TeeBall Parent Guide Blog

The Tee Ball Parent Blog features daily posts and updates that provide tball parents with free teeball articles, tee ball drills, and t-ball coaching tips. Our daily posts and archives include hundreds of interesting and informative teeball coaching blogs. Make sure to bookmark or save this site to your favorites so that you can visit us often to gain valuable insight and tips for helping your teeball player learn the game of baseball and improve his skills.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Don't Forget Your (Batting) Tee Time!

Don't Forget Your (Batting) Tee Time!
By guest author: Olan Suddeth

Most experienced coaches are already quite familiar with the advice I am about to give. In their case, please forgive my restating of what might be obvious, and browse some of the other articles on this site. The new baseball coach, however, would do well to pay attention.

I am about to reveal to you the single most useful tool for improving the hitting skills of your batters. Please, take a seat. I don't want the shock to overcome you. Are you ready?

I present to you: the batting tee!

That's correct. The tee is the single most useful tool for improving the hitting skills of your batters. You may bellieve that your players are too old to benefit from a tee... and you could not be further from the truth. Did you know that major league hitters practice by hitting off of a tee every single day? Are you suggesting that your eight (or ten or twelve) year olds know more about hitting than Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Derek Lee, or other big league stars?

Now that I hopefully have your attention, I will explain why this is. Understand, there is no substitute for live pitching - tee drills cannot help with your batter's sense of timing, or his ability to pick up on or identify pitch location, pitch type, velocity, etc. But unless you have Greg Maddux pitching your batting pracice sessions, there is no way you can hope to put the ball in the same place every time, which allows you to analyze the batter's swing. With a tee, you can really watch what your hitter is doing, make suggestions, and get many, many repititions in in a reltively short period of time. This is the reason that, if you were to take your player to pretty much any professional hitting coach in the country, the first thing the coach would do would be to drag out a tee.

If your player has a hitch in his swing, you can identify it with a tee. If he needs to work on the inside pitch (or the low pitch, or the outside pitch), you can simply move the tee and give him extra repititions. If he has a loop or dip in his swing, you can place a second tee behind the one holding the ball and force him to adapt a correct swing path. With a tee, you can build the all-important muscle memory needed for a good, consistent swing.

I cannot emphasize this enough - very few practices should ever go by without your players hitting off of a tee. This is an absolutely ideal station activity, is easy to place, and if you happen to also own a net, can be done in even the smallest of spaces.

The bottom line: if you do not own a tee, and you coach a youth baseball team, go and drop a few bucks on one today. You will not regret the investment in the best hitting tool ever made.

Olan Suddeth is a little league baseball coach in the Birmingham, Alabama area. His website, Youth Baseball Info (http://www.youthbaseballinfo.com) offers free drills, articles, and tips for youth baseball coches, parents, and fans.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Olan_Suddeth

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Friday, September 23, 2011

How to NOT Be a Youth Baseball Coach (Part 1 of a Series)

How to NOT Be a Youth Baseball Coach (Part 1 of a Series)
By guest author: Frank Thompson

The one thing I will always cherish as I get older is the years I spent coaching my sons in the sport that I dearly love... baseball. Now, I am not one of those dads that get involved just to live their shortchanged childhood through their childrens' eyes. I played baseball for years and studied the game. I also, while progressing through the different age levels with my boys, understood the need to adjust and adapt to the respective age level.

Through trial and error, I did experience both good and bad things while coaching my teams. I want to share with you what NOT to do in this series to help make you a better coach.

What is number one on my list?

The top mistake coaches in youth baseball make when the coach, mentor and teach their team is that they run their practices in a manner where they do not most utilize all of their time by keeping the players active during those down times.

What do I mean?

They have the entire team go "shag" balls in the field while they pitch to them one at a time for batting practice.

Practices normally range from one to three hours for youth sports, and utilizing this method for a twelve player team can take up to two hours.

Certainly not the most effective means of practice!

I learned through the years that even though you are the coach of the team, there are generally two or three other parents who would love the opportunity to get out there and be active with their player by being involved. Simply ask them if they would like to help out in practice!

Why do you need the help?

When I ran practice, I always ran "stations" where I had every player active the entire time of practice. Some of my most effective practices in youth baseball lasted only 90 minutes because I had them so well organized.

Here's how I would structure my stations:

Station 1 - Ground ball practice on the infield with three players, one receiving the ground ball, one playing the position of first base for drill purposes and receiving the throw from across the field, and one catching the return throw at home plate for you.

Station 2 - Hand/eye batting coordination with two players in the outfield. This drill is done with a sawed off wooden broomstick and golf wiffle balls. I put the kids on their knees to hit these little balls with the little stick. The object is not how far, but how many they could hit. One player would hit, the other would shag loose balls for you.

Station 3 - Soft toss into a fence with wiffle balls with two players. Use wiffle balls to prevent injury from a ball bouncing back on the player and also to prevent damage from the ball being constantly hit into the fence and rolling up the bottom of the fence. One player hits, while the other shags.

Station 4 - Hitting live baseballs in the batting cage. Self explanatory. Use two players, one actively hitting, the other "on deck" to speed up the process.

Station 5 - Base running techniques. The remaining three would be taught and worked on perfecting stealing, leading off and sliding techniques, as the age level allows.

Coaches would need to coordinate rotations to prevent backing up of one station.

If planned out well, you will have a very productive practice.

Truth be told, the players like being more active as well, and the time flies by. As I said, some of my more productive practices lasted only 90 minutes.

Now get planning!

We will continue to discuss what NOT to do as a youth baseball coach in Part 2 of this series.

Frank Thompson has been writing articles online for over two years now. Not only does this author specialize in coaching and youth sports, but you can also check out his latest website Erie Auto Insurance which reviews and compares Erie Auto Insurance to other auto insurers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Frank_Thompson

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Little League Baseball Drills - Batting Practice

Little League Baseball Drills - Batting Practice
By guest author: Chris Campbell

I have heard it said by many an accomplished athlete, that one of the hardest things you can do in professional sports, is to hit a major league fastball. Or any major league pitch for that matter. Just ask Micheal Jordan. He may be a living legend in the world of professional basketball, but he only managed a 202 batting average for the Birmingham Barons (a farm team for the Chicago White Sox). The moral being, it's best to get your little leaguer started early, if they plan on challenging some of the MLB hitting records.

With that in mind, lets consider a few hitting drills that the kids can use to get their bats swinging true, and making contact as soon as possible. One of the best drills you can do with your kids, is simply to grab a bucket of balls, and pitch a few to them every day you can find the time to do so. It's practically impossible, for most kids to get enough batting practice with the team. There's a limited number of pitchers, catchers, and backstops for most little league coaches to work with. It's almost impossible for them to get more then a few minutes hitting each practice. A one on one practice with mom or dad every day or so will really help out.

Now just swinging for the sake of swinging will make you a better hitter, but there are a few simple points you should keep in mind, to maximize the time put in. Don't harp on these items too much, as they can be a bit technical and boring for kids. Try to make it fun for them at the same time.

Choosing The Right Bat

Picking a bat that's appropriate for your child's height and strength can make all the difference. It should feel comfortable for them to hold and swing the bat. If the bat is slowing down their swing too much, it's probably a little too heavy. There is a simple way to test a bat, even before you buy one. Simply have your son or daughter hold the bat by the handle, and hold it straight out to the side, so the bat is parallel to the ground. They should be able to hold the bat steady for at least fifteen seconds. If they can't, or their arms starts to shake, you should try a smaller bat.

Batter Positioning

It's important to know where the batters box is, where home plate is, and where the strike zone is. That way, even little league players, can put themselves in good position to reach any ball that is passing through the strike zone. Even if your in your back yard practicing, you can mock up a plate, and batters box. Just use a can of spray paint on the grass to mark out home plate and a made up batters box. Don't worry, it'll disappear the next time you cut the grass.

Little League Baseball Drills is a great resource for helping your little leaguer get the most out of his or hers favorite pastime. With a little good training, amateur or even professional ball players will see a dramatic improvement in the way they play.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Campbell

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Teaching Litlte League Baseball Players To Be Smart!

Teaching Litlte League Baseball Players To Be Smart!
By guest author: Stephen K Reynolds

Coaching little league baseball players is a blast! I think it is an awesome thing to volunteer your time for.

In order to get the most out of your team it is imperative you let them figure out certain situations. I see coaches making this mistake all the time. Oh sure they have good intentions, they want to see the team get that force out at second. I'm a big believer in letting the kids figure out for themselves what to do. Here is what happens say in a minor A game 9-10 year olds. The hitter grounds a ball to second baseman, the runner is running due to the force and the 2nd baseman throws to 1st gets the out but could have tagged the runner and then threw to 1st. Parents and the coach are screaming to tag the runner, lets say that he does tag the runner and throws on to 1st. Sounds great.

Problem is from tee-ball all the way up Little League Baseball players are being told what to do during the game. They continue to look to the coaches for help when the play is going on. This is a slow process of teaching the kids what to do. You need to look long term so your players will be smarter because they solved the problems themselves. Talk to the players after the inning is over about what happened. Remember you are a teacher. Teach the game properly!

Little League Baseball Coaches need to do their work in practice so the kids can enjoy themselves during the game. If it didn't work out then it is back to the drawing board in practice. Coaches motto should be have the practices organized and fruitful, this is the coaches time and then when it is time to play the game sit back and call the shots and let the players play the game and have fun doing it.

Stephen K Reynolds is publisher of the LSR Unlimted "Free" newsletter which focuses on helping newcomers & seasoned pros learn the secrets to marketing in the ever changing world of the internet! He is also a little league baseball coach in Montana. For more information on this e-mail lsrwealth@gmail.com




Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephen_K_Reynolds

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Little League Baseball Coaching

Little League Baseball Coaching
By guest author: Joe Brockhoff

If we hold our hands up and pop our wrists, we can do that over and over again very quickly. If someone were to throw a punch at us, our hands would quickly and automatically pop up in defense.

As an infielder, we don't have to think about a ball thrown to us. Our hands will react to the direction of the ball and make the catch without having to think about it.

Think of the catcher after he gives the sign. He is taught to frame the pitch. His hands automatically go to the pitch without any thought or direction.

So the hands are auto reactors. Is this good for the hitter? The answer is: No! The hitter who allows his hands to react automatically as his first movement towards the pitch will never have full body support.

When the hands go too early, this is when we hear the coach yell out, "Wait on the pitch!"
Now, let's apply this to our baseball hitting mechanics.

These are the steps:

1. Coil (Load): The hitter collects his weight on the backside
2. Stride: a linear step towards the pitched ball (30-40% of weight transfer)
3. Body Rotation: Hips rotate toward the ball
4. Hands will then, and only then, execute the stroke

Here is one of our best little league baseball coaching tips: "HIPS TAKE US TO THE BALL. HANDS TAKE US THROUGH THE BALL."

So, when we are leaning how to hit a baseball, do we trust the hands? The answer is:

Don't trust the hands. Then, trust the hands. In other words, discipline the hands to wait until we get into the launch position, which is with the hands inside the ball and the hips rotated.

Our hands do not initiate the stroke until we rotate to the pitch. They travel in rotation with the pivot, but they do not commit to the pitch until the rotation is complete. This rotated position with the hands still back is what we call the DRIVE position. It is at this time that the hands will launch.

NOW we can trust them. Let them explode the bat to the ball.

One final note. Remember that when we hit, the hands are in a double lever system. That is, they don't personally go to the ball. They are holding the bat, which goes to the ball. The hands always end up in front of the body. They are responsible for directing the bat to the proper cut line on the pitch.

Former Tulane Hall of Fame Baseball Coach, Joe Brockhoff, fully explains his baseball hitting drills with the Super 8 Hitting System, completely demonstrated with videos and hitting drills to help you hit with more power and raise your batting average. http://www.kewego.com/video/iLyROoafMM8J.html.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joe_Brockhoff

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Friday, September 9, 2011

T-Ball / Coach Pitch - How to Choose a Glove (Ages 4-6)

T-Ball / Coach Pitch - How to Choose a Glove (Ages 4-6)
By guest author: Larry Callicoat

You've signed your Little League player up for T-ball/coach pitch and now he needs a glove. Starting a new sport can be a drain on the wallet, especially if you're not sure if your son will enjoy playing baseball. You do not need to spend a lot of money on a glove in order to get a good quality one that can be used throughout the T-ball and coach pitch seasons. You just need to know how to pick out a good glove.

1. Size does matter. Contrary to popular belief, bigger is not always better for the beginner player. Beginning players need a smaller glove so that they can hone the skill of catching and fielding a baseball. Look for a youth glove that is 9 1/2" to 10 3/4". At this age, players do not need an 11" glove or a specialized glove (one made for 1st baseman, infielder, outfielder, etc.). They need an all purpose glove for T-ball and or coach pitch. Don't worry about playing certain positions at this point, T-ball is geared towards teaching fundamentals and making baseball FUN so that they want to come back next season.

2. Construction and Material. Most youth gloves are constructed with a leather palm and synthetic material for the outer shell. This allows for a lighter glove and one that easier to close. Look for a glove that is mostly leather and leather laces. If taken care of properly, a mostly leather glove can be used season to season. You will also need to look for a glove that has a good rounded pocket and one that features "easy close" or "power close" technology. Because beginning players are still developing muscles, gloves with closing technology make it easier to squeeze the glove closed when a ball is caught.

Once you get your player's glove, have him try it on and practice catching balls with it before the season starts. Not only will this practice help him, it will also help break in the glove. Since most youth gloves are a combination of leather and synthetic material, it is not advisable to use a glove conditioner. The best way to loosen up youth glove is to USE IT!

Once your player completes T-ball/coach pitch and moves into the upper leagues, it may be time to get a new glove. Again, there are key elements to look for when choosing a glove for the intermediate player.

Coach Larry is a youth baseball coach, having coached t-ball through high school. Visit http://www.superstarbaseball.blogspot.com for more on hitting, pitching, coaching and baseball tips, techniques and inspiration.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Larry_Callicoat

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