In years past, the youngest children in the neighborhood learned baseball in the back yard from the older kids, with a mixture of inspiration and impatience, depending on their talents and ability to learn quickly.
Today’s kids have the benefit of enthusiastic adult coaches and a team of kids their own age, giving them a gentle introduction to the sport.
At the Naperville Park District, T-Ball is the first step in learning to play baseball. Previously, T-Ball was for kids entering kindergarten or first grade. Starting this summer, kids who are four or five years of age but not starting kindergarten in the fall will have their own T-Ball league.
Young, developing athletes will learn how to hit a ball off a baseball tee in addition to developing catching, throwing and base-running skills. Weekly recreational games also will be played, which will demonstrate the importance of sportsmanship and teamwork in sports.
According to the T-Ball USA Association, an estimated 2.2 million children ranging from 4-8 years of age participate in T-Ball annually.
A key to the success of the sport is the availability of supportive adult coaches. Parents interested in coaching for the first time may want to attend the Naperville Park District’s free Baseball: T-ball/Coach Pitch Coaches’ Clinic coming in May (date to be determined). Morgan Singel from Kids First Sports Safety, Inc. will provide a high quality presentation.
Coaches will be given baseball drills to help prepare practices. This knowledge will make the coaching experience more enjoyable for coaches and players alike.
To register for the free coaches’ clinic or to register your child for T-Ball, visitwww.napervilleparks.org.