Fun Drills for Tee Ball Practice

fun drills for tee ball practiceTee Ball is often a youngster’s first introduction to the sport of baseball, and a great way to begin a lifelong love of the game. Similarly, many a Dad’s coaching career starts on the Tee Ball diamond.

When coaching kids, it is important to keep them engaged in the game. Your goal is to teach the basic skills needed to play. These simple drills will teach basic skills, and ensure practice is fun for everybody.

Run the bases

Show the player which base is first and, one at a time, have the player should run to first as fast as they can. Shout “go” to start each player. Have an assistant coach or parent stand beyond the base and high five each player after they cross the bag. This teaches the player to keep running through the bag, and not to slow to a stop on the base. After every player has run first base, repeat the drill, but this time, have them turn to second, and keep going all the way home.

Throw the ball

Learning to step and throw is an important skill, and young players need to be shown the correct way. A right handed thrower needs to step with the left foot, and a left handed thrower needs to step with the right foot. Place an “X” on the ground; this will be the foot target. Have players start with feet together, step on the “X”, and throw the ball. At first it will be step, then throw, but as the season goes on, throwing and stepping will start to become one smooth motion. Make sure you give them a target. Hang a “bulls-eye” on the backstop, and cheer wildly when a player hits it.

Scoop up ground balls

This fielding drill can be done bare handed. Roll a ball to the player, have them approach it with hands together, scoop it up, and throw it back to you. Repeat with the next player, until each of the kids has a chance to field and throw a few times. Don’t worry about performance; the concept here is to learn the basics. This is a good time to reinforce the step and throw skill. Use the “bulls-eye” target to enhance this drill. After a few successful attempts from each player, repeat the drill with the fielder’s glove.

Batter ‘up

When it’s time to practice hitting, safety should be your first priority. Every batter must wear a helmet, and no one swings a bat unless they are up at the plate. Keep the “on deck” batter a good distance away, and make sure your fielders are paying attention. Enlisting parents as assistants will be helpful here.

Start by drawing an “X” in the batter’s box to show where the player’s front foot should land. Practice the step and swing movement. With time, this too will become a smooth single motion. Set the tee about waist high, and have the batter swing away. Have each player take a few swings. The batter should run to first base after the fifth hit.

Keep the drills easy, and keep the players moving. Ideally, having help from many parents and coaches will allow you to break the team into smaller groups, and have all of the drills happening at once. Using smaller groups reduces the time each player has to wait for their turn, and will help keep the players excited.