My kids have tons of energy. Where it all comes from, I have no idea, but it’s certainly way more than I have. To help them get all that energy out (and save my sanity), we’ve gotten them into sports and are expanding their interests.
My son, in particular, loves playing soccer and has been playing for two years. And now that he’s old enough for our local t-ball program, he recently started with that too.
Today I want to focus on t-ball and exactly what you can expect when your child starts. I know programs are different depending on where you live and what is available to you, but in the beginning there are some things you can bet are all going to be the same.
1. Why did I buy you a glove if you’re not going to use it?
We’re talking about kids here, so you have to understand their skills and abilities aren’t yet perfected (no matter what they’re doing). That’s the whole purpose of getting them started!
In our t-ball program of four teams, I’ve yet to observe any child who catches everything that comes their way. Some kids, including mine, would rather lay a smack down on the ball with the glove, or not use the glove at all.
2. There will be absolutely NO outs!
Because the kids have trouble catching the ball, or in most cases, get the ball in their glove as it rolls to them, the batter is likely to make it to first base before the outfield can get the ball there. Which also leads me to number three –
3. Teamwork? What’s that?
When the ball heads towards the outfield, EVERY kid out there is going to go get it. It’s more like a game of everyone pile on the ball because that’s exactly what they’re doing. And whichever kid comes out victorious, holds the ball up like a trophy and looks around at his subjects admiring his victory. Forget the batter, I got the ball!
4. Batting is tricky.
Batting requires a lot of hand-eye coordination, just as catching does. You can expect some kids will only need to swing once, but others will need to swing three or four times. There will be a lot of hitting the tee versus hitting the ball, but this all part of the learning process of t-ball.
Not to mention, none of the kids understand what it means to be right- or left-handed. The coach can’t really help them properly set up at bat without knowing this info, so that can also hinder how well the kids do at bat.
As a side note, my son is left-handed and throws as such, but when it comes to batting, he’s a much better right-handed batter. We actually realized this while practicing at home and had always assumed since he was left-handed that he’d bat the same. We were wrong. Just something you might want to take notice of to help your child better succeed at the game.
5. Bases have no order.
Who says I have to run to first base first? After the batter hits the ball, there’s a handful of things that could happen.
- Run to first base.
- Run to second base.
- Run to third base.
- Just stand there watching the outfield try to get their ever-elusive hit.
- Help the outfield retrieve the ball. (Haha! I’ve seen this first-hand.)
There’s no guarantee where the kids will end up! Running the bases takes some extra coaching. Since t-ball is the first some kids are experiencing of the game, they aren’t going to know exactly where to run and when to run. Even once on first base, they’ll need to be guided to second and so on.
6. Every child will score.
One of the good things about t-ball is that every child will score a run. The whole point of t-ball is to start practicing and understanding the basic skills and concepts of baseball. It’s a fun, non-competitive atmosphere. By allowing every child to score a run, it builds their confidence in the game and hopefully they will want to continue in the future and further learn and understand the rules and concepts.
No matter how your t-ball program runs, it’s still a lot of fun to see the kids playing together and having fun themselves. And it doesn’t hurt to get a laugh here and there. I’ve gotten some pretty good morning laughs watching my son play t-ball.