TBall Coaching Targets

Base Running

  • Concept of running through first base and returning to the bag from the outfield or foul territory
  • Not over-running 2B & 3B
  • Touching the inside portion of the bag when rounding it
  • Ready to run – base runners have foot closest to the pitcher’s mound on the base with the other foot one step toward the next base
  • Running on contact (but not before)
  • Base runners avoid collisions
  • Concept of a base path and the need to run inside of it
  • Cover the basics of sliding and ensure players know that they can only slide feet first
  • Develop an understanding of how base runners can get out (tagging & force outs)

Throwing

  • Grip:  Three fingers above the ball – thumb and pinky below
    • Concept of a 4 seam grip (gripping across the “C”)
  • Turn non-throwing shoulder toward target and bend arm slightly at the elbow
  • Raise throwing arm higher than shoulder – bent at the elbow with the throwing hand raised and ball facing away from target
  • Knee up while maintaining balance point
  • Step toward target leading with non-throwing foot
  • Shuffle feet toward target (advanced concept)

Fielding

  • Proper fielding position:  wide base at the feet, butt down, hands out in front of the body
  • Position body in front of the path of the ball before getting glove to the ground
  • Place glove on the ground with finger tips in the dirt (avoid placing back of hand on the ground)
  • Use throwing hand to trap ball in the glove (“alligator” or “closing the book”)
  • Bring glove and ball to chest while rising to throw the ball

Catching
Catching a ball in the air is an advanced concept for 5-6 year olds and it is recommended to use softer balls (e.g. tennis ball) when teaching players

  • Point the glove fingers up on throws above the chest and down on throws below the waist
  • Use the throwing hand to trap the ball in the glove

Hitting

  • Proper grip on the bat with hands together (door knocker knuckles aligned with fist knuckles)
    • Point index fingers straight out to ensure they are lined up
  • Understand the concept of “choking up” on the bat
  • Stance: feet shoulder width apart with toes pointing toward home base, hands slightly higher than back shoulder
  • Stride: small, soft step onto front toes
  • Swing: start with pointing knob of bat toward pitcher, swing through the ball, finish with belly button and laces of back foot pointed toward pitcher
  • Drop bat in back of batters’ box as part of follow through
  • Directional hitting: how to position body and point of contact to hit on left or right side of the field (advanced concept)