When you’re working with younger and/or first time players you have many areas to cover besides teaching skills.   One of the most frequent is “fear of the ball”.   This is followed by getting their attention and teaching them to listen to you and to their teammates.

Old Socks and Fear of the Ball
Here is an idea for the kids who seam to be afraid of the ball when trying to catch.

I was getting frustrated when my kids would step out of the way when the ball was coming at them so I did was a series of drills where they practiced cathing using a pair of old socks rolled up into a ball.

They would start out catching in close range with no gloves until they got more confident; they don’t think the socks are going to hurt them. Then spread them out more and more then incorp0rate their glove then the real ball and see how they improve.

The Talk Ball
I had what i thought to be a great idea–after practice is over and it is time to reflect, of course all the little ones want to talk at once.

I came up with “The Talk Ball”. It is a BRIGHT yellow ball. Whoever is holding the “talk ball” gets to talk and everyone else has to listen.

This is a good way to let them know who gets to talk. Coach can hold it too!