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Coaching and Teaching The Fundamentals of Baseball to 5 Year Olds: Drills and Games
When coaching baseball drills to 5 year olds, your approach will be different to older age groups. Your role as a coach is to provide a positive learning environment and deliver your baseball practices in a fun and engaging way.
You’re not looking to teach baseball as such, but a more basic alternative to the game while focusing heavily on the fundamental skills needed to play.
The fundamental skills and topics you should cover at this age group include:
Table of Contents
5 year old baseball players fall into the t-ball age group. T-ball (or tee-ball) is a simplified version of the game and is a great way to introduce your players to the full game of baseball.
T-ball is often the first exposure a young budding baseball player will have to baseball – so it’s imperative to not only coach the fundamentals of baseball in a simplified way (t-ball) but to do it in a way (as I’ve mentioned above) that gives them the freedom to learn, make mistakes and improve in fun and engaging way.
If I was sum up your sole aim as a coach when working with this age group it would be this:
“You want your little baseball players to turn up excited and ready to learn each week. If they show that commitment, the improvement in their actual skills – will soon follow”
Tips When Coaching 5 Year Old’s Baseball for the First Time
A few tips to keep in mind when coaching baseball to 5 year olds…
- Keep It Simple: Don’t complicate things. While 5 year olds can be really easy to engage with fun and energetic baseball practices – you will lose them quicker than Usain Bolt can run 100M if you start to complicate more than it needs to be.
- Structure Your Practices: If you don’t have a clear plan and structure for your practice – your little cute 5 year olds will turn into not so cute 5 year olds and end up planning and structuring your practice for you 🙂 Have a clear plan and execute on it. It’s okay to deviate – the best coaches in the world have to learn to think on thier feet. Having a direction and objective from the get go will help – just trust me on this one!
- Invent Games: Of course use our drills the other drills listed on this page first. But as you progress with your group over the coming weeks and months, get creative. Just stay on topic and have a clear objective for each practice.
- Adapt Your Equipment: Things like tennis balls, duct tape around balls and t-ball setups are all great adaptations and support to your practices. Tennis balls and duct tape around balls will help your young players to be less scared of the ball.
- Progress vs Regress: Learn how to have a drill progression – to make it harder and a drill regression to make it easier. 9 times out of 10 you’ll be progressing and regressing differently for different players as the ability levels will vary widely
- Always End with Game: That’s fun, exciting, has maximum paritication and ideally doesn’t involve any ‘knockout’ games where players will be standing around doing nothing.
…there are of course other things I could write here. But, for now these should be more enough to get you started. Be confident and plan. The rest you will learn on the job.
Baseball Drills for 5 Year Olds
Objective: Throwing and Catching Drill for Kids
This drills encourages you players to get down low and make their stops. It can be setup in a super small space and can even be done indoors with a little bit of space available.
Objective: Baseball drill for both kids and adults to improve throwing accuracy
Ready Aim Throw focuses less on the power of the throw (although this can be worked on by increasing the distances) and more on the technique and accuracy of throws.
Objective: To get younger players familiar with the shape, size, feel and weight of the ball
Not specifically a drill but nonetheless an important introduction your young players should have.
Objective: To get your young players used to tracking the ball
This a great fun baseball drill for kids that can be progressed with ease. Get your players tracking the ball better while working on their hand-eye coordination at the same time
Objective: To help improve throwing power and technique
While this drill is pretty much an all out ‘how far can you throw’ it’s a great drill drill for both individuals and large groups. And less spoken about is it ability to give instant feedback on a players throw…
Objective: To help young players overcome the fear of catching the ball
You’ll likely come up against this with a lot of younger players in some shape or form – being scared of the ball. This beautifully simple catching drill helps your young players develop more confidence while improving their catching skills at the same time.
Objective: To help young players develop good bat control
Kiss The Ball works on helping your young players develop better bat control and understand the movement their body and bat should take when hitting the ball.
Objective: A drill ‘add-on’ that encourages your players to safely and properly drop their bat after hitting the ball
Not exactly a drill in itself but a simple way to ensure the safety of all your players while enforcing good practice after hitting the ball
Objective: To help players with their hitting development and reaction skills
A great improvised drill I found when looking for some baseball drills while quarantined. With a little bit of creativity most things are possible….
Advanced Skills Tee
Advanced Skills Tee instinctively helps players develop a level swing – something really important to focus on at younger age groups.
CHeck out the video above…
Teaching Basic Baseball Rules to 5 Year Olds
Finally, once you’ve got your throwing, catching and adapted hitting drills done it’s time to consider teaching basic rules. Again, I’d recommend keeping this super-simple.
When working with this age group, a great way to teach rules (outside of normal drills) is to do a question and answer at the end and start of practice. In drills focus on things like which base to run to and the very basic rules of play.
=> Next baseball drill guide: Baseball Drills for 6 Year Olds…
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