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Mar, 2021

Which Program is best for my player?

My Tee - This is our introduction to baseball for 3 to 6 year olds who have never swung a bat or thrown a ball. This group meets for 30-45min once per week to learn the basics of throwing, catching, hitting, and running the bases in an environment that promotes fun. Adults are active participants along with their players. Players use wiffle balls and bats in order to promote safety. 


Tee Ball - This program, for players ages 5 - 7,  focuses on learning the fundamentals of hitting and throwing, with the addition of team play. Players will have at least one practice and one game per week. Players will be grouped in teams of 5-7 players to allow for lots of at bats and lots of fielding opportunities. Teams will have a game once per week which emphasizes baserunning and team play. We don’t keep score in these games as learning to play the game is more a focus than competition. Teams will use a spongy baseball that is not as hard as a real baseball but allows for realistic play. 


Farm League - This program, for players ages 7-8, builds skills and understanding to prepare players to play real games. Fundamentals of hitting and throwing will be stressed, with additional instruction on positional play, and the introduction of hitting a moving ball - whether pitched by a coach or a pitching machine. Teams of 6-8 players will have 2 practices and one game per week. Games will focus on positional play and baserunning. Teams will use a mix of a spongy baseball that is not as hard as a real baseball but allows for realistic play and real baseballs as skills improve. 



 Figuring out which program to choose is often confusing - especially if your youngster is particularly athletic and shows an interest in baseball or softball. It is important to understand that children do get bigger and stronger as they progress, and while it’s not unheard of to have a 5 year old play Farm league, that 5 year old should be able to catch a thrown ball, and have an awareness of how the game is played. Similarly, it might feel awkward for a 6 year old to be with the MyTee squad, but if a child doesn’t have a lot of experience with a team sport or the idea of baseball, it might be a more welcome introduction than Tee Ball. 


Our Competitive programs (where the players pitch to one another, we keep score, and play against teams from other towns) begin with Minors (ages 8-10) and Majors (ages 10-12). The big differences between Minors and Majors are speed of play, base stealing, and pitching. While many organizations play “wide open” baseball in Minors, our District takes a more gentle approach. Often times we have coaches pitch when our pitchers can’t find the strike zone (after say 3 walks in an inning) and we usually play a limit of 5 runs per inning. 


Over the years we have had parents ask if their child can play up (a seven year old playing Minors or a nine year old playing Majors). In non-Covid times we would have one or two days in the pre-season devoted to “Player Assessments” where our coaches would evaluate players who wanted to play up. Since we can’t have larger gatherings at this point, that process is much more difficult - although not out of the question. Our suggestion would be to sign up your player for the program that is age appropriate (Farm if age 7 and Minor if age 9) and reach out to our Player Agent through our email, [email protected]

 

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Clyde Whittemore Little League

PO Box 587 
Waterbury, Vermont 05676

Email Us: [email protected]
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