T-BALL 101; Tips from a Professional
Graydon is starting his first year of ball! I’m teaming up with my husband to share some T-ball tips from a professional.
As some of you may know, my blog began when my husband was playing baseball professionally with NY Mets. Now that our oldest son is starting his first year of T-Ball, I will be sharing some baseball posts. These posts will be written with my husband, since he is the baseball mastermind of course.
If your little one is going into his/hers first year of T-ball, here are some tips to get your child started on the right foot.
The #1 Thing
The most important thing for parents to understand is that baseball is a very humbling sport. Even though the ball isn’t moving, it can be difficult to hit the ball. The best thing you can do for your child is encourage them. Teach them (and yourself) to relax. Remind them to swing hard, run fast, and have fun. If that is all they do, they have been successful!
Now mechanics are not the most important thing in T-Ball. Teaching these kids to be on a team and the social-emotional part of sports is key. After learning the joy in the sport, you can then focus on some mechanics….
Bat off the Shoulder
Teach your child to get the bat off their shoulder. When you are trying to hit, you want to create a flat surface area to allow yourself to square up the baseball as best as possible. If they have the bat on their shoulder it will cause them to create a loopy swing and swing up at the baseball. It is hard enough hit a round ball with a round bat, angles are key in baseball and this is a simple one to teach your little one.
Run through First Base
Of course teach them which bases are which, and where to run. When they have that down make sure they know to run THROUGH first base. This is the only base you can run through and still be safe.
The best chance for your little one to field a baseball is staying down on the baseball, not by bending at the waist, but squatting low and keeping your bottom down. This will allow them to keep their glove on the ground and field the ground ball.
Shield the Sun
I (Greg) see this all the time with young kids the ball goes into the sun and they start to panic. The best thing to tell your little one here is to put your glove right where the sun is to block it from blinding your vision, this will allow them a much better chance to the ball and give them a chance to make the catch.
Now, always remember that in T-Ball it’s more about learning to love the sport and having fun. Mechanics are an after thought. When your child is ready for mechanics and starts taking interest in learning the sport, this is a great place to start!
Greg played baseball for three years at Oregon State University. During his Junior Year of college he was drafted by the NY Mets. He played most of his five years with the Mets in Double A and Triple A. In his sixth year he played with the Minnesota Twins at the double and triple A level. He’s now retired and give lessons, coaches and teaches a mental edge class for youth baseball players.