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  • Youth Development USA vs Latin America

    Why is there such a huge disparity with how we develop our kids here and how the Latin ball players are being developed? Nearly 1/3 of the opening day rosters were foreign born players. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b03a26a3652e3e

    Given the number of kids in the USA playing vs the number of kids in Latin America, how are they able to so successfully send kids to the big show? When I did some research, it seems like those kids are primarily working on their tools, while our kids are playing summer travel games instead of working on their tools. I understand the importance of a game, and that there's no substitute for live game speed, but is it really helping our kids develop and get better? I doubt those kids in Latin America are playing the number of games our kids are playing, yet their numbers seem to grow each year vs domestically born MLB players.

    I have a 6 year old, going on 7. From my research into youth baseball development, it appears like the best route is to spend the time and money on developing tools, knowledge, and situations first, then periodically applying those tools in a game setting with similar skilled players. I read so much about how games develop our players, but does it? How does standing in the outfield and getting 6-7 balls hit to you going to develop that kid? Wouldn't it be better to hit 60-70 balls at them instead?

    We're not into travel ball yet, but out curiosity, how much do Travel teams practice? Do kids on travel teams get one-on-one development from the coaches? Is that one-on-one something coaches expect to occur outside of travel ball time? How many games do travel ball teams on average play a week?

    I'm just very curious to chat with other Dads about the best way to develop their kids in Baseball. Thanks in advance for your comments.


  • #2
    Your end goal is what - MLB? There may be some interesting and entertaining comments to come. But I'll just chirp in with my 2 cents and say if THAT (MLB) is your goal, all the reps, practice, development, etc. will not get you there without........ TALENT. You can still develop a very nice and good high school or lower-level college player, though.

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    • #3
      They don't teach their kids to chop down, use door knockers, and pause over the rubber.
      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

      Comment


      • #4
        Here’s the difference in motivation for a many Latin American players versus American players ... For many Latin American’s the choice is baseball or live in poverty for the rest of his life. The American’s option is baseball or fo to college and get a good job. Which kid do you think it more motivated?

        We hear about all the Latin American players who make it. What we don’t hear about are the ones who destroyed themselves physically and mentally trying to get signed. It’s not as if a large percentage of Latin American players get signed.

        There are are plenty of very talented kids in the US who work very hard at getting D1 offers (makes the kid a long shot pro prospect at the least). Then they go to college and have to balance baseball and academics. IF they get drafted they now have to endure bus rides and EconoLodges in addition to practicing in the afternoon and playing at night.

        Regardless of how talented a kid is or how talented he believes himself to be there are only 750 MLB jobs. A player doesn’t just have to be great. He has to be great enough to push another great player out of the game. That guy on the end of the MLB bench hitting .190? Relative to everyone who survived baseball just to high school varsity he’s great. 2.1% of high school players go on to play D1. 10% of D1 players are drafted. Not all sign. 2% of minor leaguers see a day in MLB. Half of them (1%) stick long enough to claim they had a MLB career. A half of 1% of high school players will be drafted out of high school or college.

        With a six year old all you should be looking at is what does he need to be successful now and look over the horizon to know what he needs to be successful next year. This is all I did until my son was asked to play for a 17u college prospect team the following year when he was fifteen. I never gave pro ball a thought until he was sixteen when a pro scout told me he was a potential pro prospect. All this told me was he would play D1.
        Last edited by JettSixty; 07-13-2018, 12:08 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Everything Jett said plus many of the best athletes in the US are split between Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Lax, etc. etc. etc.

          It reminds me of Coach Robichaux's talk where he says something about - Well who do you think is going to get the job, the boy that fought sharks on a raft to get here, or the one texting on the phone while his parents carry his bat bag.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Yaajer View Post

            I'm just very curious to chat with other Dads about the best way to develop their kids in Baseball. Thanks in advance for your comments.
            Play catch with him until he says he is done. When he wants to hit you hit until he says he wants to stop.
            When he wants to field you hit him grounders until he tells you he's had
            enough. When he is upset about striking out you tell him to forgot about it. When he looks down
            about a grounder his misplayed, you tell you him he will make the next play. When he is mad
            that his team lost you tell you were proud of the way he hustled and that you love him. When he is a grown man
            and he thanks you for spending time with him you instead thank him for letting you be part of his life.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Yaajer View Post
              Why is there such a huge disparity with how we develop our kids here and how the Latin ball players are being developed?
              Because many Latin America kids with potential drop out of school around 10-11 years old and practice all day, 6-7 days per week.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by pattar View Post
                Play catch with him until he says he is done. When he wants to hit you hit until he says he wants to stop.
                When he wants to field you hit him grounders until he tells you he's had
                enough. When he is upset about striking out you tell him to forgot about it. When he looks down
                about a grounder his misplayed, you tell you him he will make the next play. When he is mad
                that his team lost you tell you were proud of the way he hustled and that you love him. When he is a grown man
                and he thanks you for spending time with him you instead thank him for letting you be part of his life.
                All of this, and remove all of the Nintendos, PlayStations, Xboxes, cell phones, TVs, and any other distracting electronics from the home that occupy their time that the Latin kids don't have as other distractions over just going outside, and playing baseball or whatever.
                In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Yaajer View Post
                  Why is there such a huge disparity with how we develop our kids here and how the Latin ball players are being developed? Nearly 1/3 of the opening day rosters were foreign born players. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b03a26a3652e3e

                  Given the number of kids in the USA playing vs the number of kids in Latin America, how are they able to so successfully send kids to the big show? When I did some research, it seems like those kids are primarily working on their tools, while our kids are playing summer travel games instead of working on their tools. I understand the importance of a game, and that there's no substitute for live game speed, but is it really helping our kids develop and get better? I doubt those kids in Latin America are playing the number of games our kids are playing, yet their numbers seem to grow each year vs domestically born MLB players.

                  I have a 6 year old, going on 7. From my research into youth baseball development, it appears like the best route is to spend the time and money on developing tools, knowledge, and situations first, then periodically applying those tools in a game setting with similar skilled players. I read so much about how games develop our players, but does it? How does standing in the outfield and getting 6-7 balls hit to you going to develop that kid? Wouldn't it be better to hit 60-70 balls at them instead?

                  We're not into travel ball yet, but out curiosity, how much do Travel teams practice? Do kids on travel teams get one-on-one development from the coaches? Is that one-on-one something coaches expect to occur outside of travel ball time? How many games do travel ball teams on average play a week?

                  I'm just very curious to chat with other Dads about the best way to develop their kids in Baseball. Thanks in advance for your comments.
                  Seems like you are asking 2 questions that can be answered independently of each other:

                  a) Which model works best for training MLB (or at least minor league) caliber players - USA or Latin America?

                  b) Does travel ball make any sense - in support of going very far with baseball - or for any other reason?

                  Seems like other posters are focused on your #1 question and I don't really have anything to add.

                  As to whether travel ball ever makes sense - I think it can, but it's not necessary for many kids. And I wouldn't think of the travel ball vs rec ball vs skills development decision as which one is best for chances of making it to the MLB. Chances are minuscule no matter what so that should be irrelevant to these kinds of decisions. IMO, here's what is relevant:

                  1) Is there a good rec league in your area? If so - go for it! It will often be way less expensive, less time consuming, and more fun for the kids. Travel ball is usually more for the parents (to think that buy paying more, they're getting a better experience for their kid). I have seen quite a few kids who were happy in rec ball pushed into travel ball where they were less happy.

                  2) What does your kid want most out of baseball? Have fun? Be with friends? Obsessively get better at baseball? Even for players like my son who are interested in going far with baseball, he has generally been more interested in having fun and being with friends than obsessively getting better at baseball. So he has consistently preferred rec ball and then when do baseball things together, it is only fun stuff. The only way in which he has done some less fun stuff in recent years is beginning to workout regularly.

                  3) Where does your player match in terms of size/skills/physical maturity? If he is one of the better players but not necessarily the best at rec ball, then there's no real reason to do travel ball. On the other hand, if he's far ahead physically (an early maturer) and/or by far the best player in the league, then travel ball may be a good thing because otherwise he may be unchallenged and develop mechanical or attitude issues that are hard to correct later.

                  One thing I think that NEVER makes sense is playing travel baseball year round. Just burns through player arms.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Yaajer View Post
                    I have a 6 year old, going on 7. From my research into youth baseball development, it appears like the best route is to spend the time and money on developing tools, knowledge, and situations first, then periodically applying those tools in a game setting with similar skilled players. I read so much about how games develop our players, but does it? How does standing in the outfield and getting 6-7 balls hit to you going to develop that kid? Wouldn't it be better to hit 60-70 balls at them instead?

                    We're not into travel ball yet, but out curiosity, how much do Travel teams practice? Do kids on travel teams get one-on-one development from the coaches? Is that one-on-one something coaches expect to occur outside of travel ball time? How many games do travel ball teams on average play a week?

                    I'm just very curious to chat with other Dads about the best way to develop their kids in Baseball. Thanks in advance for your comments.
                    I'm going to ignore the bit about Latin America... I've seen Peletero on Netflix and that's all I know about Dominican Republic ball except the old tropes playing with milk jug gloves.

                    The other questions are good ones, maybe good for another thread. I agree with the concept gametime is a poor place to get enough reps to develop skills (unless you are pitcher or catcher).

                    In my experience, some kids can pick up "baseball IQ" a lot faster than others, I guess it comes down to how engaged the student is. I think my kid learned a lot about baseball in backyard type games and through being a fan of MLB baseball.

                    The travel teams we have been on are pretty low-grade dad-coached teams. They practiced 1-2 times a week starting at December or so. There was no one-on-one development. I think players were expected to do some work on their own outside team practices. But nobody was required to have individual coaching.

                    The rec team my son started out on was almost as serious about practicing as the "travel" teams he played for later. The main difference was fewer bad players on the "travel" team.

                    This is my experience. One thing I've learned is that there are many levels of the sport.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Child-molesting trainer... Kids from the age of 11, 12 are on steroids... Trainers who can’t afford the good stuff giving horse steroids to kids. It’s a dirty business...


                      Holy mackerel!!!


                      https://sports.yahoo.com/child-moles...010517552.html
                      I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Same sentiment others have mentioned...they're hungrier.

                        Pretty sure my son laid around all day watching Bob's Burgers and staring at his phone. He just turned 14 last week, south paw.... stands 5'11" weights 153 lbs( annual physical ) and can throw a baseball acuratley around 73 miles an hour.... he projects to be 6'4"; I'll be surprised if he's still playing in 3 years. Don't get me wrong, he still enjoys playing and his mother and I still get a kick watching him play but that's just the facts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Once in high school baseball becomes a year round effort if a kid wants to play college ball. It doesn’t matter if the kid is playing a second sport. He has to be doing skills or physical training year round.

                          There are a handful of kids who are so talented they can get by being lazy. Stephen Strasburg was one. His nickname was Slouthburg. He was lazy and overweight. He was hardly recruited for college. SDSU took a chance on him. Tony Gwynn convinced him to grow up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I dont think the OP said anything about his kid playing MLB. He was just making a point about how each country develops their young baseball players. I agree most kids that may want to play hs or college ball dont work on the 5 tools or hit the gym enough. Games are more fun and patents like to watch games, not so much practice, and they are paying the bills.
                            Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wonder how many kids and parents have any idea when the kid is fifteen what is involved in being a college student-athlete. I wonder how many understand being recruited is just an opportunity to be on the roster that can go away any year.

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