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What situation is better for development at 11/12u?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by mistersean View Post
    At 12U? PLAYING TIME PLAYING TIME PLAYING TIME.

    This has been covered already by other posters but absolutely put your son somewhere where he has a chance to be a contributor and not an afterthought. Look for a situation where he's not the worst player on the team but he's also not the best player. Good coaching is always a plus. At the end of the day, though, practice is great but there's no substitute for in-game reps.
    This is something that you might have little or no control over unless you know all of the kids, but it's an underrated point. The ideal situation is to be in middle of the pack as far as the team's talent. That way you are sure to play most of the time, but also have room to improve and won't be bored (I know kids should be self-motivating but 12-year-olds who are are pretty rare...yes we all know exceptions). Actually, I'd argue being on a .500 team is probably best too---not getting crushed all the time, not cruising against overmatched competition---but you have even less control there.

    So, in summary, while it's fun to win, best to be sure your son gets to play. That's the team you want to be on.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by stranded1 View Post

      This is something that you might have little or no control over unless you know all of the kids, but it's an underrated point. The ideal situation is to be in middle of the pack as far as the team's talent. That way you are sure to play most of the time, but also have room to improve and won't be bored (I know kids should be self-motivating but 12-year-olds who are are pretty rare...yes we all know exceptions). Actually, I'd argue being on a .500 team is probably best too---not getting crushed all the time, not cruising against overmatched competition---but you have even less control there.

      So, in summary, while it's fun to win, best to be sure your son gets to play. That's the team you want to be on.
      Whats wrong with being very talented on a very good team? Any player and team looking to the future is constantly pushing themselves to be better. Always think bigger, faster, stronger. In addition to the tournaments we played we scheduled extra games (sometimes doubleheaders) against the best teams. Once the kids were fifteen and past puberty I realized they had created a talent gap that warranted moving up to 16u. The least talented kid on the 13u to 16u teams played D3 in college.

      In the preteen years our 11u and 12u travel teams were the prospective all stars from our LL. They played in a Sunday DHer league. The idea was to spend Sundays in the spring learning how to play your likely all star position. We had fifteen kids on the team. Only twelve made all stars. It was a way around the “don’t practice until you lick the team mid June.”

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      • #18
        Originally posted by JettSixty View Post

        Whats wrong with being very talented on a very good team?
        I think that goes without saying, but to be fair I don't think many people asking for this kind of advice are in this situation.

        "Why don't you just try being a Dude? Did you think of that?"

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        • #19
          Originally posted by mistersean View Post

          I think that goes without saying, but to be fair I don't think many people asking for this kind of advice are in this situation.

          "Why don't you just try being a Dude? Did you think of that?"
          I don’t understand wanting to be on an average team. The competition at the top is fierce. Admittedly, along the way you play some mutts. But the best way to learn to compete is competing agains the best. Pressure in competition is good.

          On any team someone is going to be the best player. Are they supposed to leave the team? In preteen ball and school ball my son was the best player on his teams. He was a leader. There was pressure to lead. There was pressure to produce. In high school there were some players good enough to be the best player that day. In travel ball I could pull names out of a hat for best player on the team. Everyone was good.

          The net of it is a kid should play on the best team possible he can get on the field. The object is to play the game not watch the game.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
            The net of it is a kid should play on the best team possible he can get on the field. The object is to play the game not watch the game.
            I feel like we're probably saying the same thing.

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            • #21
              There’s also a responsibility in coaching to get every player reasonable playing time. Kids don’t develop playing one inning and maybe getting an at bat. In LL I played six full time and six half the game. But with blowouts six full time p,Ayers did sometimes come off the field after three innings.

              In travel probably could have pulled a lineup out of a hat and the team would have still competed. But I sorted it out where the players playing the best played more in the semis and finals.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by JettSixty View Post

                I don’t understand wanting to be on an average team. The competition at the top is fierce. Admittedly, along the way you play some mutts. But the best way to learn to compete is competing agains the best. Pressure in competition is good.

                On any team someone is going to be the best player. Are they supposed to leave the team? In preteen ball and school ball my son was the best player on his teams. He was a leader. There was pressure to lead. There was pressure to produce. In high school there were some players good enough to be the best player that day. In travel ball I could pull names out of a hat for best player on the team. Everyone was good.

                The net of it is a kid should play on the best team possible he can get on the field. The object is to play the game not watch the game.
                an average kid getting on a very good team happens on accident. if they thought he was average, they wouldn't have taken him, or there was a situation where they needed a spot filled and knew he was there to fill a seat, or there is some other connection that got him something he didn't "earn" (coach's kid!). maybe there is some effect of a rising tide raising all boats but by and large it is rare for that average kid - the bottom kid - to reach the level of the studs on a very good team just by working with them and watching them play. the coaches hope to replace him next year, the parents chirp to each other wondering why he is on the team. all of that is a reason to avoid it.

                on the flip side, unless you are at the top tier in your area, if you are the top kid and there is a big gap, you are just going to get recruited up a tier, and it will continue until you move up amongst kids at your level. all of this movement and disruption is minimized if kids are playing with comparable talent on well coached teams.

                your perspective of leading a very good team that everyone wanted to be on is not the typical experience.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by abc123 View Post

                  an average kid getting on a very good team happens on accident. if they thought he was average, they wouldn't have taken him, or there was a situation where they needed a spot filled and knew he was there to fill a seat, or there is some other connection that got him something he didn't "earn" (coach's kid!). maybe there is some effect of a rising tide raising all boats but by and large it is rare for that average kid - the bottom kid - to reach the level of the studs on a very good team just by working with them and watching them play. the coaches hope to replace him next year, the parents chirp to each other wondering why he is on the team. all of that is a reason to avoid it.

                  on the flip side, unless you are at the top tier in your area, if you are the top kid and there is a big gap, you are just going to get recruited up a tier, and it will continue until you move up amongst kids at your level. all of this movement and disruption is minimized if kids are playing with comparable talent on well coached teams.

                  your perspective of leading a very good team that everyone wanted to be on is not the typical experience.

                  OP here. I’ll also add that this team is not a “very good” team. There are a couple of good players whose parents are determined to play at the majors level but realize that if they jump ship to one of the “top” teams, their kid won’t play ss or 2nd every inning and be the top two pitchers. So they’ve told the coach to replace the bottom couple of players or they will leave. So that’s what they are doing. My kid is in the bottom half of 12….so 50/50 he would still make the team but I still don’t think it’s the right team for him regardless. Our record at majors this year was embarrassing but they refused to drop down…so we didn’t get many games. One of these players whose parents are making the demands batted .250 in the last 5 tournaments (my kid was .360). So it’s just an interesting situation all around.

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                  • #24
                    those parents are the sort of cancer that ruins teams. we have a good group and would be considered "A" top but not "THE" top local team, and the very best kids on our team has left the last 2 years for that top team who recruits heavily. i have the same conversation with the parent last year as this year.

                    i tell them that while i care about their son and would like for him to stay i ultimately am fine if they leave and wish them well. the team will be fine. i don't care if their departure means we lose a little more. i'm just trying to do the best thing for the kids on the team whoever they are. if they think that for their particular kid they are better off elsewhere, that's completely fine, there's no hard feelings.

                    lol at the parent of a 12 year old demanding a better supporting cast for his superstar who isn't good enough to excel on a better team. that's absurd.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by abc123 View Post

                      an average kid getting on a very good team happens on accident. if they thought he was average, they wouldn't have taken him, or there was a situation where they needed a spot filled and knew he was there to fill a seat, or there is some other connection that got him something he didn't "earn" (coach's kid!). maybe there is some effect of a rising tide raising all boats but by and large it is rare for that average kid - the bottom kid - to reach the level of the studs on a very good team just by working with them and watching them play. the coaches hope to replace him next year, the parents chirp to each other wondering why he is on the team. all of that is a reason to avoid it.

                      on the flip side, unless you are at the top tier in your area, if you are the top kid and there is a big gap, you are just going to get recruited up a tier, and it will continue until you move up amongst kids at your level. all of this movement and disruption is minimized if kids are playing with comparable talent on well coached teams.

                      your perspective of leading a very good team that everyone wanted to be on is not the typical experience.
                      You completely ignored the bottom line where I netted it out ….

                      “A player should look for the best team possible where he can get on the field.”

                      I believe this whether it’s the best player on the team or the worst player as long as he’s getting reasonable playing time. On my teams everyone played a lot. There was always one pool game where we could beat the opponent pulling the lineup out of a hat. In the semis and finals the best players played the most. There were also in between games. But I would say on the teams I had the talent wasn’t that far apart from top to bottom. By the time the kids were fifteen (in 16u) separation between D1 and D3 prospects was becoming noticeable by instincts and how hard some were beginning to hit the ball.

                      It’s the teams that aren’t desireable that have a large spread in talent from top to bottom. These teams have lots of turnover. The best kids want out and to move up. The worst kids want out because they aren’t playing (it’s the coaches fault according to the parents). The middle of the pack wonders if there will be enough players for next years team.

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                      • #26
                        lol at the parent of a 12 year old demanding a better supporting cast for his superstar who isn't good enough to excel on a better team. that's absurd.

                        This is a parent you want to avoid having around your team. They’re a cancer. Imagine the sideline conversations. They’re the kinds of conversations that tear teams apart.

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