I started my son in the Little League® Tee Ball program when he was four. I had worked with him quite a lot prior to that. I know that may sound weird working with a kid at such a young age, but his older brother played baseball, so he was always around. The sport came natural to him, and he loved it. While I wasn’t thrilled he’d be hitting off a tee because he could already hit a pitched ball, I figured we had to start somewhere, and Tee Ball was all that was available.
The coach was great! While I can’t say my son progressed all that much during the Tee Ball season, other kids definitely did, and he had a ton of fun. I was glad he played Tee Ball, and I looked forward to the following year when I assumed there would be some kid pitching. Well, there wasn’t.
My son had the same coach as the year prior. He followed the Coach Pitch program, which focused on fundamentals – fundamentals I felt my son already had. Mid-way through the season, I asked the coach if there would be an opportunity for some kid pitching. He politely said there wouldn’t be.
The following year was about the same. While my son made a ton of new friends and had fun, I felt he needed more. I stayed with the Little League program because I was told that for my son’s 7-year-old season, there would be kid pitching. I was excited not just for him to face pitchers his size and age, but for him to also have a chance on the mound. Well, at registration, I learned my league’s Board of Directors decided to use a pitching machine for 7-year-olds, and that MAYBE toward the end of the season, there MIGHT be some kid pitch. I was told pitching machines are good because they pitch a consistent ball, and help with hand-eye coordination. That was it! No more! It was time for him to play real baseball! I left registration, and pulled him from the Little League program.
I found a local travel ball organization that was offering tryouts for several 10-U teams. Written on their website was … High Level Competition For Competitive Kids. Perfect! The guy running the program told me he was going to have a 7/8-year-old team. My son tried out. The kids were really good, but he made it!