Built In Batting Practice
- What: Wiffle ball hung on a string
- When: Two years and up
- Why: Practice without pitching
- Where: Your home
For the first time, we’ve started taking my kids to the ballpark regularly. Both boys have taken to baseball like fish to water as a result. (My daughter wants to go see “girls’ baseball” where all the players are girls. I’m still working on that request.) They don’t want to play on a baseball team so much as pretend to be “real” baseball players. For them, that means batting for every player on the roster themselves. On the plus side, they get loads of practice. On the downside, I get tired of pitching, fielding, and racing them to first base, whether the base happens to be a hat, patch of grass, or actual white square on a field.
I came up with the brilliant idea (I actually stole this idea, and I’d give credit where credit’s due if I could remember where I saw it) of tying one of our wiffle balls to a string and suspending it from a branch. I thought it would mean my kids could practice hitting the ball, and a moving target at that, without the need for me to pitch it over and over and over again. They would get lots of hand eye coordination practice and I would stay safely out of range. Voila!
While it did accomplish that, even my three year old hits it so hard that it gets tangled in the branches above on almost every single strike. Instead of pitching the ball, I end up picking it carefully out of the branches. I suspect we need a different tree, or even better branch, but in the meantime, I could use any ideas for improvement.
Oh well. At least they love it.