Sometimes, as a coach, finding fun tee ball practice ideas can be difficult. It’s important to remember that at this age, typically 4-5 year olds playing tee ball need to learn the fundamentals. Tee ball drills should be the foundation that the player will use later on in their baseball career should they chose to continue playing when they’re older.
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Even though it can be hard to keep a tee ball player’s attention due to their age, these drills are critical in the player’s development. Learning these important tee ball drills can help the player become the best they can be.
Before we start, here’s a few items I recommend you pick up (These are great).
Let’s get into some of my top favorite picks for youth tee ball drills to develop youth baseball mechanics.
Catch & Pass
You may notice that he/she may flinch, move away, or swat at the ball when they’re at this age. It’s important to help the player learn that they need to get their body in front of the ball.
It’s a good idea to use a pack of soft rubber baseballs to diminish the chance of injury to these young players.
By showing them how to play a simple game of catch, you can help develop the hand eye coordination needed for tee ball.
Base Running to 1st Base
If you’ve ever watched a tee ball game, you know that once the player makes any form of contact with the baseball off of the
tee, they flutter and panic, not knowing what they are supposed to do, or which way they are supposed to run.
By developing this simple drill to have the players run to first after a swing, they will begin to pick up the habit of running to first on a hit.
Have all of your players line up behind home plate with a bat. Have the first player step up to the base and perform a swing. No ball is necessary for this drill.
As soon as the batter swings his bat, instruct the tee ball player to drop their bat safely, and run to 1st base as fast as they can.
This is some of the most fun that players can have doing tee ball drills. This is something that can be fun for the entire team, not only to perform, but it’s fun to watch. It’s almost like a little mini game that is within baseball.
To play pickle, pretend like a runner is caught in the middle of the steal between two bases. Have the coaches stand behind each player at the bases to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Basic Batting Practice
Take a small group of the players while other group of players are doing something else to prevent boredom. Take the current half to start doing standard batting practice.
src=”https://baseballboom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/teeball.jpeg” alt=”” width=”284″ height=”213″ />This tee ball drill is one of the most important items on this list, and it should be in your arsenal of tee ball drills for practice.
It’s important to teach each player proper tee ball swinging mechanics and batting techniques so that they are granted a good foundation for the rest of their baseball career.
Have each player take 5-10 swings off the tee and help them learn the proper motions to hit a ball properly.
While one of the players is taking their swings from the tee, try to have one of the dads or assistant coaches show all the other players waiting how to swing properly on deck.
Infield Ground Ball Drills for Tee Ball
These drills should all be fairly simple and this one can be done from any spot on field. Have all of the players line up to receive the ground balls about 25 feet away from the coach.
The coach should then roll the balls 8-7 feet away from the player at a decent pace to their left or right. It has been commonly regarded that at this age, the coach should not randomly throw the ball left or right of the player. Research has shown that players of this age do well with repeated muscle memory. Focus on one side for this portion of practice. Next practice, you can attempt to roll the ball to the opposite side of the player.
Once the player has fielded the ground ball, have them toss the ball back to the assistant coach.
This drill should be repeated for approximately 9-12 minutes.
Large Target Tee Hitting
This is a great tee ball drill for practice because it helps the players make contact with any object on the tee. It can be difficult for players of this age to muster up enough strength to hit a basketball off of a batting tee, so I recommend getting this pack of soft, large balls to practice with.
Have the player line up just as they would with a regular hitting drill, but this time, have them focus on the large ball. This is a great warmup to do before the actual hitting drill with tee baseballs take place. The repetitive motion of hitting the large ball helps the players gather confidence at the plate. It teaches them to keep the eye on the ball and will gradually teach them to focus on contact.
You can have the players take 7-8 swings of the ball each before moving on to the next player.
Just like in the previous tee ball hitting drill, it’s a good idea to have the assistant coach work with the players that are waiting their turn to learn how to practice swinging their bat while they are on deck.
Low Fly Balls
Start by having the coach stand back from the players about 30 – 40 feet away. There’s no need to be extremely far from these players as they are young, and the higher the ball travels, the more risk there is to sustain injury.
As before, I recommend getting a pack of soft rubber baseballs so help mitigate these risks.
Teaching tee ball outfield drills to these kids will help them learn how to stop being afraid of a high pop fly.
Try to get in as many repetitions as you can within a 12-15 minute period. It’s a good idea to try to give the players different scenarios of pop flies. Whether it be 10 feet in front of the player, or 10 feet to the left or right of the player.
Learning the Importance of Each Base
This one differs from all of the other drills, but it’s an important tee ball drill to practice at this age.
Take the entire team and walk around to each position. Demonstrate to them the importance that each player has out on the field. This will help each player find their purpose when they are on the field. It will give them a clear goal and will help them understand why there were put in that position.
Doing this will lead to a better understanding of the game as a whole.
This drill is great for tee ball ground ball fundamentals.
Have each player open up their arms like an alligator in front of their body before the ground ball is rolled to them by the coach. Once the ball reaches their glove, have them clamp down with their other arm like an alligator chomping down on the ball.
This will teach them to use two hands to secure a ground ball. Performing as many repetitions as possible of this tee ball drill will lead to picking up good habits when on the field.
It’s common to see on the field a lot of youth players running at the ball and putting their glove on the ground on the side of their body. This alligator drill for tee ball players will teach them to get their body in front of the ball and to use two hands to clamp down on the ball so that it doesn’t get away from them on a simple grounder.
This drill is great for throwing accuracy. Have the players perform the alligator drill above. From there, the players will throw the baseball at a helmet stacked on top of a batting tee. The objective is for the players to attempt to hit this batting helmet off of the tee.
This is a great tee ball drill for throwing and it is incredible entertainment for them. Whenever I can get some sort of game going with them, it’s a great way to hold their attention.
These drills are great for any tee ball practice. There is a million drills out there that you can incorporate into your routine, but this was a few of my favorites. I truly believe that if you can combine a tee ball drill with entertainment and fundamentals together, you can create some really fun practices.
This drill focuses on hitting and is great for having players keep their eye on the ball as they follow through with their swing.
Take a baseball and draw a red dot on it, about the size of a quarter. Stack the ball on a tee and have the players swing at the baseball while staring at the red dot on it.
This will help the players consistently make contact with the baseball because they are making it a priority to hit this ball every single time, right on the dot.
Try to give each player around 8-10 swings before moving onto the next player.
The Cone Contest
For this fun tee ball hitting drill, you’ll need to pick up some colored cones if you don’t have some already. I recommend getting these colored cones from Amazon since they’re easy to see.
This is a great hitting drill that is really fun and the players (and coaches!) can enjoy.
Start by putting 4 cones at 4 different locations on the field
- First Cone – Placed in front of the pitcher’s mound (1 Point)
- Second Cone – Half way between the pitcher’s mound and second base (2 points)
- Third Cone – At the beginning of the outfield (3 Points)
- Fourth cone – 10 yards past the third cone (4 Points)
Let each player on the team get 4 hits (not swings). Then, record their scores based on the point system above. The player with the highest score total wins.
This drill can be done solo, or in the team format. I personally enjoy doing it in the team format.