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Q: Although my son's still tee ball age, I think he's ready to step up an age group and play machine pitch ball with the older kids. What do you think?

A: Why hurry? Your son's probably only 6 or 7 and has plenty of baseball ahead of him. Let's remember that only part of the reason you had your son play tee ball was to give him a sport to play. The other part of the reason you had him play tee ball was to expose him to the game of baseball in a way that had him focusing on the basic elements of what is arguably the most difficult skill to master in baseball: hitting. Remember that professional baseball players were hitting baseballs off of tees long before the first tee ball team was formed to improve their swings. The tee and the game of tee ball are first and foremost instruments to aid in player development. The game of tee ball develops good habits and some degree of muscle memory in players before pressure and the relative absence of maturity force them into bad habits while doing whatever it takes to put the bat on a pitched ball, whether that ball has been pitched by a machine, a coach, or by another player. I'd leave him in tee ball with his peers.
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