Top 5 Tee Ball Coaching Tips
Thank you for volunteering your time to coach young children in the great game of baseball. I hope you find it as rewarding as I have over the years.
For a lot of coaches this will be their first experience at coaching the game and that can be stressful. Most of you want to do the best you can for your child or your player but have no idea where to start.
We have put together 5 of the best tips we can offer for new coaches starting to coach tee ball.
We hope you enjoy them.
1. Fundamentals: Do yourself, your players and future coaches a favor and teach good fundamental baseball skills to these players even at this early age. Don’t buy in to the fact that tee ball is not about fundamentals and its only an introduction to baseball. It can be and should be much more than that. Yes, it shouldn’t be over the top but every skill you work on should be fundamentally sound even at this early age. If you don’t know fundamental baseball skills then I challenge you to get a few books or videos and learn how to teach correct hitting, fielding and throwing. Check out our site as there are many great fundamental tips for you to follow. Please learn these simple fundamental mechanics and teach them from the beginning. Trust me a lot of people will thank you for focusing on fundamentals.
2. Organization: You must remain organized as a coach of any sport regardless of age level. The parents and players will benefit from your organization and practices will run much smoother. You should have a written plan that outlines the time of practice and breaks down everything you plan to do during your practice time. Have your group assignments laid out up front and assign coaching responsibility before you get to the field. Send your assistant coaches or parents that plan to help a copy ahead of the practice. Create a parents letter before the season that outlines your coaching philosophy, goals for the teams, discipline and other important facts. This is all about communication and is a key part of staying organized.
3. Parent Involvement: You must engage your parents at this level more than any other. As you will see in our next point about small groups you will need all the parents you can get. These players will be very difficult to handle in large groups so getting parents out on the field will be your key to success. If you don’t, I promise that you will be very frustrated and not enjoy the experience one bit. Tee ball age children have very small attention spans and will not listen very well. Getting their parents on the field will make or break you season. I’ve seen it hundreds of times and the coaches with the most parent help here wins. Not games, but wins in getting fundamental baseball skills taught to young players. Those that don’t just become baby sitters for an hour a week. Most parents really do want to help but they are concerned they are stepping on your toes if they just walk onto the field. Engage them from day one and encourage everyone to come to practice to help. Moms love to help but rarely do because they are never asked. Go ask them. They will for the most part come and help. Again, everyone wins because trust me their little ones love to see their parent on the field with them.
4. Small Groups: This brings me to the point about why you need lots of parent help. It is 100% imperative that you break the kids into small groups of 2-3 players and work your fundamental drills over and over. This will usually require 4-5 groups rotating every 10 minutes or so. To be perfectly honest with you each group really needs 2 adults with it to be run effectively and keep kids on task. It might be a little difficult to find 8 – 10 parents to help so you will have to be the judge of the size of groups. I’ve found over the years once you get above 3 players at this age chaos begins to come into play and the children shut down the learning process. If you can find 6 parents to help then break them into 3 groups. You have to do the best you can do with what you have but I hope you see how important it will be for you to have parent involvement at this age. Trust me, if you don’t the players will learn very little about baseball and you will be the baby sitter. I challenge you to contact your parents up front and tell them their help is needed. Tell them you are assigning them to a group each week at practice and for them to let you know in advance they are not going to be there. You might need to push just a little but trust me they will help and they will love the experience of coaching without having to be the head coach and deal with all of that.
5. Fun: Your main job as a tee ball coach might be to teach fundamental baseball skills to young players but I will tell you having fun will be very important as well. The players could care less for the most part whether they win or lose at this age but fun is number 1 to them. I promise you that having fun and learning baseball in a controlled environment is completely possible with a little planning and work on your part. No matter what you do don’t forget that having fun at this age is very important and you should judge your success as a coach at this level on whether your players want to come back and play the next season. If the majority of the players come back to play this great game then you have done your part and they are having fun.
In summary, coaching baseball is really enjoyable and if done correctly will make a difference on young children for life. No matter what your baseball skill level is you can teach the game of baseball with a little effort. Just get some material and learn what to teach. Take the tips I’ve offered above and run with it. You will be happy you did.
Last but not least, the relationship that can develop between you and your child while you coach them can be great or it can be very bad. Make sure you choose to have the experience be great and create memories that will last a life time for your child. It’s simple to do: treat your child the same as you do every child on the field. Stop yelling at them and start teaching them how to do things. Don’t have higher expectations for your child over the others even if he or she is a better player. Don’t put more pressure on them than you do on the other players and most of all don’t spend the car ride home yelling at him or her for what they did wrong today. Ok, I’ve violated a few of those over the years but trust me really try not to. It will be a better experience for everyone.