Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Sparks Journey from Little League to College

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • songtitle
    replied
    Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
    If that's the case then Sparks needs to save the money he doesn't have for a true prospect tournament.
    Sparks must pay for his HS summer ball if he wants to play on his HSV team. Baseball is an expensive sport. Pony up.

    Leave a comment:


  • tradosaurus
    replied
    Originally posted by songtitle View Post
    I need to repeat this it seems. The 'showcase' that Sparks went to is not a showcase at all. It's simply a summer ball tournament for other high school teams. No college coaches. Most of the good players are playing with their TB teams. Our HS team played in one of these Mizuno-sponsored (meaning they set up a small tent to sell some bats and gloves) 'showcases' last year. This rabbit has been running wild for too long.
    If that's the case then Sparks needs to save the money he doesn't have for a true prospect tournament.

    Leave a comment:


  • songtitle
    replied
    I need to repeat this it seems. The 'showcase' that Sparks went to is not a showcase at all. It's simply a summer ball tournament for other high school teams. No college coaches. Most of the good players are playing with their TB teams. Our HS team played in one of these Mizuno-sponsored (meaning they set up a small tent to sell some bats and gloves) 'showcases' last year. This rabbit has been running wild for too long.
    Last edited by songtitle; 06-01-2012, 08:51 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ursa Major
    replied
    Let me bring the two currently ascendant points together in a slightly different way. We seem now to be touching on (a) are showcases "investments" designed to lead to scholarships or other recruiting offers (e.g., for D3 or Ivy schools that don't offer athletic scholarships), and (b) should the investment emphasis be on academics rather than on sports? Fortunately, my son (a HS senior graduating in two weeks) had an excellent academic record but not so good at baseball. So, in deciding where to go to college, he went to the 2-day Headfirst Honor Roll Camp to showcase himself in front of coaches at top academic schools, as part of his decisionmaking process. He's decided to go to a top academic university (Georgetown) which happens to be a D1 school and most certainly out of his league, and was not at the showcase.

    Does this mean that the showcase was a waste? No, no more than the time he took attending tours and information sessions at some fifteen other colleges over the past year.

    1. He had a blast and learned a lot from the coaches at the showcase.
    2. He got to see how he could fare against other top HS players.
    3. He was able to talk to coaches and assess whether he would actually have a chance to play for those schools and whether he would enjoy it.

    I think many people assume that every player who has the capability of playing for some college somewhere will do so, and select the best college that offers them either a scholarship or a solid commitment to making the roster.

    However, I am finding that many of my son's teammates who are talented enough to play college ball are making their final choices entirely independent of what their chances of making a team are, as has my son. If college baseball is not going to lead to a pro career, why accept a lesser college simply because it lets you continue what, ultimately, is a hobby, just so you can play (or, more likely, ride the bench) for a varsity team? And you don't need to decide between going to showcases and working on grades and test scores; those ACT and SAT prep books that Tradeasaurus references are, what, $35? DO BOTH. Read the books while driving to the showcase. In fact, one of the advantages of HS sports is that it often imparts the sort of time discipline that helps kids get better grades.

    So, I think it would be helpful for Sparks and many others to think of showcases as more of a two-way street for also assessing what colleges his grandson will want to go to, bearing in mind that his chances of playing varsity ball is only one consideration. If he ultimately gets to decide between two equally academically suitable schools, one which offers a chance to play ball and one that doesn't, sure make the call for the playing opportunity. But every significant college now seems to offer a club team as well, which, at the end of the day, may be a better option if there isn't going to be a baseball scholarship offered. (Or, indeed, the kid may get some academic money which will equal or better the 1/3 scholarship that the baseball coach will offer.)

    Also, a good showcase will often give kids a chance to talk to college coaches who will - once they recognize that they and the kid are NOT a good fit for each other, academically, athletically, geographically, or otherwise - often give the kid an unbiased view of where they think the kid will fit in the recruiting schemes of others. This can be helpful as well, as it can force a kid (and, more importantly, his father) to set a realistic sightline for where he is likely to draw interest.

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    Originally posted by JCincy View Post
    There's more money for bowling scholarships per capita than any other sport.

    At least that's what the bowling coach said my daughter's school.
    Female and male atheltic scholarships are two separate conversations. It's especially so where at D1 collleges handing out eighty-four full football scholarships. Those eighty-four rides have to be offset for the girls.

    Leave a comment:


  • JCincy
    replied
    There's more money for bowling scholarships per capita than any other sport.

    At least that's what the bowling coach said my daughter's school.

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    Sparks ... If you choose to follow my advice I will follow up with a translation of what the college program's responses mean. Getting a response doesn't mean they are necessarily recruiting your son. In some cases the camps they invite your son to attend are fundraisers for their spring trip. The only camps worth attending (and paying for) are prospect camps.

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
    Well since this thread is about Sparks and his super duper grandson I would tell Sparks to be cautious about investing money he evidently doesn't have.

    Concentrate on scoring high on the ACT (above a 25 will start getting you scholarships). You can buy a sample book of ACT tests and have your grandson practice these tests this summer. It's a cheap investment that pays a boat load of dividends.

    My next older son received a full academic ride at a D1 university by doing this.
    I've always told people if a kid is hitting .250 and getting a C in math spend the money on a math tutor not a hitting instructor. There's twenty-two times more academic money than athletic money. There isn't much baseball money. We always placed a heavy emphasis in our house on academics, healthy body and physical activity. The emphasis played out well for both kids.

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
    You thought it was value of finding out what, before he started the "intense part of the recruiting process"? The part where "he wasn't a top prospect", or that "he could perform on the same field with them"?

    Attempting to find out at 16, what he'll be able to do against 18 through 22 year olds in the future, doesn't need to (and shouldn't) be paid for IMO.

    Especially by someone who's been involved in baseball as much as you attempt to make us believe....unless it's only with your own children that you have gained your experience, but from reading your posts, that's not the impression that I feel you're trying to make.


    Interesting, I'm still trying to figure out what "service" it is that one is paying for at these "showcases", other than the service of "publicity", which in most financial settings, meets the criteria for an "investment", of spending money for profit or material result.


    Yes, academics is huge, and something that I don't think enough "baseball" people push when it comes to scholarship options (at least not in our area, or circle of players). If more parents would push their kids academically, as much or as hard as they do baseball wise, I think they'd be pleasantly surprised at the greater amounts of educational money available to them.


    That's outstanding and something more should plan for.....any money saved by academic or athletic scholarships is then just a bonus, and a nice way to get them started financially after graduation.
    I'm not going to resond line by line. I'll hit the key stuff. I knew what my son's potential was. A couple of pro scouts told him what his potential was. But I believe the best thing a kid can do is go out on the field and earn the right to believe it in his on mind. The service I was paying for with the showcase team was getting my son in the right venues and a coach with contacts and credibility with most of the college baseball coaches east of the Mississippi. As it turned out this was very important. My son got injured and missed the post junior year showcase season. He drew some interest after his soph year. It was phone converations with the showcase coach and a pro scout affiliated with the team that convinced the college coach my son was recovered and worth the gamble. From their exposure to my son they talked up his athleticism and work ethic.

    Leave a comment:


  • tradosaurus
    replied
    Well since this thread is about Sparks and his super duper grandson I would tell Sparks to be cautious about investing money he evidently doesn't have.

    Concentrate on scoring high on the ACT (above a 25 will start getting you scholarships). You can buy a sample book of ACT tests and have your grandson practice these tests this summer. It's a cheap investment that pays a boat load of dividends.

    My next older son received a full academic ride at a D1 university by doing this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ursa Major
    replied
    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
    Sparks ... If your son is just finishing his soph year you should sit down with him and make a list of about fifty colleges he would like to play baseball that are a fit 1) academically, 2) socially and 3) baseball-wise. If 1 and 2 aren't fits he'll be miserable playing baseball. Fifty is a lot of options. But it's early. The list will narrow and/or change.

    Have your son attend one college camp type showcase this summer or fall. They cost about $150. It will give him an idea and the experience of what he will be dealing with next year.

    Next spring get to some college games at the D1, D2, D3 and JuCo level. It looks a lot different up close than on television. Talk to parents of players. They love to tell their son's journey. Ask how they decided on that school. Ask about the other college options. Ask where these colleges found him.

    This fall have your son send emails to the fifty colleges on his list. Included in the email is why he wants to play there, why he wants to attend the college. Think added value to the program. If your son is throwing 85 state it as a fact. They're going to want to know his gpa is above 3.0. Ask what showcases and camps they will participate in 2013.

    Start looking for next summer's team the end of this summer. Many have tryouts in the fall. Don't assume it's going to be costly. My son's team was very subsidized by a third party source. A couple of kids with financial issues played free.

    When it comes to decision making time you will need to decide if showcase ball is the option or playing for a regular summer team and attending a handful of individual showcases. Don't say you can't afford it. Your grandson can earn some money between now and next summer.

    Take the SAT's twice during junior year. They are an important selling point next summer. Baseball players can't wait until next summer or fall. SAT scores can determine acceptance to the college and NCAA eligibility. Schools will offer verbals pending passing the SAT. But if they have to choose between makng an offer to a player who has passed the SAT's and one who hasn't taken them guess who gets left out.

    I don't know your son's academic or athletic abilities. So I kept it general. If you want to discuss more PM me. I've been through this with two kids and have helped several others.

    Tell your son all public behavior matters. He should always act as if he's being watched from the moment he gets out of the car. Also tell him he's competing with thousands of players with the same ability for a college roster spot. There's a fine line of differentiation. Always be looking for the edge/advantage.
    TG, all I can say is ... well... wow. Every paragraph in this post has a couple or three top-notch nuggets. Very nicely (and succinctly) stated.

    It's good to see that Sparks is looking at these "showcases" with his eyes open. Some of these are run by charlatans. But, until we know what schools he and his boy are thinking of, it's hard to give much more specific advice than is offered here. The important point is that you've got to narrow your list of colleges and contact their coaches; unless he's a genuine stud, coaches won't waste much time approaching a player if they don't think there's some reason to believe he will possibly attend their school.

    With all the angst of the recruiting process, it's amazing how many kids pick a team early in their junior year, mutally bond with the coach, and essentially resolve the recruiting dance early on. If your boy likes XYZ University and the coach is willing to commit to him, you can sometimes take most of the anxiety out of the process by attending their camp and verbally committing early.

    Leave a comment:


  • mudvnine
    replied
    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
    I believe there's value to finding out at sixteen before going through the intense part of the recruiting process and before getting to college ball.
    You thought it was value of finding out what, before he started the "intense part of the recruiting process"? The part where "he wasn't a top prospect", or that "he could perform on the same field with them"?
    Originally posted by tg643
    My son didn't need East Cobb and Fort Myers for recruiting. What it did for him was convince him while he wasn't a top prospect he could perform on the same field with them.
    Attempting to find out at 16, what he'll be able to do against 18 through 22 year olds in the future, doesn't need to (and shouldn't) be paid for IMO.

    Especially by someone who's been involved in baseball as much as you attempt to make us believe....unless it's only with your own children that you have gained your experience, but from reading your posts, that's not the impression that I feel you're trying to make.

    I never looked at anything I spent on softball and baseball as an investment. I looked at it as paying for a service.
    Interesting, I'm still trying to figure out what "service" it is that one is paying for at these "showcases", other than the service of "publicity", which in most financial settings, meets the criteria for an "investment", of spending money for profit or material result.

    Between academics and athetics I paid for 25% of the list cost of college for my daughter (7K per year). My son's first year was 50% off (10K).
    Yes, academics is huge, and something that I don't think enough "baseball" people push when it comes to scholarship options (at least not in our area, or circle of players). If more parents would push their kids academically, as much or as hard as they do baseball wise, I think they'd be pleasantly surprised at the greater amounts of educational money available to them.

    By age eighteen I had saved 100K for each for college.
    That's outstanding and something more should plan for.....any money saved by academic or athletic scholarships is then just a bonus, and a nice way to get them started financially after graduation.

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
    They all find this out one way or the other once they step out on whatever college field they choose, and you really don't have to pay a penny for that "education".
    I believe there's value to finding out at sixteen before going through the intense part of the recruiting process and before getting to college ball. I never looked at anything I spent on softball and baseball as an investment. I looked at it as paying for a service. Between academics and athetics I paid for 25% of the list cost of college for my daughter (7K per year). My son's first year was 50% off (10K). By age eighteen I had saved 100K for each for college.

    Leave a comment:


  • mudvnine
    replied
    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
    What it did for him was convince him while he wasn't a top prospect he could perform on the same field with them.
    They all find this out one way or the other once they step out on whatever college field they choose, and you really don't have to pay a penny for that "education".

    Leave a comment:


  • mudvnine
    replied
    Originally posted by Encinitas View Post
    ....we are pretty much thinking JUCO right now so I am not sure it's worth it.
    Yep, after seeing what's happening with so many other of the kids that my oldest son went to school HS with....and how they and/or their parents are getting saddled with huge educational expenses (read "loans" in most cases), even the ones that did receive some sort of scholarship(s)....we're more than pleased that my oldest went the local JUCO route, and saved "10's of thousands" over the first couple of years.

    After seeing all the money that some have spent on all of these "showcase" events to get little, and more times than not, no scholarship offers....I'm figuring that I've got about as much chance a calling that "showcase" money an "investment", as I would calling the money I put done on a table in Vegas an "investment".

    I'm sure there's a place for them for some ball players, but that's definitely not the case in our situation.....YMMV.

    Leave a comment:

Ad Widget

Collapse
Working...
X