Welcome to Team Pennsbury Magik
Hello Magik Families!
For those of you who are veterans from seasons past, welcome back. And for those of you who are joining up this year, we are happy to have you join our team.
Our overarching goal is to have FUN, creating excitement and sensitivity among the kids while building baseball AND social skills. We have seen that playing baseball helps kids to develop in so many areas including social belonging, motor planning, cognitive skills, and emotional growth including self assertion, risk taking, judgment, resilience, frustration tolerance and emotion regulation. Development in all these areas builds self confidence and self esteem.
Team Magik has a crew of dedicated parents and older players who help out by mentoring our players including Greg and Amy McQuibbon who have been coaching with me (Coach Alan) for many years. We try to be sensitive to your child's developmental level and create successful experiences, while challenging them to take the next step in their learning .For instance, learning that in baseball, three strikes and your turn at bat is over can be extremely frustrating for beginners and we don't enforce it at first. At a certain point, when we think the child is ready, we will introduce the idea. Often the players begin to take pride in following the rules and accept they are "out" and their peers praise them for ending their turn.
Practices usually include
1. calisthenics/warmup - helping to develop body and spatial awareness (we line up along the first base line and make sure we have space between each player)
2. one on one time with a mentor fielding ground balls and learning proper throwing mechanics.
3. running the bases
4. hitting off the tee and/or hitting gentle live pitching
5. dividing up to "play" an inning or two with each child getting a chance to hit and play the field.
6. Come together for a closing team chant
As skills develop we eventually start by having players take the field and begin practice by fielding ground balls and throwing to first base.
When the players are in the dugout, we often try to facilitate social interaction by asking them to share something about themselves - their name, favorite food, favorite activity, and encourage camaraderie by rooting for each other as they bat.
Particularly when we begin, setting up basic safety expectations are important. We need to make sure that kids stay with us and can follow directions, respect physical boundaries, etc.
Does your child need help....
distinguishing between left and right?
putting their glove on their non-throwing hand?
knowing when it is safe to practice hitting with a bat?
We will work on these areas but the more preparation your child has the better. Please let us know if there are any particular strategies that work well with your child. If you anticipate any particular challenges please help out as necessary.
Ultimately we want the players to be able to participate as independently as possible from parents. On occasion we invite parents to greet their child as they cross home plate for a high 5 celebration.
Remember to bring your child's personal helmet, bat, glove, and keep track of all of your equipment.
Physical comfort is extremely important for our kids. Bring water and make sure to dress your child for the weather. Some of our kids can be especially sensory sensitive. It can help to prepare your child if it is going to be hot, sunny or windy/cold. Let your child know that it's ok to get a bit dirty when you play baseball on a dirt field.