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

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    • 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.
      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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      • 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.

        Comment


        • 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.

          Comment


          • 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.

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            • 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.

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              • 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.

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                • 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.

                  Comment


                  • 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.
                    sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                    Comment


                    • 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.
                      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                      Comment


                      • 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.

                        Comment


                        • 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.
                          efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                            Sparks must pay for his HS summer ball if he wants to play on his HSV team. Baseball is an expensive sport. Pony up.
                            That maybe true for that individual team but is not true for all varsity baseball teams.

                            If a kid is good enough he will see playing time. If HS summer ball is a prerequisite then the school needs to pony up the money.

                            I'm pretty sure that if my son plays baseball for our small town high school (2A) that he will most likely be playing varsity as a freshman. I personally don't think this is a good thing since I would rather a team be good enough that my son has to beat out the competition for a starting spot.

                            Comment


                            • There's a two step process for Spark's grandson. First he should want to prove he's a needed contributor for next year's varsity. He probably did some of that on the JV team. But if there's a high school summer and/or fall team that needs to be given consideration. It's an opportunity to perform in front of the coach.

                              Heading into soph year of high school my son passed on travel fall ball. He played for the high school's fall ball team. He won the starting shortstop position in fall ball. Tryouts in the spring were a formality. What he did over ten fall ball games superceeded anything that would happen in a three day tryout.

                              But, if Spark's grandson believes he will be a high school contributor in the spring and has college aspirations, he needs to look this fall for the showcase team he can play for next summer or a showcase team will be the route. Part of looking for a showcase team is being real about your talent. The player has to decide if he wants to be one a team that gets him in front of D1 or coached or D2 and D3 coaches.

                              If there are three local colleges where the kid can play, wants to play and they may want him there are other avenues than traveling with a showcase team.

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                              • Got back from the showcase tournament with the Varsity.

                                My boy didn't think he would play but he played a lot. First game he started at SS. Next game started at SB. Next game started at Catcher. Next game Pitched.

                                The game he pitched he got the privilege of pitching against the best team their. I seriously wouldn't' want it any other way. Their FB has 7 scholarship offers and their SB has verb. agreed two a major D1 school. They were just flat out and out good. They hit very pitch my boy threw. He couldn't get anything past them. I don't know if something is wrong with his arm or what but he was easily off 5mph on his fastball (maybe more). He did catch 3 innings the game before he pitched and I don't know if that effected him or not. Still, if he had thrown 90 they would have pounded him. He gave up 3 runs in three innings. The coach pulled him after the SB hit a two run homer off him. It's only the second time in my boys life he's given up a homerun.

                                Also, my boy left his hitting in the last tournament. His first two at bats he struck out and he looked bad striking out. I think he may have got 4 hits in the 7 games we played. But in some games the coach either didn't let him bat or he batted 9th and they were time limit games so if you batted down in the order, and your team didn't hit then you got 2 at bats at most. One game he batted 9th and when his second at bat came up the coach pinch hit for him.

                                Just to be blunt our Varsity team isn't very good. Our travel team could easily beat them. Maybe the coach can help improve them but wow.... but they need a lot of work. We are a 6A school and we didn't come close to competing with the other 6A schools at the tournament.

                                Right now it looks to me like my boy is backup SS, backup SB, backup catcher and probably 2nd or 3rd in the pitching rotation.

                                I'll say this.... my boy has a lot of work to do to get better and frankly he's stopped doing what it takes to get better. He thinks all he has to do is go to practice and show up for the games..... impossible. The other kids his age are too good and you can bet they are working on their game.

                                I guess you could say I'm a little disappointed. Mostly in his attitude. I miss the days when he would get mad at striking out or making an error. Now it doesn't seem to bother him.

                                What is crazy is he doesn't want to play with his school anymore. He would rather just play travel ball and it just doesn't work that way.

                                I don't know........ time to just step back and see what he does from here. It's up to him.

                                Sparks
                                Last edited by Sparksdale; 06-02-2012, 10:19 PM. Reason: errors

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