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Teaching Basics to 5/6 Year Old

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  • Teaching Basics to 5/6 Year Old

    Just looking for some advice - my 5 soon to be 6 year old is in t-ball. He's doing well, but they are starting to do some coach pitch and he's struggling. I'm not sure if the bat is a little heavy for him, but I've recently purchased a lighter bat that should be in soon. My questions:

    Are there any drills/teachings/tricks to teach him to hit the ball from a pitcher (overhand or even under for practice). I'm watching and trying to see what the issue is. The coach for the fall team stresses elbow up, which I was never a fan of as it seems to hinder the players swings. Thankfully it's just a fall practice t-ball league.

    Also, if there are any tips/drills for learning to catch and throw efficiently. He's just smaller and young so I think it's just going to take time as he gets stronger. But want to make sure I'm working on solid fundamentals.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    A typical progression would be Tee work -> Soft Toss -> Front Toss -> BP. Mix in wiffleball hitting.

    Give him a bunch of reps, make sure you're on one knee when you pitch to him so the ball isn't coming in above his head.

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    • #3
      Keep it fun, make these drills a game whenever possible

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      • #4
        Most drills and cues in baseball are backwards or destructive.

        Do not promote 'door knocking knuckles', 'hands to the ball', ;swing down', 'extend your arms', or 'squish the bug'. All are destructive.

        Do this.
        1. Step to the ball when the pitcher releases. 99% of kids wait until they think it's a strike before they move (watch them). Then it's too late.
        Randomly hold the ball in cages or toss, and make sure he moves every single time.

        2. The elbow must be up at toe touch (it makes no difference where it is in the stance). If it's not, you lost leverage, and have bat drag (that's probably why you had to buy a smaller bat).

        3. Make sure the tee is at the ball of the front foot (after toe touch). Many put the tee way past that, or they put it at their belly-button - both are destructive.
        Last edited by songtitle; 10-12-2021, 02:35 PM.
        efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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        • #5
          Damn! I nearly snorted ice tea up my nose. Back elbow up? The coach learned this thirty years ago from a coach who didn’t know what he was doing who learned it thirty years previous from a coach who didn’t know what he was doing. There are plenty of videos you can buy to learn how to teach your son the game. Make it fun and he will practice longer.

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          • #6
            Hitting a baseball has very little to do with either technique or mechanics at 5 or 6 years old. It's mostly a matter of coordination and timing. I suggest getting him comfortable hitting a moving ball. For example soft toss wiffle ball with a wiffle ball bat and some easy tennis. A lighter bat is a very good idea.

            Overall, though, kids learn to hit pitching over time. Don't be concerned if some kids are ahead of him at 6 years old.

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            • #7
              Lots of lightsaber fights. Once they can beat the crap out of you with a plastic sword, they'll destroy a little ball.

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