Let’s face it, coaching youth baseball has it’s own set of challenges. Playing catch is an advanced skill for the vast majority of 5 and 6 year olds. To me, it has proven to be unproductive to have kids who have trouble throwing throw to kids who don’t have the motor skills to catch a ball with one hand in a glove. Helping them learn confidence in hitting is just as valuable. Give the ideas below a try with your younger players and see the rewards.
Nerf Ball Catch
To me, it has proven to be unproductive to have kids who have trouble throwing throw to kids who don’t have the motor skills to catch a ball with one hand in a glove.
However, I have found it beneficial to have them play catch using a Nerf ball (without gloves). A ball about a little larger than a softball seams to work the best. You can work on throwing mechanics as well as the motor skills and concepts of catching. Plus, the kids have a blast.
Another use with the nerf ball – have the advanced kids play catch with themselves by throwing against a wall.
Foam Bat Hitting Drill
Another idea I have found useful is to use a LARGE, inflatable baseball (Walmart for $5.00) and have the kids practice hitting it off the tee for starters.
This gives the kids a GREAT sense of confidence to hit the ball and not ‘swing and miss’ a whole bunch.
Word of Advice: Might want to start with a foam/softer bat at first so those power-hitters don’t pop the ball. A HUGE response from the parents–mostly laughter and cheers!