Transition from Coaching Tee Ball to Coach-Pitch
Photo: Bill Stanton, checkswing.com
Lisa asked: Hi Rick,
Great site! I coached tee ball last spring and really enjoyed it. Now I will be coaching a coach-pitch team. How do you recommend starting off a new season of coach-pitch -- what would you do at the first practice or two?
Rick Answered:Thank you for the question Lisa. Sounds like you are in for a fun year! That is a great year of transition for the kids.
I would recommend spending time every day on throwing and receiving. A players opportunities within the game will be forever linked to their ability to throw and catch a baseball.
With the Diamondback's Training Centers we throw 40 minutes every camp day. The camps are just 5 days. In your practice situation I would say 15 minutes to work on a basic routine, so that the players develop the proper arm mechanics, which will ultimately let them throw harder, farther, more accurely and help them avoid arm problems as they go along.
Teaching the rules of thumb for receiving will let them get their glove in the proper position so that they are not turning their glove into a ramp which directs the baseball to their face. You can find this rule in the Rookie and Advanced throwing section on the site. Once they establish that for themselves, they will feel much more confident about a ball coming at them.
Now that they are moving into a phase where they are hitting a live pitch, it is a good time to teach them how to protect themselves from being hit by a pitch. It is always a legitimate concern as players are starting out, coach pitch will be safe for them; but next years step to player pitch will be scarey for them. On the site there is a page called Fear Of Being Hit. It will provide you with ways to help, drills to use, all designed to build their confidence as they move forward.
If they are playing baseball, they will eventually get hit. Providing them with the tools to lessen the effect will be a plus.
If you can get them used to looking for the baseball out of the pitchers hand, striding, then swinging, you are off to a good start.
All essential skills on which you can build, depending on where each of them are at this point in time. Enjoy the fun and the magic, it is a wonderful time in their baseball life. Everything is fun. You will have a great summer for sure.
Thank you again for your question. If I can be of assistance at any point, please let me know.
Yours in baseball,
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