help with batting ... get a board, small rug, floor mat, etc and paint 2 feet on it so they can see where to stand.  That takes one thing away for them to think about.

And just be patient.

#7 Chef Jim

Chef Jim

    Hall of Famer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 27,605 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:19 AM

Drink heavily before practice.  

I guess it's a good thing we never had kids.

#8 CountDorkula

CountDorkula

    Nana Nana Boo Boo, Im better than you. Stick your head in Doo Do

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,584 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:23 AM

View Posttaterhill, on Apr 5 2010, 11:46 AM, said:

I will be coaching my sons team this summer and was wondering if any of you, that have done it in the past, have any tips for me.....I have eight 4 Year olds and one 5 Year old.....

Act like a kid yourself with them. (not the temper tantrum stuff) but the having fun not taking it to seriosuly thing. Kids love ice cream... I know when i coached we would have the parents take turns to bring an after game treat for the kids. Then sometimes we brought them for ice cream at one of the local places.

We never kept score we just went each inning went through the teams batting order, it was how the league was setup which i thought was a good idea!

#9 SageAgainstTheMachine

SageAgainstTheMachine

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,020 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:26 AM

This probably applies more to a slightly older age group, but please don't argue with the umpires vociferously.  I umpired little league for a couple summers, and nothing is worse for the kids than the coach screaming at the ump (and it happens more than you probably think).

Some of the kids react by imitating the coach and getting real mad...most of the kids just get really nervous.  In any case, pretty much everybody stops having fun when this happens.

#10 Chandler#81

Chandler#81

    Veteran

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,066 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:29 AM

It is so much fun! Keep it that way.
Only other tip I'll provide is assure they understand which base to run to after getting a hit. It's truely a treasure to see a 5yr. old make good contact then, with the encouragement of the crowd yelling "RUN!, RUN!", they head straight up the 3rd base line!

:thumbsup:

#11 SageAgainstTheMachine

SageAgainstTheMachine

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,020 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:32 AM

View PostCountDorkula, on Apr 5 2010, 12:23 PM, said:

Act like a kid yourself with them. (not the temper tantrum stuff) but the having fun not taking it to seriosuly thing. Kids love ice cream... I know when i coached we would have the parents take turns to bring an after game treat for the kids. Then sometimes we brought them for ice cream at one of the local places.

We never kept score we just went each inning went through the teams batting order, it was how the league was setup which i thought was a good idea!

I never quite know how to feel about this.  On the one hand, emphasizing winning as the ONLY objective is wrong.  On the other hand, just throwing the score out the window is also a bad idea IMO.  A little friendly competition at a young age can provide good perspective on how to handle losing.  

I remember my tee-ball team losing lots of games, and I don't think it emotionally scarred anybody.

#12 SageAgainstTheMachine

SageAgainstTheMachine

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,020 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:40 AM

One more thing...teach the kids to MAKE THE SMART PLAY.  One thing that many coaches ignore when teaching fundamentals is decision making.

Teach them to hold onto the ball when the runner has already crossed first base, instead of making an ill-advised throw attempt.  On the other side, teach them to stay on first and base and not try to run to second when the ball is still in the infield.  Some of this stuff is probably hard for 4-year-olds to understand, but it's important.

#13 KD in CT

KD in CT

    Hall of Famer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 27,752 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:02 PM

View PostWooderson, on Apr 5 2010, 12:09 PM, said:

Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement. Nothing makes younger athletes feel better than a high five, or a "Great Job" after they've done something good.

...or something not so good.


I think at that age, the baseball part of the exercise is pretty unimportant.  Make sure all the kids have fun.

#14 Marv's Neighbor

Marv's Neighbor

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,918 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:04 PM

Wear a Cup! :thumbsup:

#15 PromoTheRobot

PromoTheRobot

    TBD's franchise poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,035 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:11 PM

Peyton Manning has a way with kids. :thumbsup:

PTR

#16 C.Biscuit97

C.Biscuit97

    Ladies' Man

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,695 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:11 PM

Two a days.  Anyone who complains doesn't play.  No mercy.

#17 BillsFanNC

BillsFanNC

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,498 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:16 PM

I'm coaching my son's t-ball team.  We have  our third practice tonight.   I am one of three coaches so we try to split the kids up into smaller groups to better keep their focus.  So far all the kids have been good at picking up running the bases, but they are all at different levels when it comes to hitting and catching.  You'll have a blast coaching the kids.  We keep the drills short, and the practice is only one hour.  We begin and end with running the bases as that seems to be what they enjoy most at this point.

Someone mentioned arguing with the umpires, not that it would really happen at this level, but the coaches in our league are prohibited from leaving the dugout to talk to the umpire.  Also there is a 24 hour rule for parents to discuss any issues they may have with the coaches,  that is they can't berate us during or after the game about their son or daughter, they have to wait until the next day to call or email as a "cooling off" period.

#18 Nervous Guy

Nervous Guy

    Old timer

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,806 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:19 PM

View PostBillsFanNC, on Apr 5 2010, 01:16 PM, said:

they can't berate us during or after the game about their son or daughter, they have to wait until the next day to call or email as a "cooling off" period.
Watch out before the game. :thumbsup:

Youth sports are just crazy, even at the HS level...I'm glad my son is graduating HS this year.  Enjoy your time and get out before it gets serious.

#19 Wooderson

Wooderson

    Alright, alright, alright

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,084 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:33 PM

View PostPromoTheRobot, on Apr 5 2010, 01:11 PM, said:


Haha, I love that skit.

:thumbsup:

#20 Fuzzy Dunlop

Fuzzy Dunlop

    Die Hard Fan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,820 posts

Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:37 PM

I coached t-ball a while back.  Make sure that you change the positions for the players in the field each inning.  The pitcher and the 1st baseman get 90% of the action.  I would try to let every kid have the opportunity to field a ball at least once a game.

I never minded the no scoring rules.  What I didn't care for was letting the kids stay on the bases even if they were thrown out or popped out.  You want them to be able to at least play a game that resembles baseball.