Current Tee Ball Handbook
Tee Ball Coaches Handbook
Thank you! We at the Germantown Hills Athletic Association thank you for volunteering your time to coach a youth tee ball team! This will be a very rewarding program for you and the players will benefit greatly by having a dedicated coach. Without coaches like you, the tee ball program would not be the same! This packet is designed to help you navigate your season in the right direction when teaching a group of 4-7 year olds how to play baseball! The number one rule and goal to reach is HAVE FUN! This is very important in teaching the game to this age level, but also applies to coaches! Players will have more fun if you are having fun. Best of luck and enjoy the season!
· HAVE FUN!
· Create an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for all
· Encourage and empower participants to do their best
· Express positive reinforcement
· Teach good sportsmanship
· Encourage healthy and physical activity
· Instruct the basic fundamentals of the game in a fun manner
· HAVE FUN!
· Learn basic fundamentals of throwing, catching, batting and base running
· Practice good sportsmanship
· Listen to coaches instruction
· Enjoy the fun sport of Tee Ball!
· HAVE FUN!
· Show up on time for practices and games
· Lend a helping hand if coach needs some assistance
· Provide a snack following games (Healthy snacks encouraged)
· Create a positive and enjoyable experience while watching youth players
· Encourage good sportsmanship
· Practice outside of practice – players will develop at different rates, but practicing at your home with your child will not only help their game, but also provide a positive relationship with your child!
· Be Organized –
Properly preparing for practices and games will keep you from burning out! Learn the game of baseball and basic fundamentals of the game. Show up to practice with a plan! Have alternatives when drills have reached exhaustion.
· Kid Talk –
Teach in terms that the players will understand. They will not understand if you talk to them like they are adults. Use examples that will bring laughter but will also reach the player. Keeping terms simple and at the player’s level will help keep the game fun!
· Use your parents –
Parents will be at every practice, but don’t be afraid to ask for their assistance. You will have 10-12 players to manage and you will see that some days you cannot get them all on the same page! Have a parent help you out and divide players into smaller groups.
· Sideline Coaching –
You are the coach, but the other coaches in your players’ lives are their parents. They will hear their parent from the sideline before they hear you, so be sure to express to parents that you are the coach on the field and for learning purposes, players need to seek the advice from the coach on the field.
· First Base and Beyond –
First base is very important when base running or fielding! Base running needs to be done every week so they remember where to go. Throwing the ball to first after fielding the ball is equally important. Repetition is key and players will eventually pick up on it.
· Play like you Practice –
If you want to play effectively during games, it must start at practice. Practice base running and fielding during your practice and they will understand what to do when the games are played. Scrimmages at the end of practice help too.
· Batting Safety –
Players must be instructed on when they can pick up a bat and swing. As much as you can teach it, players will be very excited to swing, so be sure to keep an eye on where the bat is at all times. When players come up to bat, do not give them the bat until ball is set and you are ready to play. Additionally, bats should not be placed along sideline or bench where players are sitting.
· PATIENCE –
You will need a lot of it! Coaching is a lot of fun, but you must understand that at this age level, patience is necessary. A 4 – 6 year olds interest level is measured in a matter of a few minutes. Knowing this will help you plan your day.
· Be a role model. Players will be looking up to you and will emulate what you do
· Make sure roster is accurate. All players should have registered through GHAA before playing. Any player that is not registered will not be able to play until they have filled out appropriate paperwork through the Recreation Office. DO NOT ACCEPT MONEY.
· Roster additions and subtractions must go through the Recreation Department
· Inspect Equipment. If anything is missing or needs replacement, please let the Director know immediately
· Return equipment at end of practice/ games
· Ensure a positive learning and playing environment for players
· Assume responsibility of sportsmanlike behavior. This includes parents, spectators and players
· Provide effective supervision during games and practices
· Leave the field better than the way you found it. If there is garbage left over from spectators, please help keep our facilities clean. This is a great lesson to teach players as well
· Notify Recreation Department of any inappropriate behavior that may be observed from player, spectator or parent. The sooner you let us know, the faster we can act on it
· Respect and accept coach’s decisions
· Be respectful to players, spectators and coaches
· Have player dressed and ready to play
· Applaud players
· Appreciate volunteer coaches and helpers
· Reward sportsmanlike behavior
· Encourage players by showing a positive attitude
· Recognize this is a youth event. Age appropriate language and actions should be maintained during all activities
· Notify Recreation Department of an inappropriate behavior from coaches as soon as possible
Communication will be very important when coaching a team. You will be given a roster with contact information for the child. Following initial contact, at the first practice, establish how parents would like to receive information. Many parents may choose to receive a text or email if there are any changes. Texts or emails to parents may save you a lot of time if you have to cancel or make any changes. Set expectations as the beginning of the season for both players and parents. These expectations can be expressed during the first practice. Child behavior issues may arise throughout the season, if so; do your best to work with the player. If that doesn’t work, speak with the parent following a practice and let them know your concerns.
Players will be provided team uniforms by the first week of games. Players should wear comfortable clothing with tennis shoes. A baseball hat will be provided. Cleats are allowed (rubber only no metal) but not required. Players are required to bring their own glove. Coaches will receive a t-shirt that is the same color as the team they are coaching.
Being a coach, there are circumstances that require further attention when it comes to injuries or weather related issues. Both are very important factors to keep in mind when coaching your team this year. Outlined below is important information for you to look over so you are prepared when situations arise.
· In the case there is an injury, it must be reported within 24 hours of incident. Please contact GHAA by phone or email to notify us of the situation. Upon notice, we may need to inquire about additional information.
· Use of common sense and good judgment is very important when working with 4 – 6 year olds. Proper supervision needs to be established for all activities and especially when using the bat. Players should never be unsupervised when practicing and playing with a bat.
· Baseball can still be played if there is very light rain. However, when raining, bats become very slippery and dangerous when swinging. Coaches should take this into consideration when scheduling practices. The Director will call games due to weather.
· There are times when weather will cause games and practices to be cancelled. Coaches will be responsible for calling parents if practice is to be cancelled due to weather. Cancellations for practices will not be posted on our information outlets. On days of games GHAA will determine playability of games. It is the responsibility of parents and coaches to look at the weather outlets to determine if games will be played.
· Thunder and Lightning: If either is heard or seen, games will be postponed for 30 min following the last thunder or lightning. Most likely games will be cancelled or called due to thunder or lightning
· We will try and reschedule all missed games, the Director will communicate make ups to coaches. Coaches will communicate with parents
If this is the first time you have coached a group of 4 – 6 year olds you have nothing to worry about if you take some of these ideas and put them into practice! The purpose of this handbook is to relieve the stress you may be feeling, because this is supposed to be fun! If you have fun, your players will too! The information from here on will assist you in preparing for a fun season.
· First Base – Demonstrate where the first baseman is to stand (Typically 3- 4 feet from the base in front of base line). Practice having players throw to this base. Repetition is key. Equally, this is the first base players will run to after they hit. This will need to be practiced frequently as well.
· Second Base – Player should be 3 – 4 feet from base inside the base line.
· Short Stop – There will be two of these in tee ball. Position one player in between 1st and 2nd base and one between 2nd base and 3rd base.
· Third Base – Player should be 3 – 4 feet from base inside the base line.
· Pitcher – Place pitcher enough distance from home plate in the pitching area. Pitcher acts strictly as an infielder.
· Catcher – There is no catcher in tee ball.
· Outfield – Depending on number of players on the roster, the remainder will be placed in outfield. Positions can include right, right center, center, left, and left center. These players should be placed behind the base lines with ample space between infielder and outfielder. It is best if you place them deep enough in the field so they can run up on a batted ball.
Infielders will stay in the infield when a ball is hit. It is important that they understand this so they don’t run out to the outfield and interfere with base runners or outfielders. Infielders will need to focus their attention on the batter before the ball is placed on the tee. There is a lot of things going on outside the game that will distract players.
Outfielders will stay in the outfield and will need to throw the ball into an infielder. This concept is sometimes difficult and the player will want to run the ball into the infield. Having a coach out in the outfield can help keep their attention on the game.
Outs, Fouls, Strikes
Tee Ball does not call outs .
It is recommended that during drills, players are broken up into groups. This will make running drills easier to manage. You will find that players will feed off each other and mimic others actions. Flowers, grass, bugs and planes all come in as distracters during practices and games!
Schedule some water breaks in during drills.
Playing a fun game at the end is great to keep the interest level high. If you see that practice is not grabbing their attention, don’t be afraid to throw a game in midway through to get players motivated. The key to providing a fun experience is keeping players moving! Baseball can be a slow game in the field, so anytime you see a chance to get them moving, do so.
Naming your team is a good idea! They will appreciate being called the Running Rabbits over Team 5.
I have a Tee-Ball practice guide that I emailed out earlier. It has different drill ideas and times of activities. If you are looking for ideas and drills this is a great reference. I really like that it gives a different skill in sportsmanship to work on each practice as well.
On the day of games try to show up at least 15 minutes early. Parents will be looking for the coach to figure out what field they are at. Be aware that parents may not show up until the scheduled start time. During your first couple practices, let parents know that players should be ready 10 minutes prior to game for warm ups.
· Players will sit along the base lines. There are benches available for players to sit on
· Players should be wearing team shirt and hat. Make sure that players are not wearing metal cleats
· Coaches and helpers can be on the field with their team.
· Snack time will bring a lot of excitement to finish the games! Make sure to have the snack schedule filled out before the first game and let parents know if they are on deck to provide snack.