Teaching baseball to very young players can be difficult because small children can have a real fear of getting hurt by the ball. This is especially the case when it comes to playing in the infield. Coaches and parents need to address this and create a real desire to play the game without fear in order to succeed.
Early baseball teaching can give young players the right techniques and habits so they can have fun without any fear. Getting the desire to win can start at an early age, and will stay with a player for life.
Just because players are young, that doesn’t mean the basic rules of the game should be overlooked.
In order to get past the initial fear of the game, a coach should take it slow. And to keep it extra safe, start learning the rules of the game with softer balls. You can use a tennis ball, a Nerf or any other kind of soft rubber ball. Have the players learn the rules while slowly getting used to the ball. Coaches or parents should make it clear that if a child is ever hit with the ball, any pain or injury will be short-lived.
Kids should start just throwing and catching the ball, before dealing with the bat. Eventually, work up to hitting and fielding the ball. Regular running will also build up stamina and the muscles needed for base running later on. Endurance is important, but also the ability to sprint quickly. Along with running, more advanced students need to learn how (and when) to safely slide into base.
Between the physical practice, players need to learn the rules of the game, how baseball is scored and some basic strategy when playing. It may seem like a lot at first for a youngster, but he or she will soon be comfortable with the game.
Above all, keep the game fun and help them develop a keen interest in the game. A good competitive spirit and a drive to win is what a young player need to carry him far in the sport.