Posted on September 20, 2013
I am coaching a lower division t-ball team that consists of 4 and 5 yr olds, and one 6 yr old. Most of the teams consist of 9 players. The league has decided that since my team has 11 players, they have placed us in the upper division. The ages in the upper division are 5 and 6.
You would think it would make us better, but it has made it harder to get them motivated. Some have never played before. We can’t change the team set-up now, so do you have any helpful pointers? Thanks!
Gerald R. Lee II, CWCA
I guess I don’t truly understand your problem because if you’re telling me that you’re playing up in the upper division because you have 11 players, not because of the ability then you have one of the dumbest rules and league I ever heard of that doesn’t really make any sense. If what you’re telling me that you have one or two players that force you up and that upper division because of their age, then that’s another story.
I know exactly what you’re talking about as far as playing with five and six year olds. Because I’m coaching a team exactly like that with my grandson and my granddaughter and we have to play in a coach pitch 8 and under league. The biggest deal here is that you don’t worry and you make a huge deal out of the score not being important. What is important is each accomplishment is what you celebrate and just like hitting the ball and running or picking it up and throwing. Your letter indicates that your worrying about motivation, when in truth just playing to be all the motivation they need not sure hundred percent what you mean by motivation. But little kids like that normally just love to play, let them play in different positions and set goals that you know they’re going to accomplish. Just like this past Sunday we had three goals— for six out of the 12 players to hit the ball, to make one out in the field, and scored one run and we were able to do that because of the way the league is built – inning consists of three outs, seven runs, or batting through the order when we change. We know that were going to accomplish almost every one of these and this week we will have a little different set of goals, but that’s what were you tell them are going to try to do and have fun. Then after the game we will make comment immediately away from the parents. So is just you and the coaches and the players talking to each other about what you got accomplished today and how much fun it was. Make no mistake about it all you’re doing is creating organized play with this age group you’re not creating baseball players you’re creating social skills, fun, and organizational aspects that they will need to work with. But winning and losing is the last thing that needs to be even brought up.
The very first year I coached we were eight year olds in a 10 under league we were 0-44, and the thing they remember to this very day is that we went to Pizza Hut and celebrated a rainout. but by the time they were 12 years old we were 2nd in the BABE RUTH WORLD SERIES for 12 and under.
Let me know what you think and hope that I’ve created some thought process.
Coach Arnald Swift