Teaching baseball with alien games and singalongs

Courtesy of the Bulldog Ball Club
Credit: Bulldog Ball Club

Kids have been learning the right way to run around a baseball diamond for ages.

But one city organization lets them do it while pretending to be aliens.

The Bulldog Ball Club teaches more than just catching a ball – instructors focus on singing and games to teach America’s pastime.

Founder Steve DeBlasi says he hopes that teaching the fundamentals in ways that focus more on the fun of the sport sticks with players.

“As they grow older, teaching the older players would be a lot easier,” he says. “I had worked with a lot of older kids and noticed that it was always harder to unlearn something.”

DeBlasi grew up playing baseball, hoping to play professionally until he suffered an injury. In 2003, he started teaching private sessions, which expanded to group lessons.

“We really saw a need for the younger players,” he says, “because everybody can teach the older guys how to play baseball.”

Their classes are for children ages 3 to 10. Younger students require more creativity, he notes.

“If they want to be aliens or monsters running around the bases,” that’s fine, he says, “just something that’s age appropriate for the 4- and 5-year-olds, as opposed to telling a 4- to 5-year-old, ‘You need to run to this base.’”

They tell children instead, for example, that they are a train going through a station, and they can’t move on until another train is ready for the station – that’s when they can run to the next base.

Instructors teach the same mechanics of the game, he adds, but in different ways – a singalong about how to learn the bases, for example, or a game modeled on “Duck, Duck Goose” that is instead “Ball, Ball Strike.”

“They’re just having fun,” he says. “And at the end of the day, or the end of the season, they realize, now they know the rules.”

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.