tball skill drills
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T-ball drills from coaches who have used Coach Walker's T-ball Coaching handbook and video:

Italicized comments were added by Coach Walker.

Helping kids to learn their positions...
I’m a first year coach and was worried about getting the kids to learn their positions which are obviously away from the bag (i.e. 2nd base is in between 1st & 2nd).

This probably sounds overly simple but during practices I put out small orange cones where all the positions are located helping them find their way and keeps them from straying away. It also keeps them from swarming to the ball as I tell them to defend ‘their area’. During the first practice I also paired up the players giving them each a ‘treasure map’ showing the field and the position locations and would call out positions for them to run to. They get excited and working with a partner helps avoid any one player being embarrassed if they forget where to go.

Great website.
Coach Chris Antonelli

Improving glove hand coordination...
Say Coach! Try this drill...
Cut off the bottom of a plastic gallon container. Turn the jug upside down with the handle in the glove hand of your player. Toss tennis balls to the player and have them catch the balls with the jug.

This drill really worked for the kids on my team.
Coach B. Trevino

Whether the motion is scooping, slapping or stationary you are teaching position of the glove for catching the ball.


Improving a hitters swing...
Practice hitting from the tee into the back stop.

Pair left-handed coaches with right-handed batters (and right-handed coaches with left-handed batters). Have the coach stand on the other side of the tee from the player (mirror image) and show proper stance and swing. The gives the batters a good visual reference and the coaches can make corrections easily.

Any coach may take a left-handed batters' stance, just be sure the hands and feet are placed in the correct position so the coach is a mirror image of the player(s).

With repetition, batters who had problems (such as chopping) were hitting well.

Thanks for all your help,
Coach Rusty Davis


Batting techniques....
Use baking flour to make a batters box.

Set the tee even with the players belly button and have them extend their arms fully. Say, "measure up," and explain to the batter how hitting the ball on the fat part of the bat makes the ball go further.

This helps each batter stand the appropriate distance away from the ball, and swing level.

Have the parent and players, who are waiting to bat, encourage the batter.
Joel Moore
T-ball Coach
Mannford, OK

Using the waiting players to encourage the batter is a good team-building technique.


Teaching players to watch the ball...
Using a tee, draw a large black dot on the ball. Have the batter concentrate on hitting the dot and watching the dot until after their swing is complete. Using the tee helps to keep their swing level. They will get it - repetition is the key.

Improving throwing and catching...
Put the gloves down and use a tennis or rubber ball. Roll grounders to them and instruct the players to use both hands.

Get the players used to using both hands, then graduate to gloves. This drill may also be used to improve catching line drives or pop ups

Throwing
Have the player(s) make an L shape with their throwing arm, and concentrate on hitting the coach's nose with the ball. Having a focal point helps players understand the ball will go where they aim. Your nose is about as good as focal point as any.

Remember, positive reinforcement!
Coach James Roberts

Love the "Coaches Nose" reference. I know this will work, players this age love a challenge.


Controlling swarming...
As a predrill of sorts used before Calling The Ball (a drill in the T-ball Coaching handbook) draw large circles in the infield dirt, and ask one player to stand in each of the circles and "guard their circle." The player to whom the ball comes closest to, or the circle the ball comes closest to, fields the ball. In the event the ball travels between two circles, or right down the middle, the player who jumps first gets it and the other has to back off. It seems to be working and is a good predrill to Calling The Ball in the handbook.

Coach Eric Morales


Learning to play the lead runner...
About mid way through the season we had a week of just practice. During this week I noticed we needed to work on where to throw the ball and how to watch and freeze the lead
runner.

Bring a large rubber ball that is easy to catch and play a game of kick ball. Have the player find the lead runner, move to position to catch the ball, and throw the ball to the appropriate base.

At the next practice go back to using a baseball. You will notice a lot of improvement in the players understanding of the game.

Coach Goodson


This information is not in the handbook, so print them if you think you will need them.

Thanks to all the coaches who wrote in.

For more information contact:

Johny Walker
P.O. Box 25638
Colorado Springs, CO 80936-5638
719–579–0305
888–267–5779 (toll free)
coachwalker


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