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TONY ABBATINE
Frozen Ropes
National Training Center       
24 Old Black Meadow Rd.
Chester, NY 10918      
845-469-7331

How to fix the Little League enrollment problem facing the nation!

October 18, 2016

Over the last decade enrollment in Little League- America's pastime- has declined in most parts of the country.

 

We can blame video games, lacrosse, soccer and the like, but unless we make wholesale changes soon, the greatest sports institution in America will continue to erode. 

 

Eliminate T Ball: The ball on a stick gig is boring and it's like watching wet paint dry at the T-ball level. One player hitting with 9-12 other players chasing the occasionally hit ball? Solution: Play a 5v5 Speed ball game. Divide the two full T-ball teams into four and they play an action-packed front toss hitting game where cones on the field keep players in their fielding lanes. A 3-second clock requires the fielder to release the ball quickly.  Three games go on at the same time on a field and every 20 minutes, teams play another group of Fab 5. Added feature is to have the hitter wear a soft hands pancake and hit with this lighter, easier to connect device.  More offense, less standing around and hitting with a timing challenge that helps in their early skill development!

 

Copy Soccer and have a Technical Director: Support your leagues, coaching and player development from the draft and on-field skills camps to game teaching, coaching seminars and sports parenting sessions (not the one event that the majority of the coaches don’t attend). For a few more dollars per player, get professional help from the beginning so your players and coaches can teach a similar system that ensures continuity and skill success. Telling players to have fun and instilling positive coaching techniques is wonderful.  If a young child who was drawn to the best social and sporting institution ever(little league) doesn’t make contact with a pitch or is bored stiff picking flowers in the outfield, next year we lose him to the stick and the kick alternatives or worse- he doesn’t play sports anymore.

 

-Tony Abbatine

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