T-BALL MANUAL. Instructional Manual for Parents/Coaches

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1 T-BALL MANUAL Instructional Manual for Parents/Coaches

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 2 Your Role as a Coach 2 Skills and Strategy 3 Preparation / Information / Expectations 4 Guidelines / Format 5 / Game Reports 6 BlastBall 7 Day 1 Basic Throwing 9 Day 2 Batting from a T-Stand 10 Day 3 Fielding a Ground Ball 11 Day 4 Out or Safe at 1 st Base 12 Day 5 Fielding a Ball Thrown at Waist Level 13 Day 6 Introduction to Batting a Pitched Ball 14 Day 7 Enhanced Throwing 15 Day 8 Practice Batting a Pitched Ball 16 Day 9 Outfielding 17 Day 10 Batting a Pitched Ball 18 Day 11 Tagging Out 19 Day 12 Force Out or Safe at 2 nd or 3 rd Base 20 Day 13 Fielding a Ball Thrown Above the Head 21 Day 14 / 15 Review 22 Day 16 Year-End Wind-Up 22 Fair Play Codes Coaches, Players, Parents, Spectators REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 2

3 Introduction Your Role as a Coach Welcome to the Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball team. By registering your child in our programs, you also become an important part of our baseball programs. The T-Ball program has been very successful due to the responsibility of coaching being shared by several parents on every team. This shared coaching approach is necessary due to various commitments and work schedules of our parent volunteers. But, kids love to have their parents involved in their activities and the T-Ball program is an excellent opportunity for both the player and parent to work together and have fun. Coaching is for everyone who enjoys sport and cares about kids high school athletes, moms and dads, grandparents and enthusiasts. Coaches are sensitive, caring people who are organized, want to work with others and who will teach from the heart. And, remember winning isn t everything! Coaches teach their young athletes the importance of fair play, and respect for other players, coaches and, when they are older, umpires. This manual is intended to provide a parent/coach, with no baseball experience, a step-by-step program they can follow. The program is fun for both the parents and players. It develops their self-esteem through positive reinforcement during the skills development and games. Being a coach at the T-Ball level doesn t require a great knowledge of baseball, but it does mean you want to have fun and help youngsters learn about baseball. It is often as much a learning experience for the coach as it is for the player. Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball encourages all coaches to participate in the National Coaching Certification Program Level 1 Technical clinic. This clinic provides coaches with basic skills and information invaluable to them as they work with players to develop skills. Fort Minor Ball reimburses coaches the clinic fees if they coach in the Fort baseball system. As an instructor, a coach provides simple teaching points to help the players learn and encourages skill development through games and other activities. As a leader, a coach set goals that are challenging, but realistic for the age of your players. Always encourage and support the players to help them be the best they can be. Make sure they understand the importance of being a good sport and fair play lead by example! As a counselor, a coach listens to the players concerns and deals with them the best he/she can by being supportive, and makes T-Ball a positive, fun experience for his/her team. Remember, most players come to the ball diamond expecting to have fun. They want to learn new skills and see improvement without feeling pressured. Above all, kids want to play and not sit on the bench. This program will fully engage the young players, and with the parent/coaches help, they will! Share in the small victories as the players develop skills. You will see how your efforts are reflected in their energy, enthusiasm and their smiles. Through baseball, you help your players grow and develop as individuals. While the skills they learn may only be used for a few years, the attitudes they develop toward themselves and others will last a lifetime. REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 3

4 Skills and Strategy The following table provides some basic skills and strategies that will be taught during the T-Ball season. Skills Basic baseball stretches Throwing Reach back Over the top Release T form Hitting from a t-stand Stance Solid swing Dropping the bat Running to 1 st base Fielding a ground ball Glove on the ground Bare hand drill Two hands Open glove Fielding a ball thrown at waist level Glove open and facing up Two hands Funnel ball into body Hitting a pitched ball Soft toss Level swing Both eyes on the ball Fielding fly balls Fingers pointing up Two hands Soft hands Strategy Fun Teamwork Base numbering Base running where to stand Out at 1 st Base Fair or Foul balls Outfielding duties Running on and off the diamond Tagging out Force Out at 1 st, 2 nd, 3 rd and home Infielding / Outfielding teamwork REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 4

5 Preparation These preparation can be undertaken approximately one week prior to the start of the season: Make copies of your team schedule and player list, including the names and phone numbers of the coach(s) Coach should phone the parents/players to provide: The date and time of the first game. Players should arrive by 6:15 p.m. to warm-up and skills instruction. Game will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. and no new inning will begin after 7:30 p.m. The location of the ball diamond and diamond number of first game The team sponsor Information Expectations The following information can be provided to the players and parents at the first game of the season: Team list, including the names and phone numbers of the coach(s) Team schedule Length of the season (May and June) What to do for rainouts (if in doubt, show up at the diamond unless your coach calls to cancel the game) Team and individual photos (normally taken during the second week) Copies of the T-Ball Manual for each family Parent/coaches are encouraged to provide as much assistance as possible during the season. Parent/coaches can help: Coach at each base Control the players on the bench Prepare the on deck batter (utilize the team list as the batting order, rotate the starting batter each inning) Help batters at the plate, if necessary Provide support by playing in outfield positions Use the manual to teach the skills to the players, both at the diamond and at home Look after game reports to be submitted to the newspaper REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 5

6 Guidelines Game Day Format The following is a list of general guidelines that should be followed throughout the season: Ensure that players are having fun Provide praise to the players throughout the games and while learning skills Rotate players through all positions don t show favoritism Involve as many parents as possible in the game and during skills instruction Encourage players to run on and off the diamond. When BlastBall is being used, encourage the defensive players to jump on the BlastBase as they come off the field Avoid keeping score with this age group Ensure that the on deck batter is ready, wearing a helmet with the chin strap fastened and ready to step up to the plate. Batters and base runners MUST wear helmets. All players bat every inning and field every inning A batter cannot strike out The ball hit off the T must travel approximately 10 feet The ball hit to the outfield means the runner can circle the bases until the ball is returned to the infield There is no leading off or stealing bases by the base runners The forced out and tagged out rule will be followed after all the players have been taught these skills The coach will pitch to the batters beginning on Day 10. Allow each batter three (3) pitches, then put the t-stand back in place if the player has not hit the ball -- The players will learn one new skill each day. There will have to be variations on where these skills take place on the diamond so that both teams can perform the drills at the same time. Some variations could include using both sides of the backstop for batting practice (one team on each side); use 3 rd base and home plate instead of 1 st and 2 nd base for some drills, etc. Warm-Up/ It is important to incorporate a 5-minute warm-up and stretch into each practice before the game begins to help prevent injuries. The proposed type of game is outlined for each day (for example, BlastBall, regular t-ball, coach pitch, etc.) The Visiting team on the schedule bats first. Home team has last at bat. Game Tips The game tips section provides suggestions for the parent/ coaches on how they can incorporate or reinforce the skills introduced early into the game situation. REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 6

7 Warm-Up/ Importance Examples No matter the age of the player, it is important for them to warm-up and stretch before a game. If a player doesn t warm up, they can t play properly and it increases the chances of becoming injured. Young muscles are still growing and need special care to stretch them properly before you start throwing the ball around or hitting. Running is part of every warm-up. In the daily instructions, there are suggestions of incorporating learning base running will this component. Stretches help to loosen muscles. Use stretches that will work muscles in the thighs, arms and shoulders. Put hand under the elbow of the right arm and pull the arm toward the body. Keep arm straight. Reserve and do with the other arm. Put right hand over head to tap the shoulder. With Left hand push the right elbow back gently. Reverse. Touch the toes, either standing with feet shoulders width apart, or on the ground with legs spread. Reach across left to right. Jumping jacks Neck rotations Arm circles arms straight out at sides. Start by making small circles, palms down, rotating forward. Gradually increasing the sizes of the circles until a full circle. Keep arms straight at all times. Reverse and do circles backwards. Lunges put right foot forward one comfortable step, hands on waist. Push forward with the back leg. Reverse. Game Reports Coaches should get together after each game to complete a game report and arrange for it to be faxed or sent by to the local newspaper. Sponsors like to be recognized and players like to see their name in the newspaper. Copies of the Game Reports will be kept in the Equipment Shack. REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 7

8 BlastBall Overview BlastBall is a developmental game that provides an ideal entry level of play for youngsters who will go on to other levels of baseball or softball. It is also a great fitness and recreational activity for schools and community programs. The game can be played indoors or out, regardless of the weather. The game is designed to generate face-paced action, create enthusiasm and, because of its simplicity, allows retention of youth participants in the game. The game teaches the young athletes the five basic fundamentals of baseball/softball hitting, throwing, catching, running and fielding. Field Set-Up Position the BlastTee (home plate) so that hitting allows you re a safe area of play an open area like a field, park, gym or backyard. No backstop is required. Like a regular ball diamond, position your BlastBase to the right of the Tee in the first base position (recommend base distances of: 30 for ages 5-8, 40 for ages 9-14). To the left of the Tee and perpendicular to your BlastBase line, pace off an equal distance and position the Cone. The base and cone establish your fair and foul lines. Lay out the Line Marker 10 feet directly in front of the Tee running between the base and cone (first and third base lines). This becomes the fair/foul line for play. If the ball is hit inside that line it is four and should be re-teed for another try. If it goes beyond the line, either in the air or on the ground, it is considered in play. Game Time The game should last about 45 minutes to one hour. REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 8

9 Basic Game Rules Variations The defensive players take an infield or outfield position. A ball is placed on the t-stand. The batter hits the ball and runs to the BlastBase (first base). The ball must be hit across the Line Marker and in fair territory or it is a foul ball. The batter hits again. If the ball is hit in fair territory and a defensive player catches the ball in the air and yells Blast before the batter reaches the base, the batter is automatically out. If the ball is hit in fair territory and a defensive player fields the ball and yells Blast before the batter reaches the base, the batter is out. If the batter reaches the base before a defensive player either catches the ball in the air or fields it and yells Blast, he scores a run. When the player jumps on the BlastBase it emits an audible HONK. You will end the (half) inning by batting once through the line-up. A key is to keep the game moving, with little or no standing around. As soon as a batter has completed batting, hustle on and off the playing field. The following list includes some options for how to change the game as the skill level of the players improve or for variety: If the fielders are catching the ball or fielding it quicker that the runners can get to the BlastBase, add one throw and a subsequent catch to anyone by the defensive player who fields the ball. Add one throw and subsequent catch to one specific position on the defensive team, such as the first baseman. Move the Line Marker out to a distance of 15 feet from the tee. Add outs to the game instead of all players hitting each inning. Reduce the size of the ball or the bat. Add a coach pitcher and lob the ball to the batter instead of using the tee. Add second and third base, moving the BlastBase to another base position. If BlastBase is used as Home plate, a backstop should be used to retrieve the throwbacks of the defensive players. Play crazy BlastBall! Players hit backwards, throw with the wrong hand and run toward the BlastBase at third instead of towards first. REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 9

10 Day 1 Basic Throwing Game Tips The purpose of this skill is to teach players to learn the basic mechanics of throwing a baseball overhand. Organize the players in front of you with their gloves Demonstrate the basic mechanics of throwing Throwing arm extends back Throw comes across the top Follow through with the arm motion Have the players repeat the throwing motion without a ball Organize the players and parents/coaches into groups of 2 or 3 and each parent/coach should practice throwing with their group for approximately 5-8 minutes Basic stretches Organize the players at home plate without their gloves Explain that they will be: Hitting the ball off of the t-stand Laying their bat down Running to 1 st base With a parent/coach as the leader, have the players: Run the bases Call out the base numbers Continue running to the bench BlastBall follow the basic game format for Blastball noted of page 6, with the BlastBase at 1 st base. Encourage players to run on and off the diamond between innings Parents/coaches assist the players at the batting T Praise the players for throws, batting, etc. REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 10

11 Day 2 Batting from a T-Stand The purpose of this skill is to teach players to learn the proper methods of hitting the ball. As players start to arrive at the diamond, provide one-on-one batting instruction for each player by doing the following: Position a t-stand 8 feet in front of a fence Have the player bat the ball off the t-stand into the fence Encourage a solid swing with the feet shoulder width apart After each player practices batting, have other parents/coaches organize the players into 2 or 3 groups with their gloves to catch ground balls and practice throwing Organize the players at home plate without their gloves Run with the players to 1 st base Show the players where to stand at 1 st base (example: left foot on the bag, body facing the batter) Run the rest of the bases BlastBall follow the basic game format for Blastball noted of page 6, with the BlastBase on 1 st base. Game Tips Encourage players to run on and off the diamond between innings Parents/coaches assist the batters at the t-stand and encourages a good solid swing, with feet apart at shoulders width Provide plenty of praise for the players Encourage the use of previously taught skills REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 11

12 Day 3 Fielding a Ground Ball The purpose of this skill is to teach players to basics of fielding a baseball that is rolling toward them on the ground: Organize the players in front of you with their gloves Demonstrate the basics of fielding a grounder, which are: Glove wide open, tip touching the ground and out front of the body Trap the ball in the glove with the free hand (like an alligator) Pull the glove and ball into the stomach after catching it Organize the players and parents/coaches into 3 groups Each group to practice fielding ground balls from the parents/coaches for approximately 5-8 minutes Organize the players at home plate into 2 groups without their gloves and select a leader of each group Instruct each group to run the bases and call out the base numbers Stop the players at home plate and explain the purpose for running the bases (it scores a run for their team when they cross home plate) BlastBall follow the basic game format for Blastball noted of page 6, but place a regular base at 1 st and the BlastBase on 2 nd base A run scores if the runner reaches 2 nd Encourage outfielders to throw the ball to the 1 st baseman Game Tips Encourage players to run on and off the diamond between innings Parents/coaches assist the batters at the t-stand and encourages a good solid swing, with feet apart at shoulders width Encourage players to have their gloves open and out front of their body Provide plenty of praise for the players Encourage the use of previously taught skills Encourage teamwork when fielding the ball Encourage each player to cover their particular area of the diamond REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 12

13 Day 4 Out or Safe at 1 st Base The purpose of this skill is to teach players the rationale for throwing the ball to 1 st base and what out and safe means to the base runner. They will follow this rule from then on. Demonstrate the forced out rule by doing the following: Organize the players into 2 groups with their gloves One group lines up behind 1 st base along the 1 st base foul line. These players take turns being the 1 st baseman The other group lines up between 1 st and 2 nd base on the baseline. These players will take turns being the infielder A parent/coach standing near home plate lightly bats the ball to the first infielder and slowly runs to 1 st base as the player is fielding the ball The infielder stops the ball and throws it to the 1 st baseman to try and get the parent/coach out (the coach should demonstrate and explain what out and safe is) Rotate all players until they all have had a turn at infielding (trying to throw out the parent/coach) and at playing 1 st base Organize the players into 2 groups at home plate without their gloves and select a leader for each group Instruct each group to run the bases and call out the base numbers Ensure that the players continue running to their bench after crossing home plate BlastBall follow the basic game format for Blastball noted of page 6, but place a regular base at 1 st and the BlastBase on 2 nd base A run scores if the runner reaches 2 nd Encourage the outfielders to throw the ball for the 1 st baseman Game Tips Encourage players to run on and off the diamond between innings Encourage players to have their gloves open and out front of their body Encourage players to throw overhand to 2 nd base Rotate players each inning through the various fielding positions Encourage teamwork when fielding the ball Encourage each player to cover their particular area of the diamond Follow the forced out rule at 1 st base (explain to players why they are out before they go sit on the bench) REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 13

14 Day 5 Field a Ball Thrown at Waist Level The purpose of this skill is to teach players the basics of fielding a ball with their bare hands which has been thrown to them at waist level. The drill is commonly referred to as the soft hands drill. Organize the players in front of you without their gloves Demonstrate the basics of fielding a ball without using a glove by doing the following: Position the normally gloved hand on the bottom with the palm facing up Position to free hand above to trap the ball (resembles an alligator s mouth) Cushion the ball as you catch it with both hands (like catching an egg) Pull the ball into the stomach after catching it Players (without their gloves) are split into 3 groups to practice fielding the ball from a parents/coaches who are about 6 feet away Practice this soft hands drill for 5 minutes, then practice again using gloves for 5 minutes Organize the players into 2 groups at home plate without their gloves and select a leader for each group Instruct each group to run the bases and call out the base numbers Stop the players at home plate and explain some basic catchers duties, such as: keeping the catcher mask on, staying well behind the batter, watching the 1 st baseman for the returning ball, putting the ball on the t-stand quickly BlastBall follow the basic game format for Blastball noted of page 6, but place a regular base at 1 st and 2 nd, with the BlastBase on 3 rd base A run scores if the runner reaches 3 rd Encourage the outfielders to throw the ball for the 1 st baseman Game Tips Encourage players to run on and off the diamond between innings Encourage teamwork by: Fielders fielding the ball and not everyone running for the same ball Throwing to the 1 st baseman Throwing the ball to the catcher Encourage base runners to watch the batter and to run to the next base after the bat it hit REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 14

15 Day 6 Introduction to Batting a Pitched Ball The purpose of this skill is to teach players to develop some basic mechanics in order to hit a pitched baseball. Do not start pitching the ball during the game until Day 10. The players need a few weeks of batting practice first. As players start to arrive at the diamond, provide one-on-one batting instruction for each player by doing the soft toss drill: Have the player stand 8 feet from a fence and the parent/coach softly tosses a ball diagonally to the player just above the knees Players will hit the ball into the fence Encourage players to have a solid stance, steady head and keep their eyes focused on the baseball While each player is practicing batting, have the parents/coaches organize the order players into 2 or 3 groups with their gloves to practice fielding balls and making overhand throws to the parent/coach Organize the players into 2 groups at home plate to run the bases BlastBall follow the basic game format for Blastball noted of page 6, but place a regular base at 1 st and 2 nd, with the BlastBase on 3 rd base A run scores if the runner reaches 3 rd Encourage the outfielders to throw the ball for the 1 st baseman Game Tips Parents/coaches will assist the batters and encourage a solid stance and solid swing Praise the players Focus on improving one or two skills for each player: Fielding ground balls (gloves down, open wide, free hand on top) Reinforce throwing overhand Instruct players to throw to 1 st base The catcher should watch the 1 st baseman after the ball is hit The 1 st baseman touches the bag after catching the ball Base running (where to stand, watch the batter, when to run, where to run) REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 15

16 Day 7 Enhanced Throwing The purpose of this skill is to teach players additional skills for throwing the ball that will help them throw further and more accurately. Organize the players in front of you with their gloves Demonstrate these additional throwing requirements: Start with both hands at your chest, elbows out and bent, with the ball in your throwing hand inside the glove Break the hands apart so the arms form a T with the body positioned sideways to your target, the glove pointing at your intended target and the ball in your throwing hand When the throwing hand comes out of your glove, reach back low (like petting a dog), and then your arm comes up and across the top to make the throw Rotate the body as the arm comes across the top for the throw Follow through with the forward motion of the arm to complete the throw This will be totally complicated to some players (maybe event to the parent/coach), but promotes the proper mechanics of throwing that are necessary for accurate, long throws Organize the players at home plate without their gloves Demonstrate a foul and fair ball Lightly hit the ball fair or foul and have the players identify if it is fair or foul Organize the players into 2 groups, select a group leader and have them run the bases BlastBall follow the basic game format for Blastball noted of page 6, but place regular base at 1 st, 2 nd and 3rd with the BlastBase at Home, but slightly off line so it does not interfere with the t-stand A run scores if the runner reaches home Encourage the outfielders to throw the ball for the 1 st baseman Game Tips Encourage players to run on and off the diamond between innings Praise for any throws the players make Encourage fielders to focus on the batter and be ready with their gloves open Encourage overhand throws to 1 st base or to the catcher REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 16

17 Day 8 Practice Batting a Pitched Ball The purpose of this skill is to teach players to practice batting a pitched ball using the soft toss drill. Do not start pitching the ball during the game until Day 10. As players start to arrive at the diamond, provide one-on-one batting instruction for each player by doing the soft toss drill: Have the player stand 8 feet from a fence and the parent/coach softly tosses a ball diagonally to the player just above the knees Players will hit the ball into the fence Encourage players to have a solid stance, steady head and keep their eyes focused on the baseball While each player is practicing batting, have the parents/coaches organize the order players into 2 or 3 groups with their gloves to practice fielding balls and making overhand throws to the parent/coach using some of the following variations: With or without a glove Fielding ground balls Fielding a ball thrown at waist level Organize the players at home plate without their gloves and have them run the bases Play regular T-Ball. Run scores when the batter reaches home Game Tips Parents/coaches will assist the batters and encourage a solid stance and solid swing Praise the players Focus on improving one or two skills for each player: Fielding ground balls (gloves down, open wide, free hand on top) Reinforce throwing overhand Instruct players to throw to 1 st base The catcher should watch the 1 st baseman after the ball is hit The 1 st baseman touches the bag after catching the ball Base running (where to stand, watch the batter, when to run, where to run) REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 17

18 Day 9 - Outfielding The purpose of this skill is to teach players to utilize teamwork for balls hit to the outfield. Organize the players, with their gloves, along the baseline between 1 st and 2 nd base or between 2 nd and 3 rd base Select one player to be the outfielder Parent/coach to lightly hit a ball to the outfield Instruct the infielders to turn and watch the outfielder for the ball to be returned The outfielder fields the ball and stays in the outfield and makes their throw to an infielder Rotate all the players in the practice line Organize the players into partners and practice: Fielding skills Throwing skills Organize players into 2 groups to run the bases Play regular T-Ball. Run scores when the batter reaches home Game Tips Parents/coaches will assist the batters and encourage a solid stance and solid swing Praise the players Encourage the players to run on and off the diamond between innings REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 18

19 Day 10 Batting a Pitched Ball The purpose of this skill is to teach players to practice batting a pitched ball. As players start to arrive at the diamond, provide one-on-one batting instruction for each player by doing the soft toss drill: Have the player stand 8 feet from a fence and the parent/coach softly tosses a ball diagonally to the player just above the knees Players will hit the ball into the fence Encourage players to have a solid stance, steady head and keep their eyes focused on the baseball While each player is practicing batting, have the parents/coaches organize the order players into 2 or 3 groups with their gloves to practice fielding balls and making overhand throws to the parent/coach using some of the variations: With or without a glove Grounders or waist level Organize the players into partners and practice: Fielding skills Throwing skills Organize players into 2 groups to run the bases Play regular T-Ball, but the parents/coaches start to pitch to the players during the game In order to keep the game flowing, allow only 3 pitches per player. If the player has not hit the ball after 3 pitches, put the t-stand back in place and allow the batter to hit off the tee Run scores when the batter reaches home Game Tips Parents/coaches will assist the batters to improve a player s batting Ensure players focus their eyes on the ball as it is being pitched Ensure players feet are shoulder width apart Ensure players keep their head steady Parents/coaches should assist the base runners Provide the players with lots of praise as they learn this new skill Encourage the players to run on and off the diamond between innings REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 19

20 Day 11 Tagging Out The purpose of this skill is to teach players what tagging out is and to follow the tagging out rule from this day on. Parents/coaches to demonstrate to the players how to tag out a runner traveling from 1 st to 2 nd base. The other team on the same diamond can practice this drill between 2 nd and 3 rd bases Organize the players, with their gloves, half way between 1 st and 2 nd base and 6 feet behind the baseline One parent/coach to be a batter and one parent/coach to be a runner at 1 st base Parent/coach lightly bats the ball to the first player Player fields the ball and tags out the parent/coach who is running from 1 st to 2 nd base Rotate all players to practice this drill Organize the players into 2 groups to run the bases Practice throwing and catching skills Demonstrate or review one or two skills Ensure players understand the term on deck batter Play regular T-Ball, but the parents/coaches start to pitch to the players during the game In order to keep the game flowing, allow only 3 pitches per player. If the player has not hit the ball after 3 pitches, put the t-stand back in place and allow the batter to hit off the tee Run scores when the batter reaches home Game Tips Provide the players with lots of praise as they learn this new skill Adjust any basic skills through positive actions Ensure the on deck batter is ready Follow the tagging out rule (explain the players why they are out before they go sit on the bench) Encourage the players to run on and off the diamond between innings REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 20

21 Day 12 - Force Out or Safe at 2 nd and 3 rd Base The purpose of this skill is to teach players what a force out is at 2 nd or 3 rd base. Demonstrate and practice the forced out rule at 2 nd base. The other team can practice this drill at 3 rd base Organize the players between 1 st and 2 nd base about 4 feet away from 2 nd base One parent/coach to be a batter and one parent/coach to be a runner at 1 st base Parent/coach lightly bats the ball to the first player Parent/coach twill run from 1 st to 2 nd base Player fields the ball and steps on 2 nd base to force out the runner Rotate all players to practice this drill Organize the players into 2 groups to run the bases Practice fielding and throwing skills Play BlastBall, but make it a crazy day! Batters will hit backwards today -- if they normally hit right handed, they bat from the left, and vice versa (this may confuse some players, but it is an early way for parents/coaches to identify players who are comfortable switch hitting) Instead of running to 1 st base, they will run to 3 rd Run scores when the batter reaches 3 rd Game Tips Rotate all players through all positions Provide players with positive feedback Follow the force out rule (explain the players why they are out before they go sit on the bench) Encourage the players to run on and off the diamond between innings REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 21

22 Day 13 Fielding a Ball Thrown Above the Head The purpose of this drill is to teach players the skill of basic fielding of a ball that has been thrown above their head. Organize the players in front of you with their gloves Demonstrate the following on how to field a ball overhead: Glove is pointing overhead Glove thumb and bare thumb are together Free hand traps the ball as it enters the glove Organize the players, with their gloves, and parents/coaches into 3 groups Practice fielding balls overhead Organize the players into 2 groups to run the bases Review skills that the players have learned already Play regular T-Ball, but the parents/coaches start to pitch to the players during the game In order to keep the game flowing, allow only 3 pitches per player. If the player has not hit the ball after 3 pitches, put the t-stand back in place and allow the batter to hit off the tee Run scores when the batter reaches home Game Tips Provide the players with lots of praise as they learn this new skill Adjust any basic skills through positive actions Ensure the on deck batter is ready Follow the tagging out rule (explain the players why they are out before they go sit on the bench) Encourage the players to run on and off the diamond between innings REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 22

23 Day 14 & 15 Review Use this opportunity to review skills that your player s have learned during the season and would be of most benefit to your players. You will know which skills still need work. Review one or two skills that you have already taught your players. Focus on improving the players skills based on the various individual players needs. Organize the players into 2 groups to run the bases Review skills that the players have learned already The T-Ball Director and parent/coaches should meet quickly at the end of Day 13 to determine what format the game should be for the last two games. If the majority of player s skill level has improved over the season, you may opt to stick with the coach pitch format. If you want to do something crazy and fun, play crazy BlastBall. Whatever the decision, all teams will play the same game format. Day 16 Year-End Wind-Up Format The night of the season is a wind-up event for the players and their families. The Category Director will begin making plans for the event about two weeks before the end of the season, and will be looking for volunteers to assist with the preparations. Please ensure at least one person assists the Director. The event usually is a barbeque, with a few fun games for the players and presentation of medallions to each player. The wind-up committee will determine the cost of their event and collect player/family fees to cover expenses. Player medallions are provided by Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball. REVISED: April 2003 Property of Fort Saskatchewan Minor Baseball 23

24 Fair Play Codes Coach s Code: Be responsible in your demands on young players time, energy and enthusiasm. Remember that they have other interests as well. Teach your players that rules of the game are mutual agreements that no one should avoid or break. Group players according to age, height, skill and physical maturity whenever possible. Avoid over-playing the more talented players. The just average players also need and deserve fair playing time. Remember that children play for fun and enjoyment and that winning is only part of the game. Never ridicule or yell at players for making mistakes or losing a game. Ensure that the equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are appropriate for the age and ability of players. Report any problems with equipment or facilities to the FSMBA Executive. Scheduling and the length of practice times and games should take into consideration the maturity level of the players. Develop team respect for the ability of their opponents, as well as for the judgment of officials and opposing coaches. Follow the advise of a physician when determining when an injured player is ready to play again. Remember that players need a coach they can respect. Be generous with your praise when it is deserved. Set a good example. Make a personal commitment to stay informed on sound coaching principles and the principles of growth and development of children. Always remember, The successful coach invests more in the well being and interests of the players that in the win-loss record of their team. Player s Code: Play for the fun of it, not just to please your parent or coach. Play by the rules. Never argue with an official s decision. Let your coach ask the necessary questions. Control your temper. Do not throw your bat or other equipment, and no mouthing off. Work hard for both yourself and your team. Your team s performance will benefit and so will your own. Be a good sport. Cheer all good plays, whether they are your teams or your opponents. Treat other players like you want to be treated. Don t interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of other players. Remember the goals of baseball are: to have fun, improve your skills and feel good. Don t be a show-off or always try to get the negative attention. Cooperate with your coach, teammates and opponents without them, you don t have a game. Always remember, It isn t whether you win or lose, but how you play the game!

25 Parent s Code: Do not force an unwilling child to participate in sports. Remember that children are involved in organized sports for their enjoyment, not yours. Encourage your child always to play by the rules. Teach your child that honest effort is as important as victory so that the result of each game is accepted without undue disappointment. Turn defeat to victory by helping your child work towards skill improvement and good sportsmanship. Never ridicule or yell at your child for making a mistake or affecting in a loss for their team. Remember that children learn best by example. Applaud good plays by your child s team and members of the opposing team. Do not publicly question the officials judgment and never their honestly. Support all effort to remove verbal and physical abuse from children s sporting activities. Recognize the value and importance of volunteer coaches. They give of their time and resources to provide recreational activities for your child. Always remember, A child learns to be a good sport at home. By the time a child dons a uniform or joins a team, a sense of sportsmanship (or lack thereof) has already been established. Spectator s Code: Remember that children play organized sports for their own fun. They are not there to entertain you, and they are not miniature pro athletes. Be on your best behavior. Don t use profane language. Never ridicule, scold or harass a player(s) for making a mistake during a game, coaches or officials. You could be asked to leave. Applaud good plays made by both teams. Respect the officials decisions. Encourage players to play according to the rules Always remember, Fans don t play fair when they mistake children at play for professional athletes.

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