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Thread: 3 year olds playing baseball?

  1. #1
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    3 year olds playing baseball?

    I went to my friends sons baseball game recently. I think his son is 6 years. He is fun to watch because he can hit the ball rather well for his age and he always went after groundballs and was into every play.

    I asked his mom what the age range was for his team and she said 3-6.

    I was kind of surprised they allowed kids that young to play. It almost seemed like they were just running around or standing around doing nothing. I know they are young but I almost got the impression parents put them on the team so they could go off and do something for an hour or two since I saw more kids than parents at the game.

    Maybe it's different if you have kids because I don't. But I'm not sure I'd waste my kids time or mine from what I saw during the game.

    Even when his mom told me that the age range was like 3-6 she kind of gave me that hint that she didn't really think it was a good idea having kids that young out there.
    Last edited by DodgerBlue8188; 06-03-2009 at 10:36 AM.

  2. #2
    I'm coaching a Tball team of 5-7 year olds (only 1 7 year old on the team - most of them are 5).. and even at 5 years old, I question if it is a good idea for them to be playing "organized ball"...

    The practices are great because we can break them up into stations and rotate them through quickly, they never really have time to get bored.. but the games are a nightmare.

    Out of 11 kids on defense, I probably have 7 not paying attention or playing in the dirt at all times. I just walk around and have each kid get into "ready" position... and as soon as I leave him to work with another kid, he's right back to playing in the dirt....

    Don't get me wrong - the kids are learning a lot and I have loved every second of coaching them... but the games are tough to be apart of.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RodCarew View Post
    I'm coaching a Tball team of 5-7 year olds (only 1 7 year old on the team - most of them are 5).. and even at 5 years old, I question if it is a good idea for them to be playing "organized ball"...

    The practices are great because we can break them up into stations and rotate them through quickly, they never really have time to get bored.. but the games are a nightmare.

    Out of 11 kids on defense, I probably have 7 not paying attention or playing in the dirt at all times. I just walk around and have each kid get into "ready" position... and as soon as I leave him to work with another kid, he's right back to playing in the dirt....

    Don't get me wrong - the kids are learning a lot and I have loved every second of coaching them... but the games are tough to be apart of.
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm assuming your kid(s) are on the team? Did you ever think of just training/teaching him on your own and wait till he gets older to put him on the field around others? just curious.

    That's just what I kind of felt after seeing the game. I just thought wow, are they really learning enough to go through the hastles of the games.

  4. #4
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    God Bless The Coach

    I have never coached Tball but I have had 9-10 year olds that nearly drove me insane........
    Respect the GAME

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DodgerBlue8188 View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm assuming your kid(s) are on the team? Did you ever think of just training/teaching him on your own and wait till he gets older to put him on the field around others? just curious.

    That's just what I kind of felt after seeing the game. I just thought wow, are they really learning enough to go through the hastles of the games.
    Yes, my son is 5 and was on the team I coached.

    I did not put any thought into just doing baseball training before the season - the kids really liked putting on the uniforms and sitting on the bench and getting the snacks of course... so I'd have a hard time giving up the games.. but all of our learning was done during practice.. we got very little accomplished during actual game time.

    I'm hoping next year will be a little better, as 9 of the 11 kids I had were 1st time players this year.

  6. #6
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    I think just being there is the fun part for the kids - gets them out of the house, and also gets them exposure to settings where they are around other people.

    That description of the 5-7YO team is just like my memories of my cousins' dance recitals. 50% of the kids look around, 30% wing it, 15% of them watch what the others are doing, then you get the really good ones who the instructor knows to put next to the "lookers" so they might copy a thing or two. (And, I'm being honest when i say my cousins were always the ones who knew just what they were doing. )

    So, if the kids are having fun, as long as they're not expected to do anything, I think it's okay, but at 3 I wouldn't even be practicing with them much more than holding the bat, etc.. At 5, you can start a few little fundamentals.

    Charlie Brown's team must play teams older than them - because the things shown ont hat team really typify all the kids that age. (Something I really didn't underatnd growing up - so maybe some others don't either, and that's why they start kids at 3 :-) My stories I'd write when younger would have Dennis the Menace, kids from "Family Circus," etc. on the teams, after all, when they'd finally win championships.)
    Last edited by DTF955; 08-24-2009 at 04:21 AM.
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  7. #7
    My son is 3 years old. He plays on a PONY baseball team in Florida (he is the youngest player). I am one of the coaches. It is a coach pitch team for 4-6 year olds. He had to "try out" to be on the team. They pitch the ball 3 times and then hit from the tee.

    He has had the fundamentals of holding and swinging a bat since he was 2. This was not forced by me, I had always played baseball and he was very very interested in playing. We go to the park on a regular basis to practice because he asks me to go play. My 1 1/2 year old son watches his brother and can hit off a tee with almost perfect form. It appears they have the natural mechanics because a lot of people ask me "what did you do to get them to swing like that?" And I tell them that they just picked up the bat and I showed them and it stuck. I do not pressure them

    He is still working on catching the ball. He can catch the ball, but he still is learning exactly the direction of the glove. But that will obviously come in time. He is playing in the outfield for now. Which obviously can get a little "boring" for him. But his fundamentals and attention span is actually better than some of the 6 year olds on the team.

    I guess it really determines if your child is ready.

  8. #8
    Three and four is kind of young for any "organized" sport. I know folks whose children played soccer at that age and they acknowledge that it's really just a chance for the kids to run around after a ball. As the parent of an almost-four-year-old, we're thinking of signing her up for T-ball next year because she likes baseball and (right now) says she wants to. Like the weather in Cleveland, that can change on a dime.

    I think if the kid wants to do it and gets a kick out of it, then let her/him play, but remember that this is play. The idea of getting them together to learn a new game and having fun should be the focus. I really don't think you should keep score at that age. If they retain a few of the fundamentals, great. If not, there's always next year.

    The original poster mentioned that the team had 3-6 year-olds. That's too big an age range. A six-year-old has motor skills and an attention span that a preschooler just doesn't.
    Last edited by SABRSusan; 10-14-2009 at 01:09 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SABRSusan View Post
    Like the weather in Cleveland, that can change on a dime.
    You're from C-town?
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RuthMayBond View Post
    You're from C-town?
    Yep. Live here, work here. I actually work in the SABR office (hence the screen name...).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SABRSusan View Post
    Yep. Live here, work here. I actually work in the SABR office (hence the screen name...).
    You lucky dawg. I've thought about joining, dues are kinda steep, and don't they meet during the day (a weekday)?
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  12. #12
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    To DodgerBlue-

    I'll give you my thoughts on this. I am a very young coach (25 is young I think), but have been coaching high school wrestling for the past 7 years. When I was still wrestling we would have probably 75% of parents show up (including non-starters). Over the years the number of parents that attend seems to be dwindling a little each year- this past year we were lucky if we had 40-50%. At one meet this past year I had all of about 3 parents show up of the 20-25 kids we had. There are some kids whose parents I don't even know because they don't show up to anything! It seems that parents are getting the idea that while their kid is particpating in events they don't need to be there and they use this as their "own" time. Its rather sad that parents can't take time out of their day- no matter how busy they think they may be- and show the support that the kids want & need. I was quite lucky to have parents & grandparents that literally came to every wrestling match and baseball game (even through college and as many as they could attend professionally). I wish all parents were like mine and showed support for their kid!

  13. #13
    Personally, I think it depends upon the three-year-old in question, but I think it is an unusual three-year-old who is ready to play (physically and emotionally) organized baseball. My older son is now 16 and has been playing baseball since he was five. He was clearly not ready until that age, and it was arguable even then. My seven-year-old is now playing on a U7 team, and there is a four year old playing. Clearly, from watching his parents, they have been pushing him from a young age. Nevertheless, in watching him play and interact, he is clearly ready, though not for many of the abstract issues that arise. In my view, it is important for the parents to sit back and evaluate their child's readiness and not try to push too hard for their child to achieve what they never achieved in air time.

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