In an earlier series of tee ball tips, we showed you 11 ways to improve your ability to coach this often-challenging baseball age grouping.
Here we offer 11 more tips for sharpening your coaching skills and techniques for teaching these young players the fundamentals of baseball.
No.1: Cover the Basics
Remember that players will not perform effectively in games unless they have practiced that way. If you don't practice base running, you will get base running outs in games.
If you don't drill the players on catching the ball and making a good, smart throw, they won't do it in the game. Attention to the basics is essential.
No.2: Break Into Groups
To make the most of your practice time, break the team up into two or three groups, depending on the number of coaches, space, and equipment you have available for the workout.
This will enable you to accomplish two or three times as much work without making players stand around with nothing to do.
No.3: Good Manners
Proper dugout behavior is essential to good order on the ball field during the game. As with all other elements of the practice, if you don't achieve it in practice, you won't achieve it in the game.
A dugout full of monkeys is very distracting to the team and the coaches. It also sets the tone for what will happen between the baselines.
As you're working with your tee ball players, try to avoid letting hitters stand nearly motionless in one position in the batter's box too long.
When a hitter stands in one place too long, he tends to settle vertically in his stance while he's waiting to swing. This makes it difficult for him to transfer this momentum horizontally into his hitting motion.
No.5: Make Contact With the Ball
Whatever the coach does with foot positioning during the hitting sequence, he must ensure the hitter maintains control over his power and balance and can reach the ball with the "sweet" part of the bat.
As the stride is begun with the batter's weight and head back over the back foot and weight on the balls of the feet, the hitter transfers his weight in the swing with the head kept back behind the point of contact with the ball.
There's a bit more to hitting than that, but the preceding two sentences should make the point that you should pay close attention to where and how your hitter stands in the batter's box. Many coaches simply let their hitters approach the tee and start flailing away at the ball.