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The age of most of these players will range between five to 7 years old. The focus will be providing foundational principles about the game of baseball and building upon what they learned in tee ball.  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 keep it positive and fun.
Batting will consist of 8 to 10 pitches thrown by a coach from a distance of at least 25 feet.  If a player has not hit at that point, the coach can soft toss from the side or place the ball on a tee.  Continue to be patient and focus on keeping it positive and fun. A continuous batting order is utilized so every player has opportunities at the plate.   
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. Defense consists of 10 players on the field and players must rotate between infield and outfield each inning.  Help the outfielders with the concept of getting the ball back into the infield, runners must stop once the ball is returned to the infield.
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 there 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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