10 Lessons from T-Ball

tball lessonsThis past weekend I completed my first season of what should be many seasons as a coach for my son’s teams.  This team happened to be t-ball and saying I coached is a bit of a stretch.  Myself, along with two other dads, basically tried to corral a group of 5 and 6 year old kids for 60 minutes.  To make matters worse the field happened to sit directly next to the playground which, at 5 years old, is way more entertaining than t-ball apparently.  Coaching kids will teach you a lot about yourself and these are some of my takeaways from this season.

  1. Your 5 year old is not the next Mike Trout or any other elite MLB ball player so take it down a notch.  Luckily the dads I coached with were very relaxed and were all about fun, but you could see the other groups of kids that some of the other parents were getting  a bit overly excited.
  2. If you are coaching your child do not treat them any differently than any other kid.  Just because you are coaching doesn’t mean your kid has to be more advanced or the best and learning some basics of baseball.
  3. Running bases might seem like a simple concept, but if a child runs into center field don’t stress over it.
  4. There is no need to teach 5 year old kids how to turn a double play.  If you can get one of them to catch a ball and even look towards first base you have accomplished something.  Odds are if you do get one to do that the kid on first will just be spinning in circles so there is no need to throw it over.
  5. Following up on the above point – little kids like to spin.  If this occurs while they are in the field make sure they don’t get hit with the ball.  If they do this while hitting you should stop giving them sugar and let them go play in the park for a bit.
  6. You better keep things moving.  If you have any downtime the kids will revolt.
  7. Stay in control and have a plan.  You try to wing it every Saturday the kids will figure it out and eat you alive.
  8. Encourage the kids, be positive, and make sure they are having fun.  Kids don’t forget and if they hate playing at 5 they won’t want to play at 6.
  9. At the end of practice just yelling first one to get the bases wins will make for a quick clean up of the equipment.  Kids love to be told they can win something.
  10. If the kids get bored the dads can play t-ball.  Let’s be honest we are just big kids anyway.

Technorati Tags: