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  • Playing for your future

    I thought I'd share the situation with my middle kid. He is in his last week of Freshman ball (in a large classification school) with two games, but possibly one due to weather.

    The coach told the team that the bubble players will decide their futures this week by their play. If they step up, they will get a shot at JV (which actually stats in June with a one month league). If not, they will likely be done with their journey (thankfully, my son can play one last season of rec league on my team with his younger brother). There are tryouts, but they are mostly just for show or for a way for new kids to play with potential. My middle kid was regulated to the bench for most of the season, but made the most of his last opportunity, leading the team in RBIs at the plate in an almost come from behind game (he actually started on the bench that game). This has allowed him to make it into the starting lineup for this final week, and we will see if he can continue. He told me that when he had his recent at bats, he remembered us playing in our backyard with me throwing yellow skillz balls with his brothers, playing our 'home-run derby' like game. Said that it made him not worry as much at the plate. I told him that all he can do is his best, and the work he put in this year is behind him, and just to leave it on the field (he has started to take baseball more seriously this year, albeit it may be too late). As a parent, I know he will be fine, but I know he likes playing HS ball, has had a good attitude for the most part, and have seen real improvement this year (more than pretty much any year... puberty and strength training helped a lot with that too).

    I guess this is off topic, and more of a chance for me to share my thoughts, but also I think it puts things in perspective. My youngest kid's team won a tournament this past weekend, got their shiny rings, and my son pitched a complete game for the championship, it just seems small in comparison to literally playing for your future.



  • #2
    So here's a perspective from the other side. I was cut from my high school team after what I thought was a pretty good baseball career. I'm one of those terrifying cautionary tales you read on here of kids who stop growing when they're 15 (5'8" 140 lbs). I then picked up a guitar, played in bands throughout high school. (I still play in a band in my 40s), and went to the beach with friends almost every spring day 2nd semester 11th grade through senior year. Got a job - learned a lot about money. I know you didn't mean "playing for your future" that way - but I can tell you with certainty, getting cut was much better for my high school experience than sitting on a bench for Junior & Senior year.

    Do I want my kid playing baseball on his high school team all four years - absolutely. But it's fine if he doesn't as long as he does something.

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    • #3
      Deciding a player's future based on the outcome of 1 or 2 games is ridiculous and actually telling them is irresponsible.
      Last edited by fly996; 04-16-2019, 10:53 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by fly996 View Post
        Deciding a player's future based on the outcome of 1 or 2 games is ridiculous and actually telling them that is irresponsible.
        It could just be motivational more than anything else. However, when you have bubble kids, how do you make the decision? When I have been involved with some of these things (picking which kids for a team with tryouts), it can be really hard. I am not one to second guess coaches unless they are really bad, and that is not the case here. From my perspective, baseball for my middle kid is something he likes, along with being on the team. However, his life doesn't revolve around it, and while I know he will be disappointed, he will be fine, and it may open up more time for other things.

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        • #5
          Its probably a motivation and or pressure thing. A lot of coaches want to see how players perform under pressure. Everyone looks good hitting soft toss, what do they look like when it's all on the line. And you are right, he'll be fine either way.
          Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

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          • #6
            Is the coach always this negative? Some are. I would have told the players advancing to the next team in June is an opportunity to enhance your prospects for the future. For kids who don’t advance I would talk with them privately on what they need to improve to keep playing next year.

            The coach is probably right the way he framed the scenario. And chances are an on the bubble player won’t have a big impact on the program in the future. But sometimes they do. I wanted kids up for the challenge, not demoralized.

            My son’s high school team had an on the bubble player who didn’t make varsity until senior year. He never became a starter (started a couple of non com games against weak teams). But he was so respected as a teammate he was a leader who made a difference in practice and in the dugout.
            Last edited by JettSixty; 04-16-2019, 10:16 AM.

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            • #7
              so do the bubble players get to start so they can showcase their skills? Poor leadership IMO. Should be fairly obvious by this point in the season using whatever metric you want -positions needed for depth, growth during the season, likeability, devotion, projectability, etc. Not sure how a couple ABs and a few outs in the field will make a difference.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Viking0 View Post

                It could just be motivational more than anything else. However, when you have bubble kids, how do you make the decision? When I have been involved with some of these things (picking which kids for a team with tryouts), it can be really hard. I am not one to second guess coaches unless they are really bad, and that is not the case here. From my perspective, baseball for my middle kid is something he likes, along with being on the team. However, his life doesn't revolve around it, and while I know he will be disappointed, he will be fine, and it may open up more time for other things.
                I assume the team has been through previous tryouts and a full season of practices/games. The coaches should already have a pretty definitive understanding of each players skill set and be able to project some future potential. If he actually felt this way, he should not have said anything and just let it play out then make his decision. I appears he's trying to create an easy excuse instead of making hard decisions.

                "Sorry Sir, he didn't make it because he played poorly in the last game" Really?

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                • #9
                  I really believe that we need more of these types of replies....
                  Originally posted by Baseball 100 View Post
                  So here's a perspective from the other side. I was cut from my high school team after what I thought was a pretty good baseball career. I'm one of those terrifying cautionary tales you read on here of kids who stop growing when they're 15 (5'8" 140 lbs). I then picked up a guitar, played in bands throughout high school. (I still play in a band in my 40s), and went to the beach with friends almost every spring day 2nd semester 11th grade through senior year. Got a job - learned a lot about money. I know you didn't mean "playing for your future" that way - but I can tell you with certainty, getting cut was much better for my high school experience than sitting on a bench for Junior & Senior year.

                  Do I want my kid playing baseball on his high school team all four years - absolutely. But it's fine if he doesn't as long as he does something.
                  ....as a reminder sometimes as to what HS extra-curricular activities (baseball just being one of them) should truly be all about.

                  While we all "want my kid playing baseball on his high school team all four years", we should honestly take stock in their actual abilities, wants, and needs over just what we dream for them. I've seen plenty a kid who actually seemed pleased (or maybe more "relieved" is a better word) that he was cut from the team, almost as an excuse to now go on, and do the things that he really wanted to do. Instead of playing ball just because he felt he was expect to, simply because it seemed like the natural progression or path all of the baseball in his youth that his parents signed him up for was leading him.

                  So I think we should really ask ourselves when advising or encouraging our kids wrt HS ball...could it possibly be that "getting cut [might be] much better for [their] high school experience than sitting on a bench for Junior & Senior year?" as we know will be the case for a good number of players in their future. Just another perspective from seeing some of the expressions or words from players who we've had to cut in the past. Just saying...


                  In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                    I really believe that we need more of these types of replies....
                    ....as a reminder sometimes as to what HS extra-curricular activities (baseball just being one of them) should truly be all about.

                    While we all "want my kid playing baseball on his high school team all four years", we should honestly take stock in their actual abilities, wants, and needs over just what we dream for them. I've seen plenty a kid who actually seemed pleased (or maybe more "relieved" is a better word) that he was cut from the team, almost as an excuse to now go on, and do the things that he really wanted to do. Instead of playing ball just because he felt he was expect to, simply because it seemed like the natural progression or path all of the baseball in his youth that his parents signed him up for was leading him.

                    So I think we should really ask ourselves when advising or encouraging our kids wrt HS ball...could it possibly be that "getting cut [might be] much better for [their] high school experience than sitting on a bench for Junior & Senior year?" as we know will be the case for a good number of players in their future. Just another perspective from seeing some of the expressions or words from players who we've had to cut in the past. Just saying...

                    That is a good point. My younger kid has and still wears me out in his desire to work on baseball. My middle kid genuinely likes baseball, the practices, and being on the team. He even seems to like the workouts. Comparing him with the rest of the players, I'd say he puts in as much effort as most of them, but not to the level of the top players (who all have parents that played college ball, which makes me think they know what it takes). I have repeatedly asked him if hear really wants it, and encouraged him that if he does, he has to work at it. He has started to respond this year, trying to overcome what is lesser raw talent. As I have stated previously, I rode the bench on my hockey team, but still overall am glad for the experience.

                    To JettSixty (to not do another post). The coach likes to put the bubble kids in the lineup, telling them that they can stay in as long as they do something productive in each at bat. Once they have a bad at bat, they are out until their next chance. I don't particularly care for this, along with the fact that kids who skip practice will still be put in the lineup if they are one of the better players. As i wrote in another post, though, head coaches have to go through a lot, and while I may not agree with everything they do, I still see how much they have to handle. After so many years being involved with sports with truly bad coaches (and I would put myself as an average coach), I am not one to be overly critical on things like this.

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                    • #11
                      My apologies to those who have already heard this, but in reply to the bold, and just how trying to give definitive advice on the subject one way or the other can be difficult....
                      Originally posted by Viking0 View Post
                      That is a good point. My younger kid has and still wears me out in his desire to work on baseball. My middle kid genuinely likes baseball, the practices, and being on the team. He even seems to like the workouts. Comparing him with the rest of the players, I'd say he puts in as much effort as most of them, but not to the level of the top players (who all have parents that played college ball, which makes me think they know what it takes). I have repeatedly asked him if hear really wants it, and encouraged him that if he does, he has to work at it. He has started to respond this year, trying to overcome what is lesser raw talent. As I have stated previously, I rode the bench on my hockey team, but still overall am glad for the experience.
                      While my oldest never rode the bench per se, he didn't make varsity until his senior season, and when he did, he started the preseason behind a junior, and a sophomore in the depth chart. However, by the time the regular season had started, he hit/worked his way into the starting F2 role, and then went on to lead his time in all hitter categories (with the exception of triples), earned all-league, all-valley, the coaches MVP award, and was one of only three players from that team to go on, and play any college ball.

                      So while it would have been easy to suggest that he just give up the game, and find something else to do (especially when he came home his junior years saying he'd not made the varsity team when the previous JV season he had out played the junior who was called up), he pushed on I think wanting to prove a point....and made the biggest point he could when after the year end banquet the VHC came up to his mom, and I to apologize for not recognizing our son's talent years earlier (he had called him up to the varsity team for the playoffs his freshman season, but they were "one, and done" so my son did get in that one game that year).

                      Baseball is an odd sport with so many up and downs that you'll pull your hair out if you ever think you have it or a coach figured out...but I wouldn't want it any other way.


                      In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                      • #12
                        am I the only one who thinks that setting a team in june for next February or march is kind of ridiculous? especially at this age. our family friend's kid was on the smaller side until sophomore year. he grew taller and skinnier but was still on the weaker side. then, between soph and jr year he filled out and got man strength. granted, he is highly skilled (varsity in a middle to weak program as a frosh) already but the physical changes he experienced were mind blowing. had he been a bubble kid in the op's program, as a frosh, he might have been cast aside.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mys View Post
                          am I the only one who thinks that setting a team in june for next February or march is kind of ridiculous? especially at this age. our family friend's kid was on the smaller side until sophomore year. he grew taller and skinnier but was still on the weaker side. then, between soph and jr year he filled out and got man strength. granted, he is highly skilled (varsity in a middle to weak program as a frosh) already but the physical changes he experienced were mind blowing. had he been a bubble kid in the op's program, as a frosh, he might have been cast aside.
                          There is a June league and they have workouts all summer. They do have another tryout in the late fall for the spring for kids who are new or somehow advance unexpectedly.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Viking0 View Post

                            There is a June league and they have workouts all summer. They do have another tryout in the late fall for the spring for kids who are new or somehow advance unexpectedly.
                            still, the fall is a 1/2 year away. it seems awfully short sighted to turn kids off now. the whole nature of the "bubble" is that kids are close to each other. why make close decisions before you have to?

                            even fall tryouts for spring i disagree with and am glad there are strict separations of school sports seasons here (but, its also an area that produces a very small level of pro players, so what do we know, lol)

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                            • #15
                              Tryouts were yesterday, and he didn't make it. Thankfully, he is on my 13-15 rec team (with younger brother), in which we have our end of your tournament this week. I am so glad that I finally had an opportunity to coach him, and he seemed to really enjoy this season. Hopefully, we can take home the championship (we are 2nd seed). After that, his playing journey will be over. Just tough to see it for your kid (he took it quite hard), even though I can't fault the coaches in their decision. I went through something similar, and while in the whole scheme of things it isn't super important, I feel for him at this moment. He'll still have great baseball memories that'll stay with him for his whole life.

                              He was always the bubble player, and each year it seemed that we sweated out tryouts. I guess this will no longer be the case. I am hoping he can be my assistant coach for my 13-15 team next year (I can just see him telling little brother something.... that'll be interesting dynamics).




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