Wee ball is the first step in a child’s baseball or softball experience. The game consists of four innings, in which each player on the team is given an opportunity to bat and run the bases. Because the children are very young, holding their attention will require structure and discipline. Doing exercise drills before each game and practice allows the children to get in the mindset of what they need to do and what is going to happen. The drills need to stay simple and fun, keeping the children focused on baseball skills and team building.
Before starting warm-up drills, the children need to properly stretch using basic floor exercises. Begin each lesson by having the children stretch their leg muscles. To do this, have them separate their feet shoulder width apart, bend at the waist and try to touch their toes. Hold for 10 seconds and do a few repetitions. An additional warm up is to have the kids move their arms in circles with their arms fully extended. Make big and little circles for about 30 seconds. Multiple repetitions stretch arm, back and shoulder muscles to prevent injury.
Most children are thrilled to be on a baseball field and are bouncing with energy as soon as their cleats touch the dirt. To work out some of their energy, let the children run one base at a time. The first runner in the line runs to first. When the second runner starts to run to first, the initial runner goes to second. The third person will start to run toward first when the two in the field reach their desired base. Each child will get a turn to run and practice stopping at each base. When the last child is running, allow them to pause at each base and then continue to the next.
A fun drill for all the teammates is batting. Have half of the children line up in the dugout, while the other half are in the infield. One child at a time comes from the dugout to hit the teed ball and run to first. Once all of the children have hit the ball and have run the bases, switch teams so that the fielding team bats and the batting team plays the fielding positions.
Place the children in two evenly numbered rows approximately six feet apart. Have the children practice throwing the ball to their partner. Walk behind the children giving useful instruction on how to improve their throwing. Have the children throw ground balls and pop flies to get them used to using their gloved hand.
- Photo Credit baseball in glove image by leafy from Fotolia.com
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