A child turning 4 years of age is an exciting time in his life and that of his parents, because it marks the time he joins an organized baseball sports league and starts playing T ball. For the first time, he’ll meet fellow 4-year olds, put on a team baseball uniform for the first time, lace up his first pair of cleats, and put on his first baseball glove. The team selects the uniform, but parents pick out the baseball glove. For value and the durability, and protection for a beginning player, many parents of other team players select the Franklin Sports RTP Tee ball Performance Glove and Ball Combo.
The Franklin brand glove, at 8 inches in height from the bottom hand sleeve to the tip of the finger webbing, is one of the smallest regulation gloves that can be purchased for the first-time player. Baseball gloves are made to be much larger than the hand to help with fielding, and the Franklin Tee ball glove has an adjustable wrist closure to help keep a child’s hand snug and fitting well inside.
Franklin Sports Company has been a leading glove manufacturer since 1946 and is as well-known as other baseball glove producers like Wilson and Rawlings. Their years in the business and providing baseball gloves to Little League and other organized sports speaks well of their highly rated glove products.
The glove’s size, at 8 X 7 X 4.7 inches, also fits well within regulations created by national tee ball associations. Tee ball began in the 1950s and has become intercontinental, with national associations as for away as Australia. Little League in the states also has regulations and guidelines for tee ball, such as bat length and the type of baseball used.
One league regulation specifies the size and weight of the baseball used for tee ball as being up to 9.5 inches around and weighing up to 5 ounces, with a sponge rubber center. The Franklin T ball glove comes with a regulation size and weight baseball, at 9.5 inches circumference, and is perfect for parents to use for home practice with their child.
Tee ball is a simplified version of baseball, geared towards very young, first time players. Although it’s baseball simplified, tee ball associations strive to teach children the rules and regulations of regular baseball, and helps prepare them for Little League, followed by high school competition.
The main difference between tee ball and regulation baseball is that in baseball, a pitcher throws to a batter, whereas in tee ball, the batter hits the ball off an adjustable batting tee that’s placed on home plate. This is what older and more experienced players do during self and team practice, because hitting off a batting tee helps all hitters refine their batting stance and their stride to the swing through the baseball.
For defensive play, organized tee ball teaches players how many players are on each team and the nine defensive positions that are played in the game. Coaches have devised exciting and fast paced drills designed to keep players involved and interested. There’s a lot of movement as players relocate from one position on the diamond to the next and have balls hit to them.
Franklin’s Ready to Play Tee Ball Performance Baseball glove doesn’t require breaking in like other gloves do. Its technical mesh construction material is soft and easy for 4-year olds to open and close around the hand. Although it is common sense for older players, this glove for younger and starter players fits on the left hand for right handed throwers. The gloves are made for specific hands, so if your child is left handed, he or she would wear a right-handed glove.
The glove is extremely lightweight so it will be comfortable for a 4-year-old to use. The gloves are also quite durable, able to withstand the abuse that is normally associated with a baseball glove and can often be kept over the winter and used the following year in the same condition as it was in the first year.
Because they come already broken in and ready to use, they can be removed from the box and used right away. Each glove is sturdy and not flimsy, so they’ll do what they are intended to do – field ground balls and pop flies. They also have a variety of color options, so kids can pick and choose their own favorite bright color.
The Importance of Taking the Time to Play Catch
The world is a much busier place today than it was ever before in modern history. It seems that time management has become a job skill all by itself. Trying to find even a few minutes to stop and give children attention seems to be an impossibility. But when parents realize how little time in each day they need to devote to developing their child’s baseball fielding skills, the task becomes much less daunting.
The most basic skill in baseball is the ability to catch a baseball, both grounders and popups. The sooner they start learning to perform this fundamental skill, the better. It’s best to start at the youngest age possible because fielding involves muscle coordination as well as eye to hand coordination. Most important, it teaches kids how to track a baseball with their eyes and follow it from the air, or the ground and into their baseball gloves.
10 minutes per day is the time a parent can spend playing catch with their four-year old. The drills don’t even need to be all that complicated. All that’s really needed, in addition to their baseball glove, is a bucket. You don’t need a baseball, because the Franklin Ready to Play glove comes with a PU foam baseball.
The bucket is used to train your four-year old to drop the ball into after he or she fields. It. You can start with slow rollers to your player. Place the bucket about 10 feet distance away. Roll a ground ball and have your child place his glove on the ground for the ball to roll into. He picks up the glove, takes the ball out of the glove pocket, then runs over to the bucket to drop it in.
An easier drill is to simply roll ground balls to him first and have him throw them back to you about 10 feet away. As his skill develops you can take a step of two back, increasing his throwing distance to 12, then 15 feet. As he or she improves you can roll faster ground balls to him to field to throw back to you.
If any coach was asked to choose which skill he’d want a starting player to learn first, it would most likely be fielding ground balls and pop flies. Out of the four core skills a baseball player has, running, hitting, throwing and fielding, the skills which takes the longest to develop are fielding and throwing accurately.
A parent can turn a routine practice with their child into the time to teach them the essential skills of fielding and throwing as well as catching up with what’s happening in their lives. As you throw a roller on the ground, your child can field and throw it back or drop it in the bucket. After a short period a conversation can break out. Eventually, if ten to 15 minutes per day is budgeted toward teaching essential fielding and throwing skills, your child will show improvement and you’ll be making much-needed daily connections as well.
One of the most essential things taught to a child in daily practice is learning not to be afraid of the baseball. The ball that comes packaged with the Franklin ready to Play Glove is made of soft foam material, so even if it makes contact, it won’t hurt.
In team practice, they will likely use a ball with a foam rubber core, which is almost the same as the baseball that you get with the new glove. At some point, coaches will switch players to harder baseballs, with a rubber core, because this kind of ball travels farther and faster.
Starting out early practicing with your child also helps you to understand the process of signing them up in a baseball league. You’ll learn how it works and how children are assigned to teams. Later on, when you watch your child play, you’ll have a greater understanding of the challenges coaches face teaching children to play the game. Even more, you may decide to volunteer to assist in preparing for games and go as far as making the decision to coach your own team. It starts with the simple act of throwing a ball for your child to field into his first baseball glove.
Other Key Features of the Franklin Ready to Play Baseball Glove
Other parents who’ve purchased the Franklin Ready to Play glove talk about how this model was the smallest they could find for their child that had this kind of durability in its workmanship. A lot of first-time purchase baseball gloves are designed as if they will become obsolete due to the wearer’s growth as soon as the season ends. Accordingly, such gloves are not made to help with scoop up the baseball, or even with decent webbing that can hold the baseball without it dropping out as soon as the glove is closed.
The Franklin brand glove has often been handed down to younger children once the wearer outgrows it, and parents claim it in the same condition it was when first purchased. Gloves will wear out over time, but it’s a testament from the durability of this glove and its 70-year old company, whose products are exclusively tied to the manufacture of sporting equipment.
Another popular comment with parents is the inexpensive price for the Franklin Ready to Play Glove. Parents have been known to pay anywhere from $50.00 to $100.00 for a first baseball glove, and in may cases even these more expensive gloves can lack the flexibility, nor are they ready for first time use out of the box.
Kids have reported really liking the Franklin Ready to Play glove. Besides the comfortable and secure feel it provides for their hands, the colors on the glove are bright and attractive, especially to kids. Coming in eight different color varieties, there’s a color that any boy or girl will be drawn to. Colors combinations like graphite and pink (for girls), and navy/ red, black/white, black/tan and solid Royal Blue are only some of the color options.
How the Franklin RTP Tee Ball Glove Benefits During Team Practice
Four to five-year old players can expect to start learning about the baseball diamond, and the names of each position. From there, they are each placed in each of the nine positions and can get an idea of the distance from home plate and as far out as the outfield.
Starting players, much like older players, are given a series of drills to perform, involving fielding, hitting, throwing and running during a standard tee ball practice. These drills are at first performed as a team, and as time goes on and individual abilities become recognized by the coaches, and practice may split off.
Little League tee ball coaches run a series of drills for starting players that are both fun for the kids while at the same time improving their coordination while helping them learn to work with others. A prime example of cooperation in action is the Square Drill.
Young players set up in a square and stand 10-15 feet apart. The first player tosses underhand to the player on his left and the player who catches tosses to his left, and so on. Once a rhythm is established, the players soft toss faster and faster to each other, until the ball moves quickly from hand to glove, out of glove to hand, and then a hand toss to the next player.
The Franklin Tee Ball Performance Glove works well for your child in this common drill, because the flexible, comfortable material permits a good catch with the glove, then removing and tossing. Children learn the coordination of catching, pulling the ball from the glove webbing, then tossing, these three movements as quickly and as fluid as possible.
Another popular drill for starting players is “Game of 21”, which focuses on player accuracy. The team is split in half, and players line up facing each other about 10 feet apart.
Each team is further split into teams consisting of two players each, facing each other at a 10-foot distance. Points are awarded to each player who throws to the other accurately. So, when Player A throws and it’s caught by Player B in the center of his body, Player A scores 3 points. Outside the target, to the right of the catcher, and the thrower is awarded 2 points. Further outside and away from the catching player is one point. The first thrower to reach 21 wins.
Why It’s a Good Idea to Start Children Young Playing Baseball
Many skills that are used later in life, whether inside or outside of the game, are learned playing a team sport like baseball. For teams to succeed, kids need to learn the value of teamwork and working with others towards a common goal.
In baseball, everyone makes an individual contribution towards the team effort by working with their abilities, running, fielding, throwing and hitting. Children become oriented towards a common objective. At ages 4 through 7, the goal is not to win baseball games. It is not fair to children at this age to make them achieve the goal of winning every week. Any coach who has a “winning is all that matters” mindset will not be focusing on the more important skills children learn, like self-discipline and the value of working as one through individual contribution.
There are many examples of this approach in business. Some adults work in a sales environment, for example. Instituted are daily, weekly, monthly and yearly sales goals. The office or the store staff work together to achieve the objective of meeting or exceeding the sales objectives by making individual contributions, like parts of a whole. This approach is seen in microcosm on a baseball team.
Some become entrepreneurs who create a product or an idea and wish to market it to achieve a financial objective. The entrepreneur works with marketing and a sales team to promote his product. Each person in the group making individual contributions towards a mutual goal.
A 4-man rock band are practicing a song that the guitarist wrote. The keyboardist writes the lyrics of the song and the drummer and bassist join in to turn disparate ideas into one whole, which becomes a song. Each part of the whole makes contributions, and without each member the song would remain incomplete.
Starting children in baseball builds life skills and awareness of each person’s role in the collective whole. The Franklin Tee Ball Glove, made to last and to be used right from the box, is a great addition towards you child’s baseball gear, helping him to catch and to throw better and make a larger individual contribution. Here is some more information about this product.