Baserunning is one of the most challenging and fun times in t-ball. The challenging aspect is getting the kids to run the correct way from home to first to second to third and back to home again. The fun with baserunning is that you will see kids run every which way on the field and sometimes off the field away from the bases. Here is some advice. When your kids create a different way running the bases that you never taught, especially early in the season, go with it and have a good laugh. You will see things you never imagined. Just have fun with it before you begin to over coach raising your voice at 5 and 6 years old. Trust me that t-ball frustrations turn into good laughs as your kids get older.
Remember that many kids take your words literally on things you say. If you tell them that we are going to practice going from “home to second.” Then guess what, you may have some kids in the front of the line that will go directly from home to second not going near first. You have to describe the running you will practice then demonstrate it.
I had a player once who would hit the ball and run to third base instead of first in games. We realized quickly that Andrew, our only lefty hitter thought righties ran to first and lefties ran to third after they hit the ball.
Here is a t-ball baserunning tip that works. I put into affect the American flag technique realizing that some young kids know the color of the flag better than where each base is. I got three drop down rubber bases and keeping one white I spray painted one red and one blue. I put the red one at first, the white at second and the blue at third. I instructed the players that the running direction you want to go is: red, white and blue, just like the American flag. This worked!
When teaching base running, utilize assistant coaches and parents directing players on the base paths. Be patient and have fun with this skill!