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  #1  
Old 06-12-19, 02:34 PM
Peak Peak is offline
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Tryouts

I wanted to pick the collective brain of this site. My son has been lucky enough to play on the same team for the last 6 years. This year has changed, as the boys are now 13-14 and not all the same skill level, or interest level in some cases. The boys are starting to separate themselves, and you can see those who are committed from those who aren't. Those that aren't are making mistakes in the field and running bases, they miss signs, etc. My son has come home frustrated and embarassed many times, and has openly asked about changing teams.

I've had multiple coaches on his current team ask me about where his mind is and what he thinks of this year. I've been honest with them and consistent with my answers. Essentially, things need to change. He wants to play on a competitive team. We, as a family, were told this would be a competitive team. Unfortunately, it isn't and this doesn't seem to change. I was told the team would conduct tryouts and take a more competitive stance next year.

How have you handled tryouts in the past? Did your son just leave his team and go to a new one? Do you try to work with the existing team to see if changes are made, but still tryout for other teams? I liken this process to interviewing for a job, but I don't think it's that intense with deadlines. Or is it?

First time going through this and I want to do what's right for my son and his interests. Just not sure about the process. Hearing how others navigated it would help, I think.
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Old 06-12-19, 02:49 PM
thavoice thavoice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peak View Post
I wanted to pick the collective brain of this site. My son has been lucky enough to play on the same team for the last 6 years. This year has changed, as the boys are now 13-14 and not all the same skill level, or interest level in some cases. The boys are starting to separate themselves, and you can see those who are committed from those who aren't. Those that aren't are making mistakes in the field and running bases, they miss signs, etc. My son has come home frustrated and embarassed many times, and has openly asked about changing teams.

I've had multiple coaches on his current team ask me about where his mind is and what he thinks of this year. I've been honest with them and consistent with my answers. Essentially, things need to change. He wants to play on a competitive team. We, as a family, were told this would be a competitive team. Unfortunately, it isn't and this doesn't seem to change. I was told the team would conduct tryouts and take a more competitive stance next year.

How have you handled tryouts in the past? Did your son just leave his team and go to a new one? Do you try to work with the existing team to see if changes are made, but still tryout for other teams? I liken this process to interviewing for a job, but I don't think it's that intense with deadlines. Or is it?

First time going through this and I want to do what's right for my son and his interests. Just not sure about the process. Hearing how others navigated it would help, I think.
*Teams/coaches will do and say whatever it takes to keep most of their players even if it means they are destined to be a backup like the season before.

*Some teams hold tryouts, do not select any one who shows up, and then calls players from other teams to join whom didn't even try out.

*Grass isn't always greener on the other diamond. You can go to a team who has a coaching staff with their own priorities (uh hmm, their son's) and if those match that of your son then, well, goodluck with that.

*Even if there is an independent group/person evaluating the talent at the tryouts and gives you an offer to join it doesn't necessarily mean he will get to play the positions "promised" or what he tried out for.

*Just because they may hold tryouts and say they will be more competitive next year doesn't mean it will come to be. There are so many of these teams out there promising the world and the talent gets spread out.





I say give it a go and try out.. Do your due diligence in seeking a different team and make sure you know the background of the coaches. The last thing you want to do is jump ship into the unknown and find your son behind a few coaches kids.......Just because you try out some place else doesn't mean you have to go there if accepted.
  #3  
Old 06-12-19, 04:28 PM
seetheball2 seetheball2 is offline
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Diamond Hit Club

I would give DHC a try. The program cares about each player and their goals. They have tryouts posted and will provide a comprehensive evaluation of your son and help him reach his goals.
  #4  
Old 06-12-19, 08:28 PM
BASESWIMPARENT BASESWIMPARENT is offline
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After doing this for about ten years, I have some thoughts: (1) Get your kid on the best team that he will get consistent playing time. Playing time is the most important thing as a player does not develop when he is sitting. (2) Try to find a team with no parents involved. You are getting to the point where daddy ball is a big problem and cause all kinds of drama and motivational issues. (3) Finally, find a team where the coaches actually coach the individual fundamentals and help with the players individual development. It is important.
  #5  
Old 06-13-19, 09:00 AM
Peak Peak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BASESWIMPARENT View Post
After doing this for about ten years, I have some thoughts: (1) Get your kid on the best team that he will get consistent playing time. Playing time is the most important thing as a player does not develop when he is sitting. (2) Try to find a team with no parents involved. You are getting to the point where daddy ball is a big problem and cause all kinds of drama and motivational issues. (3) Finally, find a team where the coaches actually coach the individual fundamentals and help with the players individual development. It is important.
His team right now offers the most playing time - he's a starter and plays all over the IF and OF, he's also the #2 hitter on the team. This was a competitive team up until this point. My concern with tryouts is that he won't get the playing time, or may turn into a PO with small time in the OF.

Every team I've seen so far in our area is Daddy ball, which is annoying. That is one request I have for our current team is to bring in an outside HC. I'm willing to pay more in team fees to cover this, as are some other parents. But our HC has some control issues, IMO.

Fundamentals is big. I work with my son on off days for fielding, base running and pitching as I know he won't get the time during practice. Definite points I'm looking for in another team.
  #6  
Old 06-13-19, 09:05 AM
Peak Peak is offline
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Originally Posted by seetheball2 View Post
I would give DHC a try. The program cares about each player and their goals. They have tryouts posted and will provide a comprehensive evaluation of your son and help him reach his goals.
Thanks, but that's not going to help. It's not you, it's me. We just live on completely different sides of the state. The distance is too great. It just wouldn't work out.
  #7  
Old 06-16-19, 08:46 AM
cabezadecaballo cabezadecaballo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BASESWIMPARENT View Post
After doing this for about ten years, I have some thoughts: (1) Get your kid on the best team that he will get consistent playing time. Playing time is the most important thing as a player does not develop when he is sitting. (2) Try to find a team with no parents involved. You are getting to the point where daddy ball is a big problem and cause all kinds of drama and motivational issues. (3) Finally, find a team where the coaches actually coach the individual fundamentals and help with the players individual development. It is important.
All sound advice here.^



Go out to the ball fields and watch some games at your sons age. Take the time. All the teams have their schedules on line. See who interests you, but also see what kind of travel suits you. Watch the coach run a game. Talk to the coach, but some coaches will stretch the truth. Talk to parents, but some are malcontents. You should observe them for a while first. See what the training is like. Once or twice a week off-season ? A facility that you and your son can get a tunnel in any time it's open ? When my middle boy was 12, his team had 20+ practices with a 60+ game schedule. The top 14u of the same club played all the same events and in the same league and had no in-season practices. Teams vary greatly within the same club sometimes. It's all about the head coach.
  #8  
Old 06-16-19, 10:20 PM
thavoice thavoice is offline
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Ask the coach his philosophy on innings/pitches for his pitchers if your kid pitches. Saw a caoch this weekend at the 13 level have to forfeit a game in their tournament because he pitched the kid too much (31 outs....over ten innings) and another coach threw his kid 130 odd pitches on Thursday, and over 100 again on Sunday morning/

Gottta get that scholly at the 13 yr old level!!!!!!!!!!
  #9  
Old 06-16-19, 10:53 PM
Hitnrun Hitnrun is offline
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An important thing at this age is for a parent to be honest about their kids current level of talent. It's easy to say your son starts at any position, gets tons of playing time, and his team has proven to be competitive. But, competitive vs what talent? If you really feel he has the game, and potential for improvement, it's important to challenge him with the best competition he can comfortably play with. You always want him to play, which is understandable. Sometimes getting better coaching, more opportunities vs better comp but less playing time can be more beneficial in the long run. As these kids advance thru the various travel leagues and tournaments, the better talent will be recognized. Good luck
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Old 06-16-19, 11:28 PM
HomeRunsNDunks HomeRunsNDunks is offline
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It’s very much like a job interview process to a point. A job is your livelihood and summer baseball is...well it’s summer baseball. I would tell the team you’re looking at other places. If they want you to be a part of their team, they’re not going to cut your kid or anything. If they do, you shouldn’t want to play for them anyways. When looking for teams, talk around. Talk to a high school coach, other parents, etc. See what people have to say about the organizations. Also, talk to the coach or prospective coach, or the program director. Remember that they’re going to try to sell you on their program and how it’s the best but ask questions on things you want to know, and not just basic, easy ones. Find out what your son’s goals are and how that program can get him there. Yes, it’s true that the grass isn’t always greener. But the odds of your program not watering the grass this year, and then really watering it next year are low. This is about the time that your son will really need to develop skills if he wants to play collegiately. My advice is to find an organi-(89! That does that. Just my two cents.
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Old 06-17-19, 02:57 PM
Progress? Progress? is offline
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Use your resources

Peak, use your resources and experience in whatever league(s) your son plays in. If your son is on the top side of the talent pool and you've paid attention during games there's probably a short list of teams you feel could be a good opportunity & fit. Take your short list and talk to your son and see if your list matches his. IF you can find a few common teams, reach out and start conversations and understand what their looking for and if that matches.
My son had a similar issue and it ultimately worked out really well, but the year after he moved was tough because I didn't follow the advise from above. I went with the "new" team who promised the world. My son knew a lot more than I gave him credit for.
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Old 06-17-19, 07:10 PM
Baseballmom13 Baseballmom13 is offline
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First off, I would sit down with your son and talk about what his baseball goals are. 13-14 is a good time to look at personal athletic goals. For example,
Is baseball simply a way to spend time with his friends?
Is he playing for fitness?
Is winning important?
Skill development?
Is he planning on playing high school baseball?
Aspirations to play college baseball? What level?
Etc, etc.
Chances are, no team/organization will be perfect. Typically rising high school freshmen are all playing for different reasons/goals. You want to find the team that will help him meet as many of his goals as possible. It is up to you and your family to choose wisely based on individual goals. Once goals are established, if you care to share your goals with the board, there will be plenty of advice about various organizations coming from this forum.
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Old 06-18-19, 07:54 AM
Peak Peak is offline
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Thanks everyone! Some good advice above. We've been talking on and off with our son since he first voiced his frustrations. With the season coming to a close, we're going to have a full conversation about it. I've already told him that he'll go to a couple of tryouts. He's told me a few teams he doesn't want to tryout for because of his "experiences" in playing them on the field. He's told us that he wants to face better competition. He wants to play at a higher level and keep working. He's already on a tournament team now, but feels his team isn't built to compete - he also thinks his team should have open tryouts this year to bring in people who want to compete.
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Old 06-18-19, 12:08 PM
tcgobucks tcgobucks is offline
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Does the organization your son is in have older teams? Are the competitive? What types of tourneys are they in? You want to find an organization that plays competitive baseball....but also plays in tourneys/events that coaches attend. If their older teams are good, I'd expect that if they are holding tryouts, that they will get some quality players and the level of play should be better next year.
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Old 06-18-19, 12:29 PM
thavoice thavoice is offline
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What has all of your experiences been about coaches from opponents talking/mentioning to your kid about trying out/playing for their team next year?

The boy has been asked a couple of times, during games, about it and I know it happens but think it is inappropriate.

I know his team held tryouts last fall, but none of those who tried out made the team and instead they reached out to kids they knew and asked them to join.
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Old 06-18-19, 12:43 PM
Peak Peak is offline
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Originally Posted by tcgobucks View Post
Does the organization your son is in have older teams? Are the competitive? What types of tourneys are they in? You want to find an organization that plays competitive baseball....but also plays in tourneys/events that coaches attend. If their older teams are good, I'd expect that if they are holding tryouts, that they will get some quality players and the level of play should be better next year.
His team kind of entered on the ground floor of a new organization. There are a couple of older teams, but not very good/established. His is the longest tenured team with the least amount of turnover. Same coaches, 90% of the same players. Doesn't usually do tryouts, but the coach will talk to kids he knows that may be good fits and do "private tryouts".

Majority of tournaments are either USSSA, MVP, GameDay, or Nations for us. I've seen one of the older teams play in a PG Showcase, but not much. This team is considered a flagship team due to little turnover and success on the field every year. The younger teams are trying to mimic this model. The older teams are patchwork from kids in the area and seem to change every year.
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Old 06-18-19, 12:45 PM
Peak Peak is offline
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Originally Posted by thavoice View Post
What has all of your experiences been about coaches from opponents talking/mentioning to your kid about trying out/playing for their team next year?

The boy has been asked a couple of times, during games, about it and I know it happens but think it is inappropriate.

I know his team held tryouts last fall, but none of those who tried out made the team and instead they reached out to kids they knew and asked them to join.
Interesting. My son has never brought this up to me. He has heard other coaches talking to him about being a good player, making good plays, good hits,etc. Nothing about openly recruiting during a game.

With that said, I know his HC has bypassed open tryouts to seek out specific players he knows of to join the team following a "private tryout".
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Old 06-18-19, 03:48 PM
Hitnrun Hitnrun is offline
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At your son's age, you aren't going to see college coaches/recruiters etc frequent his games regardless of what organization you may be a part of. That being said, it's a well known fact that certain established organizations do a better job of exposing and promoting their players to those recruiters as the kids mature. Typically recruiters will be scouting 16 & up kids, who play in the more competitive tournaments. Often the more established organizations will also combine w/other top teams and put on their own Showcase event. College recruiters/coaches are invited, and typically this works very well as these coaches can scout a multitude of kids at once. It's important to realize that many college coaches won't recruit any kid unless they have a prolonged look at them in real game time competition. That was the case with my son. The lead recruiter attended numerous tournaments he played in, and after conferring with the head coach, we were invited to the college for an official visit, which resulted in an offer. Many talented kids never get that offer, and have to adjust their expectation level to D3 or even JUCO. JUCO can be a great avenue for advancement if other offers don't materialize. Lastly, at your son's age he has more than a few years to mature and get better. If, at say 16 years old, he feels like college ball may be in his future, there is a pretty defined road map to follow, but sadly w/ no guarantees. Lastly, what surprised me then and continues to this day, is seeing how many kids work so hard to attain that college baseball dream, then simply give up the game after one year or less of college baseball. I have learned that playing college baseball can be a full time job, especially when you combine the academic challenges. It's not for everyone, regardless of your talent level.
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Old 06-18-19, 09:17 PM
thavoice thavoice is offline
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Has anyone really done the math on what it costs the families to send kids to these travel teams at such a young age through their HS years to what they actually "save" when they get some sort of assistance in college to play ball?

THe money for college baseball programs is very lean....
  #20  
Old 06-18-19, 09:23 PM
BASESWIMPARENT BASESWIMPARENT is offline
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I am a big fan of the kid being on a team that he plays ... and I mean plays. Not one game a tourney. Not 4 innings pitched. The kid has to play. If he plays and he does good, puts up numbers and has the objective assets that the coaches are looking for, someone will come looking. You cannot develop if you don't play. You cannot get recruited if you don't play. I am curious about how some of these players feel about being on these elite teams where there are 20 to 21 on the roster. There are only so many innings... and this weather? Good Night!
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Old 06-19-19, 10:46 AM
Hitnrun Hitnrun is offline
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I have become use to seeing so many families dump countless amounts of $ into so called elite travel teams, college camps, various showcases, travel, meal, & hotel expenses to name but a few. Then, as high school ends, realize that D1 opportunity isn't happening. It's that D1 mentality or bust which often can get promoted by some of these organizations. There are numerous D3, NAIA, & JUCO avenues available. In Ohio, there are only so many D2 programs available compared to the states. PA, Michigan, have numerous D2 programs, but limited academic $ available to out of state students, unless the college is a private school. Baseball scholarship $ at D2 is minimal also, with most kids getting much more aid via academic scholarships. That being said, I still am amazed how many kids/families don't realize this until it's to late. A quality travel organization will emphasize the academics more than the baseball, because that's where the real money lies. Truly look at the amount of kids still playing college baseball after their freshman/sophomore years from various travel organizations. Look to see how many kids actually graduate. Those are the organizations most families should research.
  #22  
Old 06-19-19, 06:46 PM
BASESWIMPARENT BASESWIMPARENT is offline
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Last year (summer of 18'), my boy played for one of the elite organizations in cincy. when he was asked to play for them, I was stunned but incredibly proud. He has some raw talent but really needed a knowledgeable coaching staff to bring it out of him. He also swims at a high level so that causes some conflicts but I figured these guys understood that and would really work with him. The fees were high and the travel expensive but I figured it was worth it. Boy was I wrong. Individual development was available for $70.00 an hour but the team practices were mediocre the offers to work with the boys individually during or after practice were non-existent. Long story short, he ended up basically being a PO with minimal field time. And honestly, although his upside pitching is high, right now he is an average pitcher. But he could hit (always could hit) and he is a better than average infielder. The kicker of it all was that he had turned down a team that did not have this reputation but had quality non-parent coaches and put kids in D2, D3, NAIA and JUCO programs. He must be doing something right because that team called him back last year and he is having the time of his life this year and getting better every day. I couldn't be happier for him and regret we did not pursue this opportunity a year ago.
  #23  
Old 06-19-19, 08:56 PM
thavoice thavoice is offline
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Originally Posted by BASESWIMPARENT View Post
I am a big fan of the kid being on a team that he plays ... and I mean plays. Not one game a tourney. Not 4 innings pitched. The kid has to play. If he plays and he does good, puts up numbers and has the objective assets that the coaches are looking for, someone will come looking. You cannot develop if you don't play. You cannot get recruited if you don't play. I am curious about how some of these players feel about being on these elite teams where there are 20 to 21 on the roster. There are only so many innings... and this weather? Good Night!
I concur.
If the kids get PT, and plays against good competition, then that is the biggest things. I had kids leave, tryout for some of those teams in HS and they would come back quickly because for our HS team they were expected to pitch and play a position, and that is what they wanted to do, and knew what positions they could get on the HS team and were asked to play elsewhere on teams, and they would come back,


Seeing it now for the boy. They HS coach expects him to catch, but the last two years he hasn't caught an inning even though he was selected to be a catcher per the people selecting the team.
  #24  
Old 06-20-19, 07:32 AM
Peak Peak is offline
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Originally Posted by BASESWIMPARENT View Post
I am a big fan of the kid being on a team that he plays ... and I mean plays. Not one game a tourney. Not 4 innings pitched. The kid has to play. If he plays and he does good, puts up numbers and has the objective assets that the coaches are looking for, someone will come looking. You cannot develop if you don't play. You cannot get recruited if you don't play. I am curious about how some of these players feel about being on these elite teams where there are 20 to 21 on the roster. There are only so many innings... and this weather? Good Night!
This is where I'm at for my son. He'll be 14 next year (8th grade) and wants to play HS ball. However, the competition his current team plays isn't that good. When they try to play a tougher schedule, the team falls apart. This is where is frustration on the field comes into play. He has walked away from the park saying he doesn't want to play for that team anymore on multiple occasions. The hard part for him is that some of his closest friends are on that team.

So this is where we sit now. He doesn't want to leave his friends, but he's told his coach he wants more competition. As parents, we know he isn't going to get that competition here. He's been invited to a couple of "private" tryouts with other teams - one being a big name in our area. While I think he'll really like the competitive style of play from the "big name" team, I know he will really miss playing with his friends. If he moves to the new team, there's no guarantee in playing time, coaching, etc - as right now they are talking up everything we want to hear. My fear is that he moves on thinking he will get this great opportunity, and then he sits as a PO and we spend a ton of money to travel and watch him play only a few innings.

He's a good player. I have no doubt he would earn playing time. I want whats best for him. I don't think his current team will offer him the opportunity to grow/develop as a player. He has the playing time, but not the competition. If he moves to a new team, he may have the competition but not as much playing time. I just worry that as a parent, I lead him down the wrong path.
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Old 06-20-19, 09:30 AM
Hitnrun Hitnrun is offline
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Your son always can make new friends w/his new team mates. His current team mates should always be his friends. That excuse only works for so long. Doubt very few kids fortunate enough to move on to college baseball will be going to play with their friends. After a point in time, a parent has to realize that if their kid is talented enough to move up in competition, there are always going to be new challenges and more talented kids in play. I believe many parents are afraid to expose their kids to a higher level of play, for fear it might expose their weaknesses & erode their confidence. Once again, this is when a parent needs to be realistic about their kids talent level. Remember, it's about the kid's desire and motivation to improve and compete at a high level, not the parents.
  #26  
Old 06-20-19, 10:57 AM
hoban2020 hoban2020 is offline
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Originally Posted by Peak View Post
This is where I'm at for my son. He'll be 14 next year (8th grade) and wants to play HS ball. However, the competition his current team plays isn't that good. When they try to play a tougher schedule, the team falls apart. This is where is frustration on the field comes into play. He has walked away from the park saying he doesn't want to play for that team anymore on multiple occasions. The hard part for him is that some of his closest friends are on that team.



So this is where we sit now. He doesn't want to leave his friends, but he's told his coach he wants more competition. As parents, we know he isn't going to get that competition here. He's been invited to a couple of "private" tryouts with other teams - one being a big name in our area. While I think he'll really like the competitive style of play from the "big name" team, I know he will really miss playing with his friends. If he moves to the new team, there's no guarantee in playing time, coaching, etc - as right now they are talking up everything we want to hear. My fear is that he moves on thinking he will get this great opportunity, and then he sits as a PO and we spend a ton of money to travel and watch him play only a few innings.



He's a good player. I have no doubt he would earn playing time. I want whats best for him. I don't think his current team will offer him the opportunity to grow/develop as a player. He has the playing time, but not the competition. If he moves to a new team, he may have the competition but not as much playing time. I just worry that as a parent, I lead him down the wrong path.

His 8th grade baseball friends won’t necessarily be his 12th grade friends or college friends or life friends.

Those who are his close buddies will remain. Those who are ‘point-in-time’ people will fade in and out throughout his life. Especially in college, where they all go to separate schools and have separate career paths.


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Old 06-20-19, 11:25 AM
BobcatQB BobcatQB is offline
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Some really good responses but let me add some thought from the opposite side of the fence. I've lived this exact situation with my older kids..and I have a 14 year old now. Our approach has been to be the best player you can be by getting extra reps, good outside instruction and try to get the rest of the team better because ultimately these are the kids you will be playing w/ in HS.

We have always had a good rec league but realized that these kids needed more so we started playing in travel tourneys as well. This has weeded out some of those who weren't ready for better competition but has also pushed the others...this seems to be where you are now.

I feel that as long as your kid is committed to improving and you are committed to getting him extra reps with some outside training/instruction then he will improve. But you also need to be realistic about his commitment and ability. Certinaly don't want to sell him short or put limitations on him but there certainly isn't anything wrong w/ playing D2, D3 or NAIA. I'm sure he's not the only one of the team in this situation. A few others may get more committed as well...and ultimately it'll make your HS team better.
  #28  
Old 06-20-19, 12:14 PM
Peak Peak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobcatQB View Post
I feel that as long as your kid is committed to improving and you are committed to getting him extra reps with some outside training/instruction then he will improve. But you also need to be realistic about his commitment and ability. Certinaly don't want to sell him short or put limitations on him but there certainly isn't anything wrong w/ playing D2, D3 or NAIA. I'm sure he's not the only one of the team in this situation. A few others may get more committed as well...and ultimately it'll make your HS team better.
You're pretty spot on. His current team makeup, he is the outsider looking in - meaning he doesn't go to the same school as the other boys on the team. He only sees them during the season, with the exception of 2-3 boys he plays other sports with or workout with in the off-season. His concern is that if he leaves the team, his 2-3 close friends will not "hand out" with him because they will have different schedules. He won't see them in school. Safe to say his baseball friends are closer to him than his school friends.

He wants the competition, but also wants his friends. He knows going to HS, he is going to see a lot of competition. A large school system who will have at least 500 kids in his class alone, with about 60 boys trying out for baseball freshman year. He knows some of the boys, and he feels confident that he is the better player. He gets outside work and will bust his butt on every play. I think the opportunity will be there. But we also hear from other parents in our school system that "he needs to be on this other team" in order to have a chance at making the HS team. I personally hate the political side of HS sports, and won't kiss up to a coach like I've seen some parents do already in Middle School. I want his play on the field to speak for itself - but concerned that if he stays where he is, he won't see a lot of competition (either from his teammates, or from the opposition).

On a sidenote, thanks for letting me vent/write down the thoughts. It helps to have an outlet and I appreciate the different points of view provided. There are a lot of good points on both sides of the spectrum which is helping me think through the situation. We don't need to make a decision yet, but time is coming soon, so thinking things outloud now helps.
  #29  
Old 06-20-19, 07:54 PM
BASESWIMPARENT BASESWIMPARENT is offline
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A couple more thoughts: Don't think that your kid will "earn" playing time unless his new team has no parents involved. Also, there is a high school in Cincy where if you want to play varsity, you better play for a certain club program. But there is only one HS with that reputation down here.

Last edited by BASESWIMPARENT; 06-20-19 at 09:31 PM.
 

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