My wife, my son, and I went to the park last night to sit in on another 4U T-Ball team’s practice. I wanted to see how a coach that actually knows what they are doing handles the practice. I am really glad that I went as I was not feeling very confident about getting the kids from our team out in the field and having them all look up to me to tell them what to do.
Basically the coaches are teaching the very basics of playing baseball. They broke the kids up into a couple of different groups (they had 4 coaches). Two groups worked on catching while the other two worked on batting.
The catching group had the players line up along one of the base lines facing the coach without their gloves. What the coach did was roll the ball to each player one at a time and had the kid get used to using both of his hands together to try and stop the ball. They did this several times with each kid until it looked like they were getting it and then had them do it with the glove.
The batting group had the T’s setup close to the fence and the coach would have the kid hit the ball into the fence to try and learn how to line the ball up with the bat. He would run through the proper time to hit the ball which was after a series terms. The terms were:
- Baseball Ready
- Pitcher Pitch
- Batter Bat
After Batter Bat it is time to hit the ball.
From there they got all the kids together and had 8 kids on the field with 1 on each base, a pitcher, and 2 kids in between each of the bases for a total of 8 in the field. The remaining 3 kids (one was not at practice) were the batters with 1 at the plate, one on deck, and the other one waiting.
What they would do was have the kid hit the ball and then have whoever the ball came to get the ball and throw it to first base. After they got the ball to base the would have the kid hit the ball again and this time run the bases. After each kid would hit he would be rotated on to the the field and then a kid on the field would be rotated off so they could bat. They did this until each kid got to bat.
From there they split the kids up into 2 groups with one group lining up at home plate and the other at second base. They gave the first kid in each line a baseball and had them run the bases until they got around all four bases. When the kid came to the final base they would hand off the baseball to the next kid and then they would run the bases. They would do this until all the kids had run the bases.
It was a pretty good program and I was really happy to have seen it first hand. I went from being apprehensive about coaching to actually looking forward to it.The kids all had a really good time and the parents looked like they were having a good time as well.
I already have 3 parents that have said that they would help out so I think that things should go really well at our first practice.