Learning how to teach tball can be a fun way to spend your summertime, especially if you are a parent who is very enthusiastic with sports, and most especially when you find imparting your knowledge to a younger generation a good way to spend your free time.
This is something that you might want to deeply consider especially with summer just around the corner. These are the times when children are plunged into activities that they might find interesting. Often times, however, it is their parents who choose it for them.
Regardless, it is for this reason alone that maybe you might consider learning how to teach tball especially if you are interested in sports such as cricket, baseball, and softball.
If becoming a tee ball coach is something that you want, the first step would be knowing what tee ball is.
What is Tee Ball?
Tee ball is the kind of sport that can be considered as an introductory course to sports such as baseball, softball, or cricket. It is used as introduction to the three because aside from the sport being taught mostly to children between the age of four and six.
Additionally, tee ball is a simplified version of the three sports mentioned above. It is a way for the young ones to develop and have the foundations of all three sports ingrained into them.
It is important to remind yourselves, regardless if you are a coach learning how to teach tball or a parent, to start them young is vital. These are the best times for them to start learning a sport, especially their core foundations because this is when they abosorb the most.
In fact, according to Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, an individual’s brain is absorbs the most information from the moment they are born to around the age of six. But then again, not everyone is similar. Therefore, do not expect a child to learn the same way someone else’s does.
Sport, even fighting sports, have equipment necessary for it to played. The same as tee ball, and as person who is learning how to teach tball, having these prepared, regardless if it was during training or in game, is a must.
The necessary equipment are as followed:
- Tee – tee is where the ball sits before it is hit by the batter because unlike the sports mentioned above, the game of tee ball does not need to pitch which is the only difference. Additionally, the tee has to be adjusted by the umpire according to the batters preference and must be removed after every fair play.
- Teeball – occasionally called as the incrediball, this refers to the ball that is used during the match
- Protective Equipment – every player on the field will have a different set of protective gear which is determined by what position they are playing. For example, a catcher, or otherwise known as a backstop needs to have a chest, a mask with throat protector, and a glove. Additionally, aside from the every player on the field wearing a helmet, coaches on the first and third base must also wear one.
Not only does having a complete set of equipment ensure that you are able to conduct your training as a tee ball coach, it also reassures your players that they will be safe regardless if it is during training or in game.
As a tee ball coach, it is going to be your responsibility to teach the children what the rules of the sport are. In fact, this might be one of the most important and should be the first ones that are taught to them.
Additionally, as a coach who is learning how to teach tball, these rules should be one of the first ones that you should study.
The rules of tee ball, unlike that of baseball, softball, or cricket, are not as numerous as, and these include the following.
Just like most sports, tee ball is no different that each team is allowed players to be substituted in and out of the game. However, there are specific rules for every substitution made in game.
For example, substitutions can be made even after a players have been pulled out during the fielding innings. However, this does not mean that those who were subbed-out cannot play any longer.
They can continue to be subbed in if necessary.
In addition, the team’s batting order will not be compromised as a result of the substitutions made. In fact, when the batting starts, the same batting order will be used unless the tee ball coach make the changes himself.
Also, any batter is not allowed into the batter’s box unless the umpire calls “Batter Up”.
As a tee ball coach, this is one of the more important rules that falls solely on your shoulders, especially during a match. This is why you should be very mindful of this.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Fielding innings are those times when the team are the ones who are supposed to be running around trying to get the batters out.
The one restriction for fielding players during the inning is to have only one pitcher inside the diamond who will be standing in the pitcher’s plate.
The rest of the fielding players must stay outside the diamond until the ball has been struck from the tee.
When a Player is Out
As the fielding team, your main goal is to get all three batters of the opposing team out. This ends their batting side of the inning which puts your team in a position to score.
The question to ask as someone who is trying to learn how to teach tball is how do you get a batter out.
There are several ways that you will be able to achieve this, and this includes:
- Strike Out – similar to baseball and softball, a batter is ruled out if they receive three strikes which is awarded against the batter if they swing and miss the ball that is set up on the tee
- Tagged by a Fielder’s Glove
- Moving 2 meters away from the base – tee ball does not condone stealing a base
- Out of batting order
- Throwing the bat – only applied after if the player is given a warning
When three of the the team’s batters are out, then the batting for the inning changes.
An inning is then declared over once another three batters are out from the second team, or when all batters in the batting order had their turn.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A ‘Force Play’ may come into effect if all the bases are filled with batters, and a tee ball coach should be always aware when it does. This is when fielding players are allowed to get a batter out just by tagging a base they are meant to go to with the ball in hand. Otherwise, the player must be tagged for them to be ruled out.
There are nine innings in total, and whoever has the higher number of runs scored is declared the winner.
Unlike baseball and softball, there are stricter and more specific rules to tee ball which a tee ball coach needs to learn.
During regular play, runners must touch each base before they arrive at the home base. However, runners must hold position at the 2nd and 3rd base when they reach both. Only the 1st and the home base can be ran through.
Batters can only run to bases when balls are hit into fair ground play. This means that the ball lands within the confines of the the diamond away from foul territory and if the ball drops to the ground when a ‘Fly Ball’ is declared.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Whena a fly ball is declared and caught, a tee ball coach should remind his players to hold their positions, especially if they are already on base.
The Mercy Rule
There are two instances when the Mercy Rule should can be used, and instances include:
- When the lead runs to 10, the leading team is told to remove one infielder or the designated pitcher from inside the diamond who are not allowed to move until the ball has been struck
- When the lead reaches 15, the team who is behind is allowed to add one outfielder and one more for every five run lead that is added
The many rules that are needs to be studied when learning how to teach tball is plenty. In fact, they can be more specific and geared towards fair play between the competing teams. However, setting these kinds of rules is vital for developing children to ingrain sportsmanship in them.
In fact, teaching such rules and regulations among children is vital because it encompasses sports. It instills discipline. It instills an awareness knowing that society has rules; rules that need to be followed to ensure fair play in society.
TIPS TO BECOME A BETTER TEE BALL COACH
It does not matter if you are a tee ball coach or a coach that specializes in teaching individuals through life – you can always become better as a teacher. Regardless, there is always room to become better.
As a tee ball coach, and a coach in general, it is always better if you plan ahead – know what your goals are for the season, identify what you expect to see from your players, and the reasons behind these.
These become your guides in planning the training and should act as a motivator for your players too.
Avoid Dull Moments
Children are known to have shorter attention spans. This highlights the importance of keeping them engaged which can only be achieved by organizing every training session, and as a tee ball coach, you should know that this is only possible through planning.
Make Training a Fun Time
Incentivize every training session or every winning game with rewards such as ice cream, candies, or maybe treat them in a fun zone or in a restaurant. This also allows them to identify that their efforts are being recognized, and that is why it might also be good, as a tee ball coach, to also offer rewards even when training does not go according to plan.
Recognizing effort, regardless if it is good or bad, is important.
Keep Grounded Expectations
As a coach who may have just learned hoe to teach tball, your expectations might be lofty. This is normally what happens when a new tee ball coach, or any coach in particular, was once good in sports. They tend to put the same expectations they put on themselves on the children they are teaching.
Lower your expectations. Not only will it be better for your mentally, but it will also prevent the children from being discouraged from sports in general because it will feel like that have not achieved anything.
In fact, you might only have half of your team truly grasp what tee ball is by the end of the season, and even that is pushing it.
Avoid long training periods, and avoid compressing too much information in your short sessions. Instead, focus on developing skills that shows visible results. Children want to see and feel like they are improving knowing that it will make their coach proud.
To be effective as a new tee ball coach, you must strive to become better from day one. Arrogance, especially if you were once good in sports, might come in the way, and a small dose of it is good. However, it should not be a hindrance to becoming a better coach because it is not you who will suffer, but the children that you are teaching to one day become as good, if not better, as you.
Tee ball is just one of the many examples of why summertime is fun. More importantly, that what you do during the break is what builds you as a person. It is a lesson that goes beyond the season and goes beyond the sport. It is a matter of life, and being ingrained into one’s body and mind at such a young age is a way to bring it further in life.