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Any coaches? (T-Ball, specifically)


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Dave

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:08 PM

My son (referenced before, here: http://www.bleachern...-up-a-cubs-fan/)is starting t-ball this week and, since I'm an awesome dad, I'm the team coach. It didn't hit me until today that I have no idea how to coach anything. I haven't played t-ball in over 20 years. I actually Googled 'How to coach t-ball' at work earlier. Anybody have any advice, other than to not make obscene jokes or references to Major League?

#2 fromthemitten

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:16 PM

two words: tom emanski

#3 TWC

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:32 AM

Dave, how long are practices? How frequently are games? How old are the kids? 4-6 I assume?

My boy was in t-ball last year, and is now starting at second base at the Cubs' A affiliate in Daytona in instructional league ball. I assistant-coached last year, and my wife's taken over this year (she comes from a little league family (her dad coached LL for 40+ years)). We've got a long list of drills and skill stuff, but at this point, I assume that many of the kids are still figuring out how to throw or hit a ball correctly.

#4 Spencer

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

I'm afraid that when I get older I'm going to be "that parent" that secretly keeps track of runs and errors at the t-ball game.

#5 TWC

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:43 AM

I'm afraid that when I get older I'm going to be "that parent" that secretly keeps track of runs and errors at the t-ball game.

Ha. Good luck. You won't have time, as you'll be kicking them is the butts when they sit down to draw swirly pictures in the infield dirt, or when all 15 of them chase a ground ball and fight over it in a scrum, or yelling at them to climb down from the backstop during the game.

#6 Brett

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:50 AM

Find the biggest kid at the first practice, and beat him up. Then the others will know you are the dominant male.

#7 Dave

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:24 AM

Dave, how long are practices? How frequently are games? How old are the kids? 4-6 I assume?

4-6, Practices are an hour, and one game a week. My concern is that I'm going to blow the whole hour of practice on trying to teach kids how to throw an overhand curveball or to go to the opposite field with runners on.

I'm afraid that when I get older I'm going to be "that parent" that secretly keeps track of runs and errors at the t-ball game.

Oh, I'm planning on doing that.

Find the biggest kid at the first practice, and beat him up. Then the others will know you are the dominant male.

Similar to how I, when in meetings at work, pull out a banana and make eye contact with the most powerful person in the room while eating it? Or is that something different?

#8 Spencer

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:29 AM


Dave, how long are practices? How frequently are games? How old are the kids? 4-6 I assume?

4-6, Practices are an hour, and one game a week. My concern is that I'm going to blow the whole hour of practice on trying to teach kids how to throw an overhand curveball or to go to the opposite field with runners on.


Uhh, if they DONT go oppo, then they should be cut. duh.

#9 Senior Lake

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:46 AM

I coached for the first time last year in a coach-pitch league. My kids range in age from 6-8. They know nothing to very little coming in so have patience. Our first game I had 15 Ks in 5 innings of work...total domination.

Dealing with the parents is the most difficult part of the gig. Most of them have never worked with their kids at all...but there will be 1 or 2 that expect you to turn their child into a mini-Castro (Starlin, not Fidel) after a few practices.

Good luck and have fun.

#10 MichiganGoat

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:51 PM

Find the biggest kid at the first practice, and beat him up. Then the others will know you are the dominant male.

Your stealing my secret for classroom management.

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#11 fromthemitten

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:43 PM

Don't be a dick to those kids that suck. I was one of those kids that really sucked. My last year I started leaning into pitches just so I could get on base so I wouldn't get yelled at for striking out. My coach was so awful that when his nasty daughter tried to get into my pants at a party I strongly considered going for it just to spite him.

The funny thing is now I play in a softball league and I'm a good outfielder now. I think it might have something to do with my coach not screaming at me on the occasions where I do fuck up.

Though, in T-ball EVERYBODY sucks so you don't have to worry about it for a while.

#12 cys_av8r

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:54 AM

I have 3 years coaching T-ball under my belt and have now moved up the ladder to Rookies.

There is no way you will get an hour of practice out of a T-Ball team. 45-50mins is the tops, and that will be hard.

Turn drills into games/competition. That will keep their attention span.

Don't try to get anyone out anywhere other than 1st base. Trying to explain anything more than that is a waste of effort.

Get hackeysacks or those plastic practice golf balls and teach them to catch without a glove to start. That will make them keep their glove vertical, rather than trying to always catch the ball with their fingers down.

If they aren't batting, the bats are on the ground. No practice swinging allowed anywhere.

#13 Cubbie Blues

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:15 AM

I have 3 years coaching T-ball under my belt and have now moved up the ladder to Rookies. There is no way you will get an hour of practice out of a T-Ball team. 45-50mins is the tops, and that will be hard. Turn drills into games/competition. That will keep their attention span. Don't try to get anyone out anywhere other than 1st base. Trying to explain anything more than that is a waste of effort. Get hackeysacks or those plastic practice golf balls and teach them to catch without a glove to start. That will make them keep their glove vertical, rather than trying to always catch the ball with their fingers down. If they aren't batting, the bats are on the ground. No practice swinging allowed anywhere.

All of this is true.
Imagine that you are there to babysit while trying to instill a little baseball knowledge. Basically, you are there to introduce them to the game.

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#14 TWC

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:22 AM

Turn drills into games/competition. That will keep their attention span.

Don't try to get anyone out anywhere other than 1st base. Trying to explain anything more than that is a waste of effort.

Get hackeysacks or those plastic practice golf balls and teach them to catch without a glove to start. That will make them keep their glove vertical, rather than trying to always catch the ball with their fingers down.

If they aren't batting, the bats are on the ground. No practice swinging allowed anywhere.

All of the above are great pieces of advice. Also, to expand on fromthemitten's advice, just don't be a dick, period. There are plenty of parents who will take that role from the sidelines.

You're there to make them comfortable with the sport (or sports in general), and to be encouraging. Last year we had boys, girls, kids who didn't speak much English, kids who were obviously natural athletes, and kids who even at the end of the season didn't know what base to run to. Be consistent, be fun, but keep it moving. Kids from 4-6 space out awfully quickly.

#15 FFP

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:21 PM

Less is more. You have fun (except don't hog all the raps or snacks), they will, too.




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