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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Top 5 Ways Tiny Teeball Improves Over Time

I never understood the stages of tiny sports until we reached soccer and just tried to get through a game without "crying" let alone actual playing. Every year and each new sport offers up another bag of tiny goals that are usually completely unrelated to the skill of the actual sport, but mostly about the basics of how to get through an hour of involvement with the sport. Which is surprisingly difficult for boys ages 3 and 4.

So far, we're knocking out some of those pretty quickly, which means in the next year or so, we might actually even play a sport and be interested in playing it correctly! I'm excited. But for now I'm being patient with things like "no twirling in the outfield."

So I started thinking about the major differences I've seen over just the past few games of tiny teeball and here are the ones I've seen since the season started.

Top 5 Then and Nows of Tiny Teeball

1. Then: Twirling. Lots and lots of twirling.
Now: Minimal twirling. It used to be he'd twirl most of the game, play in the dirt and then twirl some more. Now we're just at minimal twirling and lots of playing in the dirt! Hooray! Our goal is no twirling, but there is one other kid who's 4 on the team and he twirls too. So based on that (very unscientific evidence) I think twirling is normal for "4." We're also targeting no digging, pulling out the grass or making mudpies. Sometime we think he has a bright future in landscaping he's so concerned about it but for now, we'll work on the twirling. One step at a time here!

2. Then: throwing the bat as hard as he can after hitting the ball.
Now: No more throwing of the bat across the field after hitting off the tee. He nearly took out one of the coaches in the first game, but now he carefully drops the bat and runs to first.

3. Then: zero acknowledgement of game aspect (i.e. terms like running, quick, fast, etc.)
Now: Runs to first! Runs out of the dugout! Hooray! Running in general! Now, mind you, some of the games are either at naptime (1pm) or at 6:30 (bedtime is at 7pm.) Until we got used to this, we petered out halfway through the game (read: more twirling) and when running to first would always peter out halfway there and walk to first base while everyone on both sides screamed, "Run! Run!" We haven't done that in a while. This is good.



Now: No more running and tackling other players who got the ball first. Always a bonus. Used to be he'd be on top of that pile. The pile is still pretty funny. I have lots of pile pictures.
5. Then: No understanding of baseball lingo.
Now: Basic understanding of baseball lingo. Sayings like, "Take a knee," "Hustle!" "Ball on tee!" "Ready position!" "Go home!" "Pitcher's mound" don't fly right over his head anymore. It used to be I'd have to take note of the things the coaches were saying and all the kids would stare back blankly about and remember to go over it at home. I still have to do that but it seems the basics are now understood. However, it's not entirely unusual to see this on the field.

And this is where we learned the saying, "Look alive!"

We haven't gotten to "choke up" yet. I'm still waiting for that one, and it scares me a little.

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