Friday, May 9, 2014

5 Tee-Ball Lessons

Every spring we look forward to the return of longer days, green grass, and warmer temperatures!

But we also look forward to the return of baseball!  The Boy has been playing for a few weeks already and boy have some of his games been pretty chilly.

The Husband and I are co-managing/co-coaching an all girls tee-ball team for the second year with another couple.  Five of the girls returned to us from last year. We are so happy to  have an amazing group of girls who will become great ball players.


Managing and coaching little ball players comes with a few struggles: they misplace equipment, they grab each others things, they get distracted, and of course they get excited. We learned a few things last year that have really helped us this year.

5 Tee-Ball Lessons We Have Learned

Sharpies! 

We made sure on our very first practice that we had Sharpies in hand. Sharpies have been great at marking each girls equipment. We had them on hand again the night uniforms came in. As we passed out hats each girls name went on the bill.

Names!

Learning the players names is important for any coach. Last year we found that we knew their name but once they all got into uniform the girls all looked alike! This year to assist the coaches with learning I took a photo of each girl and used some photo editing to add their name to the photo. I made flip cards for the coaches so they could pair name and face.


 Cubbies!

Little players misplace their things  Before I used the cubbies, I had girls leave their hats and water bottles all over the dugout. It only took one emotional meltdown because someone else grabbed someone elses hat to make me realize I needed help!

. I took an idea from my daughter's preschool. Cubbies. I realized every school/preschool and even most day cares use them.  I purchased inexpensive dishpans from my local dollar store. I added a foam baseball with each players name and number. 


I put the cubbies in the dugout according to their batting order. Since we started using the cubbies no  one has lost or misplaced a single thing!

Line-Up Cards!

Tee-Ball aged girls are just learning how to read so we could not rely upon the girls to follow a batting line up list. Instead I made photo line-up cards. 


The photo Line-Up cards are just foam sheets and foam stickers. I adhered a photo of each girl to the foam sheet using spray adhesive. On the back of each foam sheet I adhered a simple wooden clothes pin. 

Right before the game starts I pin the photo line-up card to the fence in our batting order. This plus the cubbie let's the girls know what order they bat in.


 Game Faces!

Every athlete needs a game face. One that says, "I am seriously going to defeat you!"  Or one that says, "Go ahead, just try to be better than me!" 

We work on our game faces all the time. It has worked well for us. We did score 5 outs in tee-ball last game. 

If nothing else, it makes the coaches smile to see cute little girls with scrunched up faces! 

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