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Leisure

Teach Your Child How to Play T-Ball

Playing T-Ball is a way for your child to keep fit and have some fun. T-Ball is the entry sport to the internationally popular game of baseball. It is often a young child’s introduction to team sports.

In brief, T-Ball is a game played by boys and girls aged 4-8 with a ball, a stand the ball sits on and a bat. It is basically baseball adapted to the size and skill level of young children. Learning the basics of throwing, catching, and hitting are involved. Just as important however is learning to follow rules and directions and how to play as part of a team.

Even if you are not “sports-minded Eyou can have fun with your child by teaching them how to play T-Ball. All you need is a T-Ball kit, consisting of a ball, bat and stand, and later, a glove that fits your child’s hand. Remembering that skills develop with practice and time will help keep it fun for both of you.

Preschool

Children ages 2 and 3 love to toss and catch. Start with a rubber or stuffed ball of about 6 inches in diameter. Practice rolling the ball back and forth while you both sit on the floor. Peels of laughter will echo as your youngster eventually gets the hang of tossing and catching. Add bounce-catching after a bit, then mix it up- rolling, underhand tossing and bouncing.

When your child is around four they have the motor skills to start swinging with the goal of connecting with the ball. Set up the T-Ball stand, adjusting it to your preschooler’s height and place the ball on top. Telling your preschooler that hitting the “fat “part of the ball makes it go farther will help with the hand eye part of batting. Making no distinction between hitting and missing is important. Just have fun!

The next step is to go to a baseball field (when no one is playing) to see the diamond. Run the bases together, always in the same direction. Set the stand up and have a few swings, then run the bases. Because the ball must travel at least 10 feet in T-Ball to not be a foul, start distinguishing between a “run Ehit and a “stay Ehit.

If there is a team in your neighborhood and you feel like attempting weekly practices, sign up and remember to keep it fun. Coaches will emphasize skill development and making it enjoyable. Parents often participate, but are not required to.

Main points to address:

  • Start out slow with rolling, tossing and bouncing.
  • Gradually decrease the diameter of the ball and increase the distance away from each other as you catch.
  • If you feel your 4-6 year old is ready and will enjoy it, find a team. If no interest is shown, or you think they are not ready, wait.

Grades K-3rd

Children in early elementary school are beginning to learn how to take turns and follow directions. T-Ball will reinforce these important skills.

If your child shows continued interest in T-Ball as a team sport, sign up and get ready! It is a good idea to practice catching, throwing, batting and running to prepare for the T-Ball season (usually April to June). Make sure your youngster’s glove fits and that they have practiced with it.

Remember it will take some time to learn the rules and that all kids have to begin somewhere. Because everyone gets to hit each inning and everyone gets to play the field each game, fairness is built-in. Being a good sport will help your child become one also.
As Ken Singleton, a former Oriole and T-Ball dad says, “… remember that not everyone is talented in the sport, so create a belief in your sons and daughters that they can learn to play well. More important than skill, the type of bat, or the rules, is the quality time you are afforded together as a family. E So go have some fun!

Main points to address:

  • Children do not have the motor skills, patience to wait their turn, or attention span for team sports earlier than age 5 or 6, some later.
  • Using a T-Ball stand, rather than trying to hit a pitched ball, sets players up for success.
  • T-Ball is good practice for team sports that will come later.
  • Have fun! Show your youngster what it means to be a good sport.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Posted in Leisure.

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