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Thread: Rec v's Travel

  1. #1
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    Rec v's Travel

    I know we talk about this untill we are all blue in the face, but I can't help it.
    We play rec baseball in the fall in Columbus, Ohio. It is just so sad to see the demise of rec ball in my city. Other cities and state's seem to still have strong rec program's and money and field's don't seem to be a problem. With the exception of "daddy ball" a phrase I hear alot on here why has our rec program's suffered so nation wide. Our fall program has 14 team's with only 6 coach's.....only two with experience..sad. What choice does a parent have other than to play travel? To be honest I would rather play rec given my sons age, but I must be honest it is in big trouble here. Do you bite the bullet and hope the weaker talent level and coaching doesn't hurt in the future, or just say hey if my kid is good enough the cream will rise eventually?

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    it si sad to see the demise of rec ball as I have witnessed this in my own town..unfortunately parents see their kid as left behind when playing rec.My older boy only played rec and my younger boy has played travel fo 5 years.
    my younger boy misses rec because he used to get to play against his friends often,have bragging rights in school etc etc..BUT rec talent got diluted so much as my boy would lob throws so the less talented kid would be able to catch it..It started to frustrate him playing with kids that were no where near as good as he was..not bragging on him just telling you what he told me.we opted into travel and he is an average player in the travel program versus a star in the rec program.I believe he is better today because of travel ball

    my other boy never played travel but played rec his whole youth.when he was an eight grader he struck out 92 kids in 46 innings..amazing ,BUT less talented kids and 7 and 8th graders were combined..I must say during the all star game the sophmore HS coach was at the game which absolutely astonished me.

    my ol
    der boy made the hs team his freshman year.the B team..his arm strength was way above average and his bat speed was exceptional BUT he had terrible foot speed and was not a good position player.
    looking at the sophomore team,,every kid STILL on that team came from the 1 main travel team in town..its almost like the coach dad got into the coaches head and said these are the BEST kids in town and they been traveling with me for the last 5 yrs..EVERY kid on that team is still playing there..i think my son did not make the team the next year because he lacked talent at a position has slow foot speed and a lack of experience from not playing travel ball..i truly belieb=ve NOt getting in with the clique and not getting the EXTRA games and experience hurt him in this particular case..

    does the travel team tend to feed kids right into the freshmans coach hands?
    your kid MAY have a better chance at HS if thats the case.
    Last edited by wogdoggy; 08-09-2007 at 12:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbb3601 View Post
    I know we talk about this untill we are all blue in the face, but I can't help it.
    We play rec baseball in the fall in Columbus, Ohio. It is just so sad to see the demise of rec ball in my city. Other cities and state's seem to still have strong rec program's and money and field's don't seem to be a problem. With the exception of "daddy ball" a phrase I hear alot on here why has our rec program's suffered so nation wide. Our fall program has 14 team's with only 6 coach's.....only two with experience..sad. What choice does a parent have other than to play travel? To be honest I would rather play rec given my sons age, but I must be honest it is in big trouble here. Do you bite the bullet and hope the weaker talent level and coaching doesn't hurt in the future, or just say hey if my kid is good enough the cream will rise eventually?
    Any region of the country might be different, but it seems in a majority of areas the better players are going to travel. The other day my son asked me why I thought Babe Ruth Baseball was good when I played when it's so bad in our area now.

    When I played we had ten Babe Ruth teams in our league. It was feed by twelve four team LL's. Why did LL's only have four teams? LL had to made too. No entitlement. Weak players played LL Farms regardless of age. Let's say those twelve LL's had ten 12yo all-stars heading into their 13yo year of Babe Ruth. This meant 120 kids were competing for 50 roster spots. Babe Ruth Baseball was not an entitlement. Teams had to be made. 70 previous LL all-stars didn't make Babe Ruth. The competition level was high.

    Now making a rec league team is an entitlement. Everyone who signs up get to make a team and get playing time. There are kids starting on Babe Ruth teams who can barely hit, field, run and throw.

    Most of the players who played Babe Ruth ball in my era made it as far as freshman/9th grade ball. Now, the league is full of kids who can't make the middle school team.

    Before anyone goes off on entitlement to play, my town had a LL Jr's program. They held tryouts right after Babe Ruth rosters were announced. It wasn't a bad program since 70 former LL all-stars funneled into it each year.

    Another thing that's changed youth sports is the infestation of daddy coaches and administrators. We didn't have that when I played. But now if the daddys have taken over a league to benefit their kids, other families/players can vote with their feet, and leave.

    In our area the kids focus is rec ball (LL and CR) through age twelve. They do play travel around rec. Starting at thirteen the better players go on to travel and Junior Legion. Kids who stay in rec ball don't make the high school team.

    I feel the benefit my son has had from travel is facing a lot of fast pitching (80 mph) relative to his age (fourteen). Typical high school varsity pitchers are in the 82-85 range. Junior Legion kids are seeing mostly mid to upper 70's. Rec kids are seeing puss balls. From a pitching benefit he's faced lineups full of hitters, not just three or four like middle school.

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    My take on it is that the quality of different programs varies across the country. In my small town, all kids 12 and under play LL. As far as I know none have played travel up to 12. The BR 13-15 league (Which cover parts of two rural counties) is made up mostly of JV players, a few varsity players and some who couldn't make JV. My son played BR 13-15 as a 12yo, and it was a very good experience for him. He played with and faced most of the best 15yo's in the area covered by the league and found out he could play with them.

    This year he played on a good 13U travel team. The talent level was much more uniform, but the best talent wasn't as good as the 15yos he saw last year. Although he enjoyed the experience and liked his teammates, the travel got to be a grind. He wasn't disappointed to see his last tournament end last weekend.

    Next year he will probably play JV and then BR and maybe one of the regional so-called travel teams that don't actually travel more than about 100 miles. We don't have any Jr. Legion teams nearby or we would probably go in that direction.

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    What concerns me is that many parents do not see this as a problem and now accept it as the norm. Could you imagine the fuss if the school required travel math class?
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    Jake with so many obstacles seemingly in the way how does a community start to rebuild a solid rec program. Should you start with a few teams and try to build a reputation or what. I can't speak for everyone but I do have a feeling that most kids that may have had some hs potential burn out very quick or just switch sports...I just hope mine isn't nex,t but as others have said in alot of areas if you don't play travel you have no chance of playing hs ball. Maybe I should just move...LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbb3601 View Post
    Jake with so many obstacles seemingly in the way how does a community start to rebuild a solid rec program. Should you start with a few teams and try to build a reputation or what. I can't speak for everyone but I do have a feeling that most kids that may have had some hs potential burn out very quick or just switch sports...I just hope mine isn't nex,t but as others have said in alot of areas if you don't play travel you have no chance of playing hs ball. Maybe I should just move...LOL

    Our town has done a great job with our rec program See: http://www.villagernewspapers.com/THOA080307.pdf page 15.

    It takes several elements:
    1. Several Champions (Someone who will make is happen)
    2. A connection between school ball and rec
    3. A connection between Legion ball and school ball and rec.
    4. Clinics- training
    5. Attention to detail.
    6. Etc...

    If you would like to discuss further send me a PM and we can talk over the phone.
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  8. #8
    It depends on many factors which are different in every city and state. In NoCal my son played LL from age 5-10. He was a top 5 player in the league. The last two years as an 11 and 12 he played travel. This season which just finished he played 60 games from February to the end of July. We also practiced twice a week and most of the kids practiced individually with private lessons on the side. He ended up with 150 AB's against very good competition.

    Some people will say that's way too much, it's not necessary or it's plain crazy. In my case I believe it's been the best thing that has happened for my son. He loves it and has improved tremendously.

    With that said there are some travel programs I would never want my son to play for - if you get in the right situation travel is a great thing. But just as all organizations it has it's problems. There is no way to make a blanket statement about whats right or wrong - every one of us faces a unique and different situation. Whats good for my son is terrible for another..........

    I will say that if you want to succeed in high school in our area it's not imperative you play travel but I can say with certainty you will have a better chance than the ones that don't. There is that big of a difference between rec ball and travel in my area.
    Last edited by Stealth; 08-09-2007 at 05:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    What concerns me is that many parents do not see this as a problem and now accept it as the norm. Could you imagine the fuss if the school required travel math class?
    The school district has standards and expecations beginning in kindergarten and flowing into high school. While the high school baseball coach may look at the middle school team to see who his prospects are, these prospects are not getting their training in rec ball.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TG Coach View Post
    The school district has standards and expecations beginning in kindergarten and flowing into high school. While the high school baseball coach may look at the middle school team to see who his prospects are, these prospects are not getting their training in rec ball.
    Don't follow...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stealth View Post
    I will say that if you want to succeed in high school in our area it's not imperative you play travel but I can say with certainty you will have a better chance than the ones that don't. There is that big of a difference between rec ball and travel in my area.
    While this may be true and it's true in our area, the need for travel competition doesn't start until the big field. Everything until them is basic mechanics and building passion for the game. I believe the 150 plate appearances my son has received in 13U and 14U have been a benefit for making the high school team, I don't feel it would have made a difference in 9U to 12U. I've explained my son played some travel from 9U to 12U but it was completely for fun and not development, and done around LL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    Don't follow...
    Kids don't need travel math heading into high school. The school district sets year to year parameters and expectations starting with kindergarten. The kids continually develop into ultimately having the ability to perform high school math.

    There aren't parameters and expectations for sports. The player has to find the best avenue to do it on his/her own. If kids rely on rec ball and the limited time with the middle school team in our district, they're doomed not to make varsity in high school.

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    And isn't this the whole point to our discussions concerning this topic???
    Quote Originally Posted by TG Coach View Post
    Kids don't need travel math heading into high school.
    And kids do not need Travel Ball to head into HS baseball. They participate in an attempt to excell. If more parents took this attitude in academics there would be more tutors and less TB coaches.
    The school district sets year to year parameters and expectations starting with kindergarten. The kids continually develop into ultimately having the ability to perform high school math.
    The same is true when using Rec baseball as an example. They continually develop until they play HS ball.
    There aren't parameters and expectations for sports.
    Sure there is or there would be no need for try outs
    The player has to find the best avenue to do it on his/her own. If kids rely on rec ball and the limited time with the middle school team in our district, they're doomed not to make varsity in high school.
    And back to my original point. What would we think of a parent who told us that they had their DS or DD in travel math (tutoring) 100 times a school season because they are doomed to get only a B in math and not make the HS math team. We would at best think it strange.
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    Rec ball is still very popular in my area of Seattle, luckily. We play at least 20 games plus playoffs for our Little League program, and there are plenty of travel/select teams in the area as well. Baseball is alive and well in the Pacific Northwest, something I can't say for other areas I've lived in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    And kids do not need Travel Ball to head into HS baseball.
    I'm going to stick the line back at you that you use on me. It's not the same everywhere as where you live. I believe you live in a rural area. You can have a lot of control over the entire process in a rural area. I can guarantee you here a kid who sits back and plays rec in this area can only hope to make the freshman team and maybe get a few at-bats on the JV as a soph before being cut as a junior. We're a large classification school in a fairly large state.

    I can't remember the last baseball player who relied on rec ball for his skills leading into high school that made varsity. I heard a couple of years ago there were a couple of Connie Mack dads yucking up how good their kids were. Both made the freshman team but were cut from JV this year. They;re still Connie Mack stars.

    I remember when my daughter was a junior I was driving by the school and stopped to watch tryouts for a few minutes. To quote one of the mothers, "Who are all these incredible girls? They aren't on any of the LL all-star teams." I told her they had all been playing travel since they were eleven. Her all-star daughter didn't make the freshman team.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    The same is true when using Rec baseball as an example. They continually develop until they play HS ball.
    Not if one program can't control the process all they way through and keep the good players from leaving for one of the many better travel opportunities.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    Sure there is or there would be no need for try outs
    There aren't parameters and expectations through the entire process from kindergarten leading into high school like this is in academics. Kids show up at the high school to try out. Their only exposure will have been the middle school team. The three kids from our middle school team who are high school prospects played travel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    And back to my original point. What would we think of a parent who told us that they had their DS or DD in travel math (tutoring) 100 times a school season because they are doomed to get only a B in math and not make the HS math team. We would at best think it strange.
    It's up to that child to determine how important the math team is to him/her and what it takes to make it. My daughter did take two years of SAT training to score over 2000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TG Coach View Post
    I can guarantee you here a kid who sits back and plays rec in this area can only hope to make the freshman team and maybe get a few at-bats on the JV as a soph before being cut as a junior. We're a large classification school in a fairly large state.
    PM me the name of your HS. I would love to talk speak with the head coach about the differences between the CIAC and the PIAA more specifically the baseball process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    PM me the name of your HS. I would love to talk speak with the head coach about the differences between the CIAC and the PIAA more specifically the baseball process.
    My son is a high school prospect. The last thing I'm going to do is interject someone with other ideas into the mix and possibly have a negative effect on how the coach sees my son due to his father.

    "Hey Coach. There's a guy in Connecticut whose going to tell you how they do it in Connecticut and how you should do it. I gave him your number." LOL!

    Besides, it has nothing to do with CIAC or PIAA. It has to do with our immediate area inadequate rec programs. We live in a suburban area near a big city. The competition for roster spots in high school is fierce. Nobody relys on very weak rec programs at the 13-15 age level to get their game into high school shape. You would choke if you saw how bad 13-15 rec ball is in the programs my son could play. It's not an indictment of Connie Mack, LL Juniors or Babe Ruth ball. It's an indiuctment of the immediate programs the kids in our district can play.

    Yet the kids who aspire to play high school ball play travel or Junior Legion all over the county. I don't believe my son would be turning on 80+ fastballs with ease if he never saw anything close in rec ball. If you're wondering about the speed, our 14U team has four or five kids hitting 80. We play 16U Connie Mack teams in off weekends and beat them.
    Last edited by TG Coach; 08-09-2007 at 07:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TG Coach View Post
    My son is a high school prospect. The last thing I'm going to do is interject someone with other ideas into the mix and possibly have a negative effect on how the coach sees my son due to his father.
    I have no intention of doing that. I have no clue who you are. There are two vastly different systems -my only intent would be to understand the differences. We can converse via Email I would be happy to let you approve the Emails before I send them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    I have no intention of doing that. I have no clue who you are. There are two vastly different systems -my only intent would be to understand the differences. We can converse via Email I would be happy to let you approve the Emails before I send them.
    There's no way I'm doing anything to place you in contact with my son's coach. If you have questions about PIAA contact the PIAA. Keep in mind they are a rules organization and any PIAA person's opinions are their own. I know of PIAA people who despise travel sports.

    Talk to any PIAA coach you want. Keep in mind any coach may have a different opinion. Our coach likes the kids playing travel for the challenge. One of our travel kids was forced to quit travel to play Connie Mack. His future high school coach is in charge of the Connie Mack team. The dad said the coach disparages the travel team every chance he gets. I call it control. I guarantee you our coaching staff is better and deeper than many high school staffs.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TG Coach View Post
    My son is a high school prospect. The last thing I'm going to do is interject someone with other ideas into the mix and possibly have a negative effect on how the coach sees my son due to his father.

    "Hey Coach. There's a guy in Connecticut whose going to tell you how they do it in Connecticut and how you should do it. I gave him your number." LOL!

    Besides, it has nothing to do with CIAC or PIAA. It has to do with our immediate area inadequate rec programs. We live in a suburban area near a big city. The competition for roster spots in high school is fierce. Nobody relys on very weak rec programs at the 13-15 age level to get their game into high school shape. You would choke if you saw how bad 13-15 rec ball is in the programs my son could play. It's not an indictment of Connie Mack, LL Juniors or Babe Ruth ball. It's an indiuctment of the immediate programs the kids in our district can play.

    Yet the kids who aspire to play high school ball play travel or Junior Legion all over the county. I don't believe my son would be turning on 80+ fastballs with ease if he never saw anything close in rec ball. If you're wondering about the speed, our 14U team has four or five kids hitting 80. We play 16U Connie Mack teams in off weekends and beat them.
    Here we go again zzzzzzzzzzzz TG, you've never taped your son, but yet he turns "easily" on 80mph...maybe, maybe not. Now you've got 4 kids on your 14u team throwing in the 80's. I doubt it. I'm sure this is all important info for your ego, but again, and as usual, it has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Believe it or not having a talented kid does not make you an expert on youth baseball...oh no, wait, now you'll want to tell me about your D-1 daughter as though that might give your opinion credibilty. jima

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    Quote Originally Posted by jima View Post
    Here we go again zzzzzzzzzzzz TG, you've never taped your son, but yet he turns "easily" on 80mph...maybe, maybe not. Now you've got 4 kids on your 14u team throwing in the 80's. I doubt it. I'm sure this is all important info for your ego, but again, and as usual, it has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Believe it or not having a talented kid does not make you an expert on youth baseball...oh no, wait, now you'll want to tell me about your D-1 daughter as though that might give your opinion credibilty. jima
    It's all relevant when comparing the avenues to prepare for high school. We have a team where half the kids are at least six feet tall. A talented kid that size should be throwing 80+ if he's a high school prospect.

    Regardless of my kid's accomplishments, as far as my background, I've played through D1, coached a BR all-star team to the BRWS and coached 18U travel players who are all now playing college ball. I've been involved with college coaches in the recruiting process with these 18U players. I've also spent a lot of time asking questions of people further up the food chain than me for educational purposes.

    So I have a little idea of what it takes. I've been there, done it. My daughter has been there, done it. My son is on the journey. Also, the wife has been there, done it. Did I mention six other family members played past high school. There's been just a little exposure to the process.

    By the way. I've never video'ed my kids hitting. I've never had to. They've never had problems that weren't easily corrected. When my son gets his hands moving forward too soon, he knows.

    Now before you respond, I'm not the one who made condescending remarks. I only replied. You're the one who interjected yourself into the conversation. I'm trying to have a converation, not a pissing contest.
    Last edited by TG Coach; 08-09-2007 at 08:46 PM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by TG Coach View Post
    I've played through D1, coached a BR all-star team to the BRWS and coached 18U travel players who are all now playing college ball. I've been involved with college coaches in the recruiting process with these 18U players. .

    So I have a little idea of what it takes. I've been there, done it. My daughter has been there, done it. My son is on the journey. Also, the wife has been there, done it. Did I mention six other family members played past high school. There's been just a little exposure to the process.

    You son this your son that...the same post every day. I am seriously thinking I would rather read Tom Guerry's posts over yours. I don't understand the need for you to constantly validate yourself, your daughter, your wife and your son. Why? We all know your son is 14 and can hit an 80mph fastball. We all know from hearing you say it 50 times!! that you played D1 baseball at who knows what college. We all know your daughter plays at a fairly high level in college. And we all know your wife and some extended family played some sports in college. Who gives a flying rip?

    Do you feel the need to always mention this to try and validate your claims? I mean I'm happy for you, great, you've got some athletic kids and an athletic family. But everytime somebody goes against your grain this gets brought up.
    Last edited by hiddengem; 08-09-2007 at 09:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiddengem View Post
    You son this your son that...the same post every day. I am seriously thinking I would rather read Tom Guerry's posts over yours. I don't understand the need for you to constantly validate yourself, your daughter, your wife and your son. Why? We all know your son is 14 and can hit an 80mph fastball. We all know from hearing you say it 50 times!! that you played D1 baseball at who knows what college. We all know your daughter plays at a fairly high level in college. And we all know your wife and some extended family played some sports in college. Who gives a flying rip?

    Do you feel the need to always mention this to try and validate your claims? I mean I'm happy for you, great, you've got some athletic kids and an athletic family. But everytime somebody goes against your grain this gets brought up.
    Only when questioned in the manner Jima choose to use. Otherwise I'll use their experience as a reference point of an explaination. If I'm explaining why I believe travel is better than rec ball at 13-15 in our area for prepping for high school, I need to use a point of reference. In the case of this thread it's where my son's bat speed and timing is from the challenge of travel play, that it wouldn't be if he played rec ball.

    If Jake would accept there are areas where rec ball sucks it wouldn't be such an ongoing discussion. Where I live is far from the only area where rec ball sucks too. Rec ball not what it was when I grew up playing (see explanation earlier in thread). A rec game in our area would put anyone but a parent in a coma.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by TG Coach View Post
    If Jake would accept there are areas where rec ball sucks it wouldn't be such an ongoing discussion. Where I live is far from the only area where rec ball sucks too. Rec ball not what it was when I grew up playing (see explanation earlier in thread). A rec game in our area would put anyone but a parent in a coma.
    I'm sure Jake accepts that there are areas where Rec ball isn't very good. But let me ask you, why was rec ball once good in your area and now its not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiddengem View Post
    I'm sure Jake accepts that there are areas where Rec ball isn't very good. But let me ask you, why was rec ball once good in your area and now its not?
    This was my point. Where as some kids may not get burnt out from the exhausting travel schedule and quit before the big field There are always kids playing in Rec who could make any travel team but his mommy and daddy don't see the need to stroke their own ego's. (Let's face it imo 70% of travel player's are their for daddy not because they are worried about making a HS team at ages 8-12) I spoke with some fellow parents last night and most responses were "well if we don't play travel my kid won't get a look later on..(h/s etc) because now a day's in big cities you have a better chance of being mayor than playing HS sports. I was watching the start of the LL ws on espn last night as I am sure most was and I kinda laughed when I seen the Ad spot about local LL coach's or parent's dont need to throw catch hit field perfect they just need to be there....and we wonder why most talent comes from other nation's

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