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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • Check the website of the tournament for a year by year history of who attended each year. DO NOT CONFUSE "We've invited" with a history of who has attended in the recent past. THey can invite anyone. It doesn't mean they're coming. If it's not on the website contact the tournament. Ask them to fax or email a list of colleges who attended in 2011 and 2010.

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    • Wow! I keep hearing the costs for showcases and I can't help but wonder why it has to be so high?

      I've already resigned myself that if I can't afford it now then I won't be able to afford it in 4 years.

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      • Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
        Wow! I keep hearing the costs for showcases and I can't help but wonder why it has to be so high?

        I've already resigned myself that if I can't afford it now then I won't be able to afford it in 4 years.
        I've never heard of a travel tournament costing this much. Most are in the $300 range for a team. Why this one cost so much I don't know. It's also during the week (wed. through Sund.). We've never had a travel tournament during the week.

        So we will see..... I do think the kids on our team will be in for a shock at the level of talent they will face. I doubt bad teams pay that much to enter a tournament.

        Sparks

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        • If your son's high school team is going to compete in a big time showcase tournament prepared to get their tails kicked. These tournaments are for showcase teams of accumulated talent who plan on playing college baseball. On a high school team a few have what it takes to play college baseball.

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          • I thought I heard that Perfect Game tournaments are up to about $2400 per team. We have at least three of those tournaments. Now my guess is that seems a bit high, so if you have multiple teams in your organization going, those fees probably go down a little. Most of the visible florida programs are running up over $1200 per player now just for the summer tournament teams. Add in the $150 tryout you can see where there is big money forming around this stuff. This is why teams are now sometimes 22 players where you have almost 10 pitcher only type kids. It's gotten to where if you are a PO on a team they just tell you to show up for your start game 3 for instance, but with the tournaments being so expensive they carry a few more of these guys. Occasionally you see a more localized team that doesn't have as many specialty players but they need 3-4 absolute studs to pull that off.

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            • My son's team was 10 junior position players, 4 soph position players and 10 pitchers. When they went to week long PG events they took 4 more pitchers. The team was $2,500 for the summer (seven weeks of showcases plus local scout league games during week). Players were on their own to get to showcases except PG in GA and the big NC showcase (can't remember sponsor). The team was also subsidized by a MLB team. My son did Select Fest and Head First on his own.

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              • Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                My son's team was 10 junior position players, 4 soph position players and 10 pitchers. When they went to week long PG events they took 4 more pitchers. The team was $2,500 for the summer (seven weeks of showcases plus local scout league games during week). Players were on their own to get to showcases except PG in GA and the big NC showcase (can't remember sponsor). The team was also subsidized by a MLB team. My son did Select Fest and Head First on his own.
                Ouch. $2500? For us the big expense is the travel, for instance we spend next week at a college in NC playing games across 4 days then straight to East Cobb for a minimum of 6 days (7 games, 8 team pools). Down here you are also ponying up $200 to tryout for these clubs as the tryouts tend to run 2 days in front of 20-25 colleges (coaches sent range from Manager to low-man on totem pole). If selected you can apply a small portion of the tryout fee to the $1200 for the summer. Other teams cost more but not $2500 as far as I know. Still it worked out for your kid I suppose.

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                • Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
                  Wow! I keep hearing the costs for showcases and I can't help but wonder why it has to be so high?
                  Some showcases actually pay college coaches to show up and coach (or ostensibly coach). So, you're paying the coaches for them to come look at you. That's not to say that the coaches won't actually look when they arrive, but it explains why they're willing to sit through two days of grueling heat to look at 250 kids when they can only take 7 into their program, and the chance of actually finding one of those seven in a particular showcase are small.
                  I've already resigned myself that if I can't afford it now then I won't be able to afford it in 4 years.
                  See how you feel in four years. You just need to be realistic then about whether your kid will make an impact in those showcases. At the highest level, you're hopefully seeing kids who will get at least a partial ride some place, so they'll 'earn' some of that money back. But, if your kid is a D3 talent and there's a good D3 school that the kid likes and the coach wants to take him on, there's no reason to go crazy on showcases. Go to the coach's own camp.
                  sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                  • Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
                    Some showcases actually pay college coaches to show up and coach (or ostensibly coach). So, you're paying the coaches for them to come look at you. That's not to say that the coaches won't actually look when they arrive, but it explains why they're willing to sit through two days of grueling heat to look at 250 kids when they can only take 7 into their program, and the chance of actually finding one of those seven in a particular showcase are small.

                    See how you feel in four years. You just need to be realistic then about whether your kid will make an impact in those showcases. At the highest level, you're hopefully seeing kids who will get at least a partial ride some place, so they'll 'earn' some of that money back. But, if your kid is a D3 talent and there's a good D3 school that the kid likes and the coach wants to take him on, there's no reason to go crazy on showcases. Go to the coach's own camp.
                    I talked to a guy who now is an assistant coach for South Carolina Gamecocks football program. He told me that if a kid is really good word will get out and he will be "found".

                    I'm concentrating on academic scholarships for my 3rd oldest and if baseball or football comes through then so be it but I'm not throwing thousands of dollars at these showcases on the slim chance that my son will be noticed.
                    Last edited by tradosaurus; 06-19-2012, 05:25 AM.

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                    • Originally posted by Encinitas View Post
                      Ouch. $2500? For us the big expense is the travel, for instance we spend next week at a college in NC playing games across 4 days then straight to East Cobb for a minimum of 6 days (7 games, 8 team pools). Down here you are also ponying up $200 to tryout for these clubs as the tryouts tend to run 2 days in front of 20-25 colleges (coaches sent range from Manager to low-man on totem pole). If selected you can apply a small portion of the tryout fee to the $1200 for the summer. Other teams cost more but not $2500 as far as I know. Still it worked out for your kid I suppose.
                      To place the $2,500 in perspective, it cost me about $1,300 for my seven days, six nights in Marietta (flight, hotel, food, misc.)

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                      • Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
                        Some showcases actually pay college coaches to show up and coach (or ostensibly coach). So, you're paying the coaches for them to come look at you. That's not to say that the coaches won't actually look when they arrive, but it explains why they're willing to sit through two days of grueling heat to look at 250 kids when they can only take 7 into their program, and the chance of actually finding one of those seven in a particular showcase are small.

                        See how you feel in four years. You just need to be realistic then about whether your kid will make an impact in those showcases. At the highest level, you're hopefully seeing kids who will get at least a partial ride some place, so they'll 'earn' some of that money back. But, if your kid is a D3 talent and there's a good D3 school that the kid likes and the coach wants to take him on, there's no reason to go crazy on showcases. Go to the coach's own camp.
                        The key to not overspending is have a business plan. Make a list of schools. Decide if they are a good fit academically, socially and athletically. Find out where they look for players. Make a "showing yourself off" gameplan. It may be a lot less than playing showcase ball. Had my son wanted to play college ball locally I would have only paid for showcase ball because I can afford it, not because it was needed. He received two local D1 offers and a D2 powerhouse just from his high school play. However, they partially found him through a top college outfield prospect list in the paper impacted by the showcases coaches. Another advantage to showcase ball is a summer of very challenging competition. After showcasing summer post soph year my son said high school ball mostly seemed like BP.
                        Last edited by tg643; 06-19-2012, 04:00 PM.

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                        • Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
                          I talked to a guy who now is an assistant coach for South Carolina Gamecocks football program. He told me that if a kid is really good word will get out and he will be "found".

                          I'm concentrating on academic scholarships for my 3rd oldest and if baseball or football comes through then so be it but I'm not throwing thousands of dollars at these showcases on the slim chance that my son will be noticed.
                          Don't buy into that for a second unless your kid is a jaw dropping stud. That's who major conference programs like SEC's South Carolina looks for. I know and know of several quality players who scrambled to find a college baseball home after senior year because they were advised they would be found. It absolutely doesn't apply if a kid wants to get out of the area to play.

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                          • Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                            Don't buy into that for a second unless your kid is a jaw dropping stud. That's who major conference programs like SEC's South Carolina looks for. I know and know of several quality players who scrambled to find a college baseball home after senior year because they were advised they would be found. It absolutely doesn't apply if a kid wants to get out of the area to play.
                            It's especially true in baseball where the dollars for the coaches to go scouting is very small compared to football. Sure, the Gamecocks can afford to fly their football assistants all over the country scouting guys, but in baseball it's really pretty rare. The budget differences between baseball and football are enormous, even for powerhouse D1 programs.
                            The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

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                            • Something pretty exciting happened today.

                              I'm out of town and I got text during the games.
                              My boy pitched a one hit shutout today in the tournament..... that's not all.

                              After the game one of the college coaches talked to my boys travel ball coach. He asked permission to talk to him tomorrow. He said he had good stuff on the mound and some great swings batting.

                              Go figure...... I missed it.......

                              Sparks

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                              • Be VERY careful. NCAA rules do not allow coaches to approach players until July 1st after their junior year. Violation of this rule could cost the coach the right to recruit your grandson. Worst case, but not likely your grandson could lose NCAA eligibility. Coaches may NEVER initiate contact before the date mentioned. All contact must be initiated by the player. When the player initiates contact it is legal for the coach to have a conversation regarding recruiting.

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