...for Kids 10 & under
Grounders on Knees
Have your child get on his/her knees. This helps your child use the correct body position when getting a ground ball. When you are on your knees it means that your hands have to be out in front of your body. This allows you to see the ball as it enters your glove. Keep score and play to 10. If your child stops the ball in the glove and it doesn’t bobble out, he gets a point. If he misses it, you get a point. You can start by making the balls easy to get to, and then make them so difficult that a dive is necessary.
Get a dozen or more tennis or baseballs and put them in a bucket. Make a target about 4 feet off the ground. Here are some ideas for targets: Attach a hula hoop to a fence or tie a helium balloon to a baseball tee. Use your imagination to come up with other fun targets. You can come up with a scoring game to make it competitive. 3 points if you hit the target and minus 1 point if you miss the target.
Fly Ball Catch
Have your child stand 5 feet away from you and play catch with a tennis ball and no glove. The goal of this drill is to build your child’s confidence. Too many people try to play catch from too far of a distance right away. Starting too far away from each other is counterproductive because kids are often afraid of failure and getting hit in the face with the ball. Once playing catch with the tennis ball is mastered, then add a glove. Start moving away from one another and add in a real baseball.
Tie a string on a wiffle ball and hang it from a tree. Sounds simple, but it is really fun and improves eye-hand coordination.
Heading the Ball
This is a fun game to work on catching fly balls. Getting your body in the correct position is very important when catching a ball in the outfield. Your child will need to wear a baseball helmet for this game. Start by standing 10 feet away from your child and throw a tennis ball up high in the air towards your child. Have you child move his/her feet so the ball lands on top of the helmet. Move back farther as he/she improves the footwork to get underneath the balls. Definitely use tennis balls and not baseballs to prevent concussions.
You are probably going to need to have a lot of patience to teach your child how to catch and throw a baseball. Remember,
1) don't throw the ball near the face
2) know when to call it a day
3) 5 minutes of practice every day for a week is better than an hour on one day
4) watch the video so you are teaching the correct fundamentals
Videos coming soon!