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Tee Ball

The age of most of these players will range between four to six-year-olds. The focus will be giving them foundational principles about the game of baseball and making it fun. Practices will normally run for one hour and information will be provided in small amounts. Keep your teaching simple and communicate your message clearly. Long talks will be received with grass pulling, cloud watching and butterfly chasing. Utilize parents, have them on the field to assist with baserunning and keeping it positive and fun.
The batting tee is where it begins and is one of the best baseball training tools on the journey to becoming a great hitter.  It is imperative that coaches teach the correct techniques from the beginning. The tee helps develop hand/eye coordination and a level swing path. Players should show a consistent ability to make solid contact off the tee before coaches consider pitching to them. Many Major League players hit off the tee every day as part of their routine so please do not overlook the importance of creating the correct foundation. 
Base running is a skill just like hitting. Teach the concept of running from first base to home plate.  Teach the players which bases they are allowed to run through and which ones they must stop on. Have a coach at first base positioned ten feet past the base with their right hand up so players can give them a high five. This will encourage players to run past the base instead of stopping on it. You can also do this at home plate.  
Throwing mechanics and catching a ball with two hands are the most important things to teach in this age division. Avoid playing catch early in the season. Create drills that teach players to throw into a target so they can focus on their arm path and footwork. As they progress, setup receiving drills with players to work on properly positioning their glove hand to catch the ball. Once players have shown the ability to catch the ball in team drills, move on to playing catch with a partner.  
On defense, focus on learning to field a ground ball properly. Very few fly balls are hit in this division, so adjust your practices accordingly. Infield drills will be your main priority. Outfield drills should consist of a coach throwing players low fly balls and teaching them throw the ball into the infield. Catchers should learn how to put on their gear properly and be instructed where to play to remain safe behind the batter. 
Players at this age will be expected to listen and not talk when the coach is speaking. Teach this principle now so we can build this solid foundation as they get older. Coaches need to remember the ages of the players and understand that kids have a short attention span and some will not even know why they are there. Coaches will need to practice patience, kindness and consideration, especially at this level. We want to give players a great experience so they will want to register and play again the next year. 

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