Frustration with T-Ball

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by lleddinger, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. lleddinger

    lleddinger Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone,
    It's been forever since I have been able to log on. I am the "nana" of Cameron and Corey who turned 5 in November. So here is our dilema regarding t-ball. DD/SIL have been super excited about the prospect of the boys playing this year and I agreed to pay the $200.00 for them to join. The team they are on has a volunteer coach who has never coached before. The practices have not gone very well and the fathers are expected to teach their own kid/kids how to play. Of course sil has two to contend with. There are no short drills or anything- it's totally disorganized with no real structure. So.. C&C lose interest very quickly and go running off the field to DD. They (dd/sil) are super frustrated, feel like inadaquate parents, and feel like they are letting the team down. They are ready to give up. I have talked to a friend who's son is also on the team and his parents feel the same way.
    So, does anyone have any magical words to make this situation better? It really makes me sad because everyone (including the boys) have been excited about it. The boys have not one time said they don't want to play.
    Anyway, sorry to ramble..
  2. Chillers

    Chillers Well-Known Member

    Yikes, how frustrating for everyone involved! My girls played tball last year at age 4.5. It was pretty crazy, they were just barely at the age where they were able to follow direction enough to play. Are the other kiddos on the team the same age? We were lucky that our T-ball had a range of kiddos up to age 6, some of whom had played before. I think my first suggestion is for your daughter/sil to try not to feel like they're letting the team down, tball is about the *very* basics, heck, the first time one of the girls hit the ball off the tee, she ended up running out into the field to try and field it instead of running the basepath! And even at the end, they still needed "reminders" to run when the ball was hit. I did end up volunteering as an "assistant coach" because I felt the girls needed a *little* more direction than they could get without taking most of the coach's attention. He also had never coached before, and had only signed up to be an assistant himself, but because of shortages, was asked to become the primary.

    I'm wondering if anyone has talked to the coach? Are they approachable? There are a bunch of drills that can be found on google, I looked at some myself last year, but honestly we were pretty low key and just trying to get the kiddos to not all leave their positions on the field and go after everyball that was hit was a major accomplishment! But we did some basic fielding drills (there were three of us). If the coach is approachable, I would ask them if they would like some help and offer specific drills that have been found. I know it was pretty over whelming for me to be trying to coach/teach the kids, and I've been playing since I was pretty much that age. There is so much that is just second nature that trying to teach it, is hard!

    If the coach is not approachable, I would talk to the league organizer, and in a nonconfrontational way, suggest that the coach might need a little more direction. I think that most of the organizers of kids sports really do want them to have a good time, and if they or the parents have a bad experience, that's going to be less kids in the program.

    Hope you guys figure it out :( So hard when you're looking so forward to something and it doesn't go as planned! I hope that the above made sense...


    PS ~ I'm jealous you guys are playing already! I have to wait until May!
  3. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    I think it's the age. We did dance and it's hard to get that many kids to actually take instruction at the same time. They just don't have the attention span for it
  4. summerfun

    summerfun Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I agree, it's the age and it could be the coach has really gotten no guidance as well. I know my hubby coached my DS's t-ball team last year for the first time (and is coaching again this year) and really had no idea what to do. He was really given no guidance on what to do or how he should run anything. I know he was really frustrated with it all as well. He basically had to look it all up online as to rules and what he should be doing for t-ball. He was also frustrated with the lack of parent participation. Last season no parent offered to help at practices and at that age, you really need more parents helping out and during games too. At games he had to personally ask a parent to stand on first base and another to stand on third base. Because at that age you do need to remind the kids to run to the next base and to get the ball when it is hit, most kids don't just do it on their own.

    And then even when he had gotten everything together and had parents involved there were still kids during the game that were sitting on the ground playing in the dirt, etc. They are still young.

    My DS has his first t-ball practice today and I have to say my hubby is definitely feeling better about it all this year and knows what to expect and has a game plan, where as last year being brand new (and like I said no guidance at all), did not. :good:
  5. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    We started t-ball last summer when the twins turned 6. There is no way I would have done it at 2. (Whoops.. your ticker is wrong! I see that they are 4. That is still pretty young. That, added to the inexperienced coach is not helping things IMO. One district locally depends on volunteer coaches. The other has high school coaches who are paid to do it and they do a very good job. Good luck!
  6. TD

    TD Well-Known Member

    My husband coached T-ball for 5 years, and the last two years, I was his assisant coach. We coached in two different little leagues, and found that we received no guidance.

    For us, we found that parent support was a necessity. Without 4-5 parents to help at practice (with the two of us), things ran horrible. We basically tried to have a 1-3or4 ratio of kids to adults. we would plan games/drills based on what we learned from the internet/the official Little leagues T-ball book (bought from Chapters (or probably amazon in the US) We also bought a little league book with games in it.

    If the coach is inexperienced, they may not realize these resources are out there. By our last year of coaching(son switched to soccer, daughter waterpolo), we had finally gotten a routine down. We also owned a lot of our own equipment that we used for practices (wiffle balls, extra T-balls, extra T's, pieces of carpet to use for bases, a rebound net, pylons, etc). If the coache does not have theses resources, he is going to struggle.

    We also would have kids that would go back to the parents, so that is not uncommon. Maybe your Daughter or SIL can ask if they can assist the coach, and that might help the kids stay with the team? Not sure what the rules are.

    We would change up the tasks every 10 minutes, and generally have 4-5 stations running, so that there were not long lines to do things.

    BTW the first year my daughter played (at age 4) she sat in the gravel and dug holes. At least it was not disruptive to the team :)

  7. MarchI

    MarchI Well-Known Member

    We had a fantastic t-ball coach and I think he is what made it work for my son. He kept the kids engaged by making the drills/practices fun. Yes, there are a lot of dads on the field but the coach led each of the different drill during practice. Since we did t-ball when my twins were babies, I honestly cannot remember the names he had for the drills but I would suggest talking to the coach and let him know you would like to see more team exercises. Honestly, if the coach is new, he probably wants some help/suggestions.

    Here is a link, you might print some of them out and suggest the kids try those.
  8. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I always felt that t-ball was torture to both me and the kids--it was something they needed to get through to learn the basics of which way to run the bases, and have some idea of position in the field. But, like others said, practices were always better with lots of parental help. Stations work the best as well. The coach would set up the parents with specific tasks, and the kids would go from one station to another. Even at games, there was lots of parents assistance, with some people helping on the field, and others helping contain the kids on the bench (actually much more important).
  9. 4jsinPA

    4jsinPA Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I have to say that watching my sons play t-ball had to be one of the funniest things I had ever seen. I never laughed so hard. Its just the beginning for them. They will learn, and when you think about it...SO much of baseball is expecting them to just sit there and wait/hope the ball comes their way. That is a LOT for a 4-6 yr old boy to do. My kids started with an Iddy Biddy Baseball thing which was great for them at 4. It taught the basics, was only an hour long and kept going the ENTIRE time. Last year when Mitchell did t-ball he did great, but he is WAY into the sport and was running around trying to catch the ball for those who weren't interested. We all pretty much had to coach our own kids even on the field. We were all yelling when to run, when to get the ball, and when to stop laying on the grass. I think at this age, we can't expect too much out of them, try to get them to understand, let them have fun and hope they want to continue playing each year. I can't believe yours is so expensive. Ours was only 35 each. We get a t-shirt and a hat and they supply the pants and socks for us!
    They are both signed up for baseball but no more t-ball... I will miss the laughs of last year.
    *quick of the kids from the other team on t-ball had just hit the ball towards first base. All the parents in the outfield were yelling to the kid on our team to get the ball, so the kid from the other team hears that, stops running towards first and grabs the ball from the ground and hands it to the first baseman. omg so cute. That pretty much sums up how it was playing here. So everyone is there, it will get better!
  10. lleddinger

    lleddinger Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences. It's nice to know that this is a common situation. I'm going to read all your responses and share with DD. We just picked up their uniforms and the boys seemed excited. They have practice again next Tue and DD is not going to go since they seem to get more distracted when she's there. Sil has a meltdown when his little men run off the field to go give mommy kisses LOL.
    I'll keep you all posted!

    Marchl, thank you for the link-good info!
  11. lleddinger

    lleddinger Well-Known Member

    Jen- I love your story I can so see one the twins doing something like that. I think we should all just try to enjoy the experience and know that it won't be perfect.
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