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  #1  
Old 05-27-16, 12:48 PM
EliteDad EliteDad is offline
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Traveling Team? Is it for the kids or the parents?

Last night I witnessed one of the most disturbing things I have seen in quite awhile either coaching or watching baseball. A team was playing and the runner on third was trying to score. The catcher caught the ball and turned to tag the runner out. The runner did not bother to slide at all and came in standing up. The catcher turned around and held his glove out and tagged the runner in the head. The parents went wild saying they needed to throw the catcher out of the game. The umpire said it was a legal play and the game went on. After the game was over while the kids were shaking hands several of the other players told the catcher good game but the other team's catcher told the other catcher to "F" off. Then to beat that several of the other team players along with a parent waited out in the parking lot to confront the other team's catcher. As a spectator I was totally floored by what I seen. Is this what traveling baseball has come down to? I don't think so. I have seen plenty of other traveling teams that play with respect. It is a shame that several thug teams make the other respectful teams look bad. If coaches allow their teams to conduct themselves like that then why are they coaching at all?
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  #2  
Old 05-27-16, 01:28 PM
thavoice thavoice is offline
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Imagine this stuff happened well before travel ball.

Parents love to say their kids play travel ball. Makes them feel elite.

We didn't have it back in the day. Just took an all star team of our LL to a few tournaments late in the season.

I imagine some of the travel teams are on a higher level but so many of them really are just a few parents getting their sons and friends together, buying fancy uniforms and playing a lot of $$$ to enter tournaments and at the end of the day it isn't any better than 30 years ago and many times I could say it is less of a big deal. I think it is funny because back in the day the local rec department would pay the tournament entry fee, the players just wore their LL uniforms and all was a fun time. Now these parents have to shell out big $$$ for uniforms, tournament fees, etc.


A local guy the last few years wanted to get out of this so called daddyball and tried to start a couple levels of travel ball where they had tryouts to make the team. One age level didn't even have enough to field a team for 2 years in a row and the other only had 12 show up. No one wanted to have to be3 good enough, they would rather form a team with dads so their kid makes the team for certain
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  #3  
Old 05-27-16, 02:55 PM
knockemstiff knockemstiff is offline
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I had a son invited to play on a travel team when he was 10. He played with them for one year. I knew we were in trouble when the coaches thought that home plate was in foul territory. Best scene was when one of the coaches sons bunted foul with two strikes on his own without direction from the coaches. His dad came unglued and chewed the kid out who was crying in front of everyone from his father's criticism. Best part was when mom chewed out dad for chewing out the kid and not instructing him on what he did wrong. My son gave up baseball two years after that experience. He said he didn't miss playing traveling ball at all. Freed up my weekend too.
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  #4  
Old 05-28-16, 06:05 PM
EliteDad EliteDad is offline
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My son is playing on a team right now where the head coach put the team together so his son could play baseball. If anything the coaches son should be playing little league and probably would struggle there. I have been a coach from little league, traveling and high school. It makes me sad that little league is struggling so bad to field teams because dads want to start a team just for their son. They have no intention on coaching and teaching so the kids will get better for the next level of play which is high school ball. If you don't want to teach and make players better then get out of the game. When I coaches little league I made sure I was teaching and not worrying how many innings my son was getting. If he didn't produce then he sat the bench. Simple as that. I have a son that just graduated this year that I also coached and he is going to play college ball on a scholarship. That didn't come from playing favorites. That came from teaching and coaching. I am not saying that he made it to the next level because of me. I paid for many lessons that made him better. Bottom line is if you want your player to get better then teach them what they need to know and if you need more help then pay for the extra lessons.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-16, 06:17 PM
clarkgriswold clarkgriswold is offline
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There's plenty of good in recreational community baseball, especially for the younger kids. I guess I get it for high school age kids, but the younger kids need to focus on fundamentals, and that can be done at any level. Problem is that everyone wants to say that junior is playing travel ball and they don't realize just how diluted it has become.
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  #6  
Old 05-28-16, 07:22 PM
Kballer Kballer is offline
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My son grew up in an area where there was only little league- no travel/select teams. Moved here and quit baseball despite loving it and having a lot of success as there was no way we were getting involved in the daddy-ball/elite nonsense. Going to play another sport in college so I guess it worked out, but he still talks about his little league/all star days and beating the other towns.
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  #7  
Old 05-28-16, 08:47 PM
Bugsy8875 Bugsy8875 is offline
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I have also witnessed the very watered down progression of Travel Ball. A lot of the previous post hit many things on the head.

I also see how parents of older kids talk about the baseball scholarships their sons are getting. The problem is they are talking about schools that are D3 and those scholarships don't exist. I just politely smile, nod and say congratulations.

I recall the days when the only traveling teams were American Legion teams that had the best kids from their area high schools.
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  #8  
Old 05-29-16, 05:47 AM
mardor mardor is offline
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Travel Baseball

The Biggest issue I've seen with Travel Baseball today is the Parents shell out a lot of cash to cover uniforms, tourneys, Coaches fees, etc. and firmly believe their little johnny is the next "Mike Trout". Unbelievable. My son plays 13u, He's gotta helluva good glove, and Pitches well (Lessons), currently in semi-slump hitting. Normally a Damn Good RBI man. Tryouts for our family have to work with mine and wife's insane work schedule, and every Parent's , "Cost Factors". Limiting better Quality team Tryouts, due to distance and times. Breaks my heart for the kid. His current team has Players that should not even step foot in a ball field, but "little Johnny" plays because their Clueless parents shelled out cash thinking he's way ready to play with the 'Big Boys" now. The LACK of Respect for their Coaches, Teammates, the Game is about to drive me insane.
Lastly, I'm Old School, and firmly, without a doubt, believe that this ethic needs to be reintroduced to the game and send these "Wannabe's" back down to "Rec" for school. Sorry people, tournament weekend, thanks for letting me Vent/Rant. Happy Memorial Day weekend and thank a Vet.
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  #9  
Old 05-29-16, 07:25 AM
Irish60 Irish60 is offline
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Just like anything else surrounding youth sports, it's a matter of keeping things in perspective. My son played in the Summit/Stark Baseball League after the Little League season wrapped up. It was better competition and it wasn't too much travel. They played during the week and left time for a few tournaments. NEO has a TON of tournaments, and I think the farthest we travelled was Columbus. And it left most of the Summer for other family activities. The teams my son were on were made up of local kids who wanted to extend the Summer baseball season. It was a lot of fun, and the kids got to play against other regional teams. Lots of good memories for my son and my family.
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  #10  
Old 05-29-16, 07:35 AM
Irish60 Irish60 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mardor View Post
The Biggest issue I've seen with Travel Baseball today is the Parents shell out a lot of cash to cover uniforms, tourneys, Coaches fees, etc. and firmly believe their little johnny is the next "Mike Trout". Unbelievable. My son plays 13u, He's gotta helluva good glove, and Pitches well (Lessons), currently in semi-slump hitting. Normally a Damn Good RBI man. Tryouts for our family have to work with mine and wife's insane work schedule, and every Parent's , "Cost Factors". Limiting better Quality team Tryouts, due to distance and times. Breaks my heart for the kid. His current team has Players that should not even step foot in a ball field, but "little Johnny" plays because their Clueless parents shelled out cash thinking he's way ready to play with the 'Big Boys" now. The LACK of Respect for their Coaches, Teammates, the Game is about to drive me insane.
Lastly, I'm Old School, and firmly, without a doubt, believe that this ethic needs to be reintroduced to the game and send these "Wannabe's" back down to "Rec" for school. Sorry people, tournament weekend, thanks for letting me Vent/Rant. Happy Memorial Day weekend and thank a Vet.
If I am reading your post correctly, you are saying your son is a helluva baseball player. But the problem with travel leagues is the teams are populated with "wannabes" who want to play with the "Big Boys". So these kids who aren't good enough to play with your son and the rest of the Big Boys should be banished to the rec leagues where they belong. If that is your attitude, then you, sir, are a prime example of what is wrong with youth sports.
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  #11  
Old 05-29-16, 11:17 AM
Philly_Cat Philly_Cat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish60 View Post
If I am reading your post correctly, you are saying your son is a helluva baseball player. But the problem with travel leagues is the teams are populated with "wannabes" who want to play with the "Big Boys". So these kids who aren't good enough to play with your son and the rest of the Big Boys should be banished to the rec leagues where they belong. If that is your attitude, then you, sir, are a prime example of what is wrong with youth sports.
While I get your point, I also completely understand where he's coming from. Travel baseball isn't about a arena for higher level baseball and baseball players to go, which is how it is touted. While it does offer that, that part makes up about 1/3 of that baseball scene. The other 2/3 is average to mediocre baseball. While that in and of itself isn't a problem, it is a problem because that average to mediocre baseball is being packaged and advertised as much more than that. This leads parents to making the mass exodus from local community teams in search of the next best travel team. What happens is those same average and below average kids find an average or below average travel team, pay more money for uniforms, monogrammed bags, 10ft long team posters to hang in the dugout, higher league fees, and tournament fees. They pay all that extra money to play against the same kids locally they would have been playing against if they had just stayed with their community teams.

Result is a travel scene that the majority consist of nothing more than glorified local leagues with a higher pricetag. You also have the influx of local organizations, that used to be able to provide quality baseball for the bottom 90% of kids that played, now having to raise their prices just in order to survive, and then eventually folding as their player numbers diminish to nothing.

The true losers in all of this are the average and below average families on the economic scale. Baseball has become over priced to play, effectively making it an exclusive sport for only the well to do. Baseball was a sport that used to be for everyone, giving all kids an opportunity to develop and fall in love with the game. Now baseball is turning it's back to kids unless they can afford the huge prices. Many athletes that could offer great things at the higher levels, are finding other sports to play at the younger ages because it's too expensive to be introduced to baseball.
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  #12  
Old 05-29-16, 02:40 PM
Bugsy8875 Bugsy8875 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly_Cat View Post
While I get your point, I also completely understand where he's coming from. Travel baseball isn't about a arena for higher level baseball and baseball players to go, which is how it is touted. While it does offer that, that part makes up about 1/3 of that baseball scene. The other 2/3 is average to mediocre baseball. While that in and of itself isn't a problem, it is a problem because that average to mediocre baseball is being packaged and advertised as much more than that. This leads parents to making the mass exodus from local community teams in search of the next best travel team. What happens is those same average and below average kids find an average or below average travel team, pay more money for uniforms, monogrammed bags, 10ft long team posters to hang in the dugout, higher league fees, and tournament fees. They pay all that extra money to play against the same kids locally they would have been playing against if they had just stayed with their community teams.

Result is a travel scene that the majority consist of nothing more than glorified local leagues with a higher pricetag. You also have the influx of local organizations, that used to be able to provide quality baseball for the bottom 90% of kids that played, now having to raise their prices just in order to survive, and then eventually folding as their player numbers diminish to nothing.

The true losers in all of this are the average and below average families on the economic scale. Baseball has become over priced to play, effectively making it an exclusive sport for only the well to do. Baseball was a sport that used to be for everyone, giving all kids an opportunity to develop and fall in love with the game. Now baseball is turning it's back to kids unless they can afford the huge prices. Many athletes that could offer great things at the higher levels, are finding other sports to play at the younger ages because it's too expensive to be introduced to baseball.
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  #13  
Old 05-29-16, 05:16 PM
jasrccw jasrccw is offline
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I also think travel ball effects some coaches at the high school level. Since there is so little actual on field preseason practice time a kid that played on the "right" travel is automatically given preference over the kid who only played "rec" ball.
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  #14  
Old 05-29-16, 05:40 PM
Hitnrun Hitnrun is offline
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I understand "travel" basebal can certainly have it's negatives, but once a kid hits high school baseball, most of those travel teams are no longer the dreaded "daddy ball" teams. As the kids progress they high school, the travel teams become fewer, and more intense. Most train thru the Winter, and include kids who are serious about their skill enhancement during the off season. Rec ball is just that. Play a limited season, play with your buddies, have fun, and enjoy the experience. Its not for those kids who become serious about possibly playing at the college level. What bothers me possibly even more than watered down daddy travel ball, are parents of high school baseball players, whose kids don't pick up a ball and glove until one week before high school tryouts, then complain when their kid doesn't get playing time over another player, who worked his butt off in the Winter, to prepare for the challenge of high school and summer ball. That's why they are rec players. Its just a seasonal experience for them.
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Old 05-29-16, 05:48 PM
jasrccw jasrccw is offline
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I guess I didn't do a good enough job of making my point. There are kids who do all the off season work. Get private instruction, do all the off season workouts etc, but still don't get a chance to prove themselves on the field because the HC head is up the of some parent who runs the travel team.
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  #16  
Old 05-31-16, 10:48 AM
thavoice thavoice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugsy8875 View Post
I have also witnessed the very watered down progression of Travel Ball. A lot of the previous post hit many things on the head.

I also see how parents of older kids talk about the baseball scholarships their sons are getting. The problem is they are talking about schools that are D3 and those scholarships don't exist. I just politely smile, nod and say congratulations.

I recall the days when the only traveling teams were American Legion teams that had the best kids from their area high schools.
Remember that well. Back in the day the local Legion team only took graduated seniors to play. The coach would recruit the local area and do well.
Then 2 more legion teams cropped up and they started to accept more and more HS kids of which many were just avg and it just got so watered down and peopled didn't like it.

We had some kids when I was coaching play legion and ultimately gave up on it and just stuck with our summer HS team because they didn't feel the competition was that good, the coaches (and players) weren't into it for the good of the team/program
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