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Monday, April 13, 2009
How To Coach T-Ball
By Kenny Buford
T-ball is the most popular youth baseball program in Little League, including other youth baseball leagues around the country, and has the most participants. However, coaching t-ball can be a daunting experience at first. But don't worry too much, there are many strategies about how to coach t-ball and the main objective is always to enjoy the experience.
Unfortunately, a late start in a sport like tee ball typically means players won't make up the difference until the following season when they can get a better start. If you want to learn how to coach t-ball, then get organized, develop a plan, and prepare to work hard. Learn as much about t-ball and baseball as you can. Prepare to learn enough about baseball to be able to present the material in "kid terms."
Use Analogies Kids Can Understand:
Kids don't know what it means to "take an extra base" or "turn two" until you teach them and show them. Successful coaches know their audience and use analogies and common visual imagery to establish an intellectual and cognitive connection with their players. For t-ball players, these images are best when they are a bit dramatic. For instance: point the belly button toward the part of the field where you want to hit the ball (get your hips rotated), make your arm like an elephant's trunk when throwing (don't launch the ball like a catapult, throw it), and point the button on your cap in the direction the ball came from when fielding a ground ball (keep your head down).
Whether your league keeps score or not, or whether you have a team that can win games or not, don't ever fail to take your responsibilities as a coach seriously. Being a serious t-ball coach means that you'll try to teach your players something about baseball, basic skills, and sportsmanship. It means that you're attentive to player safety, and it means that while you're asking your players to put their best foot forward, so are you.
Having been a great player is no assurance that you will be a great coach any more than being a great student necessarily means you will be a great teacher. However, a good coach has to be a good teacher. A coach has to be patient, he has to be confident and decisive, nurturing when his players get hurt or make mistakes, and he has to be able to get as much as he can out of his players without going too far.
T-ball coaches need the assistance of their players' parents. You will be surprised to learn that parents are normally willing to help out if they aren't too busy. The more people you have helping out, the better. Just remember, that you are the coach so don't let them take over your responsibilities.
Keep meetings with players and parents brief since young kids get restless quickly and create distractions. To communicate important information such as league rules, game schedules and uniform information, use handouts that the parents can read later. When learning how to coach t-ball, try to have fun and make everyone enjoy the experience.
Kenny Buford is a baseball and t-ball coach with over 20 years of experience. You can make your t-ball coaching life even easier by downloading his t-ball practice plans at the site below:
T-Ball Practice Plans
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kenny_Buford
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Posted by Coach's Profile: at 4:05 AM