Being really "into it" is a plus, but maturity level is what makes it work or not. My son "played up" in the classroom and started school early, so playing up came with the territory for him. He played LL 12U minors as a young 8. He was still 8 when fall baseball started that year. Most of the rest of the fall team was the 11 y/o majors all star team that were going to be coming back as 12s (a lot of them were 12). He held his own until he broke his arm. He saw some time on the mound in their first game and his coach loved telling people he was just 8. The opposing coach asked if his name was Danny Almonte? It was all smiles and fun because he played ok. Had he struggled more, then I could see it going different.
Originally Posted by brandtb1
Having a friend that was in a similar school situation and of the same physical maturity for the age made all the difference. They both made the league at 8 and both played quite a bit and it seemed right. It's a game changer for the kid. There's no doubt about that. After my son broke his arm, he still went to every practice and every game in uniform - eye black and wrist bands and the whole 9 yards. He felt pretty good about himself and wanted to stay in that situation as much as was possible.
At 12 his league put together a quasi-all star team to play some tournaments in addition to the regular LL season. They couldn't wear LL uniforms, so they wore the same uniforms from that fall season when he was 8. The #s correlated with the size of the shirt. My son wore 25 (the highest number). He asked me, "Dad, remember when I was #7?" I was thinking - "what's he talking about?" He had worn that jersey....wow it looked small! But, I could tell he still had some good memories of that year.
There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.