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Entering the world of Travel Baseball

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  • Entering the world of Travel Baseball

    Thank you all who have shared hard won experience, first hand experience and wisdom to my questions. Let me say that i have backed off the long term outcomes: i.e. “ he’s going pro” (lol- to now letting him “develop” into the highest achievement level. My heart of hearts wants leasons from baseball to positvy impact his life trajectory and put him in the most successful position in life. That said.

    So, 2 travel team tryouts here in South Florida. He has attended each. My question is which team will be best for gim!

    Team A: this team will roster 11 total players. This team is somewhat competitive but not into that higher level. Coached by paid coaches who are local collegiate coaches. None has any kids playing. My little would get much playing time. Coaching seems solid. Also, only 5 players were at practice and according to coaches it was because of prior commitments: camps, family vacas. What I know about my little is historically, once he has accomplished something- made a team- he gets complacent- teamA would do this bit I am hoping he continues tonwork hard to develop. However, the playing time and experience against other teams is what I think its about.

    Team B: very impressed with practice. 14 players attended. Looks like almost all except for 3-4 were leftover - original players from previous season. Roster will be 14? Great tryout
    I dont have a crystal ball but think his playing time would be less than 25% of the time. Maybe works himslef intonthe lineup?This is a well oiled TT. :

    I want my little to have a positive experience: have fun, play be competitive and develop. Will his skills develop as much not playing consistantly? Or is it a smart move to join a team like this thinking that he is receiving top notch instruction which will benefit him as he continues with baseball.

    Thats it trying to make best decision for him
    Thoughts welcome


  • #2
    Depends on age to a degree. What age is this (sorry if I missed it)?


    • #3
      25% playing time? The point of baseball is to play baseball not watch baseball (assuming you’re talking about developmental years). 14 is way too many boys. Even if the practices are excellent, your kid will eventually hate sitting there watching all weekend to play 2 innings in right field.

      I’ve often wondered when I’m coaching if I’m brave enough to roll with 10 boys instead of 11 so no one really sits for any length of time.

      I think the optimal team (TB or otherwise) in development years, keeps it fun, develops and plays ALL the players, teaches well, gets the boys putting out maximum effort. I wouldn’t want my kids to be an extra in someone else’s show.

      Is this a fall ball team? Seems way early for tryouts? I’m also in FL and tournament season is nearly over and we shut all our arms down for a few months, clear our heads, go swimming or something. Our local TB tryouts usually end of October-early Dec, with teams training Jan to July.


      • #4
        Mobius, we used to roll with 10 all the time in youth ball. You just have to have 10 dedicated families (which we had), and set your schedule ahead of time to allow for summer vacations. Heck, if an emergency came up, we'd roll with 9 occasionally.

        Dutchman, I'd also agree with Mobius that you pick the team that you play your fair share, whether that's at your main position or not. I've heard some say in the past that practice is more important than games. I respectfully disagree. There is no practice that can fully replicate "live bullets", game experience. Not to say practice isn't important, it is, but game experience is more valuable IMO. Possibly you could play with the team that gives you the most game reps, and find top notch instruction on the side. Ultimately, assuming this is youth ball, you pick the team where your son will have the best experience, that develops a love the game and competition in him. I just can't see that happening when he's sitting more than playing.
        Ty Cobb-"Every great batter works on the theory that the pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher."


        • #5
          agree with chief and mobius. you don't get better on the bench. I'd say even through HS (freshman and JV at least), development is key and that only happens on the field with adrenaline pumping. As far as instruction, kids riding the bench probably aren't getting the same amount of "top-notch" instruction simply because of necessity -they're not in the field when it matters. When coaches have to put players in the field, you'd better believe they'll take the time to coach them. Now if they have some sort of rotating roster to keep play time equal, then by all means, but in youth ball, game time is most important. As a parent, I'm not really interested in watching other people's kids play ball. Just too many other things on my radar for Saturday afternoon


          • #6
            From the OP's other thread, the kid is 11.5 years old. Also from the other thread, he does well at practice but poorly in games. So I think Team A is the better choice because he needs a boost in confidence and game experience.


            • #7
              Originally posted by bbrages View Post
              From the OP's other thread, the kid is 11.5 years old. Also from the other thread, he does well at practice but poorly in games. So I think Team A is the better choice because he needs a boost in confidence and game experience.
              No way would I want a kid that age to play 25% of the time. Too young for that yet. A team doesn't make a great player, talent, skills, and experience do. Also, don't forget that at that age, fun should still be integral in the experience (sometimes parents forget that).


              • #8
                You “play” baseball. Watching baseball should be reserved for attending college and pro games.


                • #9
                  Yes, I he needs to play consistantly.


                  • #10
                    I 25% of the time based on my assesmemt of Team B returning players. Team B is looking for 2 players. Will these players be crucial starting players or 2 boys to fill roster spots. I know a player who is also 12U travel and good friend of my boy. He plays limited. And with the commitment of time and energy- doesnt look worth it. Maybe my little would work his way into a starting position? Also, he pitches. But then what to do for a back end of a DHeader?
                    The local Little League runs a fall season. However, the fall traditionally is devoid of most talent since thats when TBallers are doing their thing. He has don fall rec ball. Almost seems counter productive and the talent level varies from 1 low tontje higher end. Its time for him to have a competitve team and he needs the opportunity to see what he can do


                    • #11
                      PS- I dont want to sell him short no do I want him caged amd unhappy in a dugut on a weekend when he could be slreading his wings. Seems criminal


                      • #12
                        I thought there were two teams he could play on. I know from personal experience that the ‘best’ team is often the best for your kid. If the kid wants to risk it, let him, but I’d be sure he understands what may happen. A new kid often has a hard time of making it on a new team, and are given less leeway than other kids.


                        • #13
                          When you see a team looking for two players with an eleven or twelve man roster assume they’re looking for two more players to lower the average cost of the team. These teams are typically looking for two players every year. They have their team. They piss of two families per year taking their money and not playing the kids much. This is not always the case. But, it’s better to look elsewhere than than risk it unless you can validate the reasons the players left the team.

                          Another mistake inexperienced parents make is thinking a coach is a good coach because the team wins. Some coaches are ruthless about recruiting the strongest early bloomers and don’t know squat about teaching baseball. These coaches are done after 14u when the kids and parents have been around the game long enough to know the coach doesn’t know the game.

                          The best scenario is a coaching staff that can teach, everyone gets reasonable playing time, the team is competitive and it’s fun.
                          Last edited by JettSixty; 07-14-2018, 11:35 AM.


                          • #14
                            IMO...go with team "A", and the most playing time...which as others have said, is what it's all about.

                            The most we ever rostered was 12, and even that was a PITA at times trying to distribute enough/equal playing time to everyone. By that I mean that we pretty much had rosters and rotations penciled out before all of our games, and if a kid was having a stellar day but was penciled in to be removed from the game at a certain turned into a coaching huddle trying to figure out how to leave him in, but then also keep the rest of the player rotations for the game intact as much as possible.

                            Fortunately we most always had a great group of players (and parents)...and a simple talk to one or two of them with an explanation of what was happening was almost always met with acceptance, and understanding...that if it were them having the great game, that they'd want to (and would) stay in the game, and that we'd make the same allowances for them in the future.

                            That said, I can't imagine having to do that with 14 players, since most of the time we had 10 or 11 at game time, which I believe was more fun and enjoyable for everyone involved. I know it definitely was from a coaching standpoint anyway.
                            In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011


                            • #15
                              I emailed the travel coach with 13/14 roster a set of questions: everything from coaching philosophy to how a player can work his way into a lineup. That was 7 days ago. Crickets... I guess the questions were too tough


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