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  • SHOWCASE GUY: Part one

    Buckle up, boys. This is going to be a big one.

    There has been an enormous shift in importance from the school coach to the Showcase/Travel guy. In short, this has to do with changes in the NCAA and the college folks finally getting wise that it is not a good thing to send your $9,000 a year assistant seven hours on the road to see one or two guys. That's fine.

    Most of the Showcase Guys are fine people. I myself have had to wear many hats-school coach, travel coach, hs,college, pro player over a period of many years. But what irks me is that the school coach/legion coach is getting to be a non-factor in influence. It makes no sense.

    So let's take a look at Showcase Guy:

    1. Showcase Guy probably hasn't coached many games and the ones he has coached probably were in some contrived, cherry-picked scenario.

    2. Showcase Guy does it the big league way. He has his pitchers start low and away, then up and in off the plate, then splitter down, waste pitch 0-2....Showcase guy can't distinguish between TV baseball and amateur baseball. Doesn't understand that most schools don't have ten man staffs, ten guys in AAA, and don't worry about ruining arms 'cause they can trade or sign someone as a free agent.

    3. Showcase Guy might have played D-1, Indy ball, AA, had a cup of coffee in the bigs. They might have seen and heard a lot of good stuff. It's great that they can repeat some of it. But if Showcase Guy was a bonehead back then he's still a bonehead now.

    4. Showcase Guy possibly cannot be a school coach. He just might not have the college credits to do it. He might have a DWI or something on his record that bars him. He might not play well with others. And, ultimately, he might only be Showcase Guy for a few years as the bills mount.

    5. Showcase Guy tells Showcase Charlie and Showcase Daddy that School Coach knows nothing. Showcase Guy gets paid directly by Showcase Daddy. From Showcase Daddy's viewpoint it is a lot of money. So Showcase Guy must be right.

    That's a small sample.
    Major Figure

  • #2
    Originally posted by omg View Post
    Buckle up, boys. This is going to be a big one.

    There has been an enormous shift in importance from the school coach to the Showcase/Travel guy. In short, this has to do with changes in the NCAA and the college folks finally getting wise that it is not a good thing to send your $9,000 a year assistant seven hours on the road to see one or two guys. That's fine.

    Most of the Showcase Guys are fine people. I myself have had to wear many hats-school coach, travel coach, hs,college, pro player over a period of many years. But what irks me is that the school coach/legion coach is getting to be a non-factor in influence. It makes no sense.

    So let's take a look at Showcase Guy:

    1. Showcase Guy probably hasn't coached many games and the ones he has coached probably were in some contrived, cherry-picked scenario.

    2. Showcase Guy does it the big league way. He has his pitchers start low and away, then up and in off the plate, then splitter down, waste pitch 0-2....Showcase guy can't distinguish between TV baseball and amateur baseball. Doesn't understand that most schools don't have ten man staffs, ten guys in AAA, and don't worry about ruining arms 'cause they can trade or sign someone as a free agent.

    3. Showcase Guy might have played D-1, Indy ball, AA, had a cup of coffee in the bigs. They might have seen and heard a lot of good stuff. It's great that they can repeat some of it. But if Showcase Guy was a bonehead back then he's still a bonehead now.

    4. Showcase Guy possibly cannot be a school coach. He just might not have the college credits to do it. He might have a DWI or something on his record that bars him. He might not play well with others. And, ultimately, he might only be Showcase Guy for a few years as the bills mount.

    5. Showcase Guy tells Showcase Charlie and Showcase Daddy that School Coach knows nothing. Showcase Guy gets paid directly by Showcase Daddy. From Showcase Daddy's viewpoint it is a lot of money. So Showcase Guy must be right.

    That's a small sample.
    When we say "probably" "may" "could be", etc .... we can;t really argue against it.

    Showcase could be anything and everything.

    Do we have background data on Showcase coaches that can indicate to us where they come from, what their basis is, etc?

    IMHO, showcase coaches are very similar to competitive college coaches ... the focus, obviously, is on obtaining the talent rather than developing all of the players on the team. The most important players get the most attention. The assistant coaches may (<--) do most of the coaching where the head does most of the managing/recruiting, etc.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
      When we say "probably" "may" "could be", etc .... we can;t really argue against it.

      Showcase could be anything and everything.

      Do we have background data on Showcase coaches that can indicate to us where they come from, what their basis is, etc?

      IMHO, showcase coaches are very similar to competitive college coaches ... the focus, obviously, is on obtaining the talent rather than developing all of the players on the team. The most important players get the most attention. The assistant coaches may (<--) do most of the coaching where the head does most of the managing/recruiting, etc.
      Right, these are general statements. The whole idea is that Showcase Guy gets way more influence relative to the school coach.

      So let's look at School Coach:

      1. School Coach may have very similar credentials.

      2. School Coach generally takes the players that show up and live near the school.

      3. School Coach doesn't get paid directly by Showcase Daddy.

      4. School Coach coaches his team at about the same time College Coach does.

      5. School Coach practices with his players several hours a week for a period of a few months.

      6. School Coach may have coached several hundred games so that the school team may win a league for the school.

      7. School Coach is an environment with usually public officials like teachers, directors of athletics, principals, etc.
      Last edited by omg; 05-10-2012, 10:53 AM.
      Major Figure

      Comment


      • #4
        The purpose of a showcase team is to get the players in front of the right college coaches and have contacts. He is not there to teach. My son's high school coach did not get him in front of hundreds of college programs over two months. The showcase coach did. The showcase coach knows all the reputable coaches and programs this side of the Mississippi. The high school coach knows the coaches from the college conference he played and a handful of local college coaches. It did not cost $9,000. It was about $3,000. The team was subsidized by a MLB franchise.

        Son's showcase coach:

        1) Coached about 50 games per summer
        2) Empahsized hustling and carrying self in a mature manner
        3) Played in the ACC and minors. Father and brother played in the majors.
        4) Would take the pay cut to be a high school teacher/coach
        5) Showcase coach and high school coach never met. High school coach told son he's in good hands. Ask for additional help if he needed it.

        Daughter's softball showcase coach (subsidized by a wealthy benefactor):

        1) Coached about 50 games per summer. Also coach of high school varsity. I was an assistant on the showcase team.
        2) Emphasized hustling and carrying self in a mature manner
        3) Played in Big Ten
        4) Was a high school teacher, freshman basketball coach and varsity softball coach
        5) Made all contacts representing herself as a showcase coach

        You must have an issue with the minimum exposure you've had to showcase coaches. My son was recruited by several programs. I was present for the discussions. From a personality standpoint all five were acceptible. One situation was better geogrpahically for practice, contacts and my son knew and liked several of the players beforehand.

        The only negatives I've ever heard about showcase teams is when they have B teams and the players get B level support in their exposure to the college programs of their choice. But should a kid who can't hook up with an A level team expect to be a D1 prospect over A team players?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by omg View Post
          Right, these are general statements. The whole idea is that Showcase Guy gets way more influence relative to the school coach.

          So let's look at School Coach:

          1. School Coach may have very similar credentials.

          2. School Coach generally takes the players that show up and live near the school.

          3. School Coach doesn't get paid directly by Showcase Daddy.

          4. School Coach coaches his team at about the same time College Coach does.

          5. School Coach practices with his players several hours a week for a period of a few months.

          6. School Coach may have coached several hundred games so that the school team may win a league for the school.

          7. School Coach is an environment with usually public officials like teachers, directors of athletics, principals, etc.
          What does all of this have to do with being a showcase coach? All players want from showcase coaches is exposure and recommendations. A high school coach is limited to the conference. High school coaches rarely know college coaches from all over the country or even the region. For the most part high school and showcase coaches are apples and oranges.

          Comment


          • #6
            IMO travel ball is a huge rip off of parents playing with their hopes and dreams.

            If you do it for fun and can afford it go for it but unfortunately a lot of parents think they can get a scholarship or pro career for their kids. this is a huge industry right now and parents probably could have paid college fees from the money the spent for equipment, private lessons, DVDs, travel team fees and so on.

            the thing is those things do improve your kid but if he doesn't have the talent even the best coaches and travel teams won't make him a college player.

            parents have to realize this. if they want to still spend the money after doing it fine but unfortunately a lot of them see it as an investment. It can work but considering expectancy it is not better than spending your money on lottery tickets or on a roulette table.
            I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tg643 View Post
              The purpose of a showcase team is to get the players in front of the right college coaches and have contacts. He is not there to teach. My son's high school coach did not get him in front of hundreds of college programs over two months. The showcase coach did. The showcase coach knows all the reputable coaches and programs this side of the Mississippi. The high school coach knows the coaches from the college conference he played and a handful of local college coaches. It did not cost $9,000. It was about $3,000. The team was subsidized by a MLB franchise.

              Son's showcase coach:

              1) Coached about 50 games per summer
              2) Empahsized hustling and carrying self in a mature manner
              3) Played in the ACC and minors. Father and brother played in the majors.
              4) Would take the pay cut to be a high school teacher/coach
              5) Showcase coach and high school coach never met. High school coach told son he's in good hands. Ask for additional help if he needed it.
              Our local stud has not garnered much attention from college coaches previously. Few, if any, coaches have come to see him play in high school.

              For his showcase team, 80 college coaches showed up for their scrimmage game. He's the 3 hitter and absolutely rakes, signed a 78% D-1 scholarship to the major state school.

              His dad's advice to me (and his dad is as I described earlier a very humble, quiet, genius), "stop coaching everyone else's kids too, work daily with your boys/sons, get them to <region with the best travel teams> over the next couple of years." You can guess how that compares to the advise I get from those associated with the city/league.

              I don't think people have a high view of the showcase/elite scene because it is quite literally something their kid (who may actually be very good) is not invited to do. This, very literally, is not one of those "elite" teams where you can pay 750-1500 for your kid to play on. It's one of those teams where you pay 150-450 for your kid just to try out for the team (along with 200 or so other kids). Naturally there's going to be 50-100 parents/kids that think they should have made that team.

              It is very much a college type program ... and not a "small college" type program. I would equate it to a very, very, very big/strong JuCo type program. Guys are recruited like crazy to come in for 1-2 years and then move on to the next level. Just being on the team, in some areas, might be enough to get a kid some D-1 or good D-2 attention.

              Comment


              • #8
                Basically, your mileage may vary.

                Plus, this is a complicated and highly nuanced topic that can get sideways quickly, as some are thinking travel, some showcase travel, some showcase tryouts only, etc., etc.

                Some HS coaches have connections with college coaches, some don't. Some showcase travel is just a money maker, some is a money maker and will get you in front of colleges. Now, these may or may not be colleges that you have any interest in.
                Last edited by songtitle; 05-10-2012, 12:31 PM.
                efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                Comment


                • #9
                  All,

                  I did not state my point well enough. Fortunately, Showcase Daddy was there to correct me so let me do so.

                  By influence or importance I do not mean having to do with getting a college scholarship and I understand how that was interpreted. My fault.

                  By influence or importance I mean totally as it relates to instruction: pitching, hitting, fielding, base running. playing the game.
                  Major Figure

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dominik View Post
                    IMO travel ball is a huge rip off of parents playing with their hopes and dreams.
                    Anytime parents pay for something for their kids in regards to "the future" could be a rip off ... that includes musical lessons, academic assistance, etc.

                    If you do it for fun and can afford it go for it
                    What it if you do because it allows your kid to play at a level that matches his talent, competition, and commitment level? Think about the alternative ... which is having him play just at a lower competition level where he can easily dominate kids that are just looking to have fun playing some ball.

                    but unfortunately a lot of parents think they can get a scholarship or pro career for their kids. this is a huge industry right now and parents probably could have paid college fees from the money the spent for equipment, private lessons, DVDs, travel team fees and so on.
                    Everything preys on uninformed and naive parents and kids. Everything does. Seriously.

                    What we don't know if what affect playing travel baseball opposed to rec league only has on players receiving college scholarships.

                    We know from sabermetrics that there is a "break even" point regarding stolen base attempts and the game situations. What is the "break even" mark for how much you spend on travel baseball and your odds of getting a college scholarship?

                    the thing is those things do improve your kid but if he doesn't have the talent even the best coaches and travel teams won't make him a college player.
                    This is a great sounding statement. But, logistically, what does it mean? Do you wait until you have a good idea of your player's talent before putting them in a competitive situation? Probably too late.

                    What is wrong with doing what you can to provide the best training and experience for your kid to maximize their talents, no matte what they are. My sons play basketball and baseball and do very well in school. My daughter rides horses and starts gymnastics (we are not wealthy by any means, we've just decided we'd rather spend our time and money doing things with/for our kids than on TV's, 300 cable stations, cars, vacations, etc). To me, it's not embarrassing that my kid's baseball equipment cost more than his TV, outdated game system, etc ... for the simple reasons that he uses his sports equipment more than the other stuff.

                    parents have to realize this. if they want to still spend the money after doing it fine but unfortunately a lot of them see it as an investment. It can work but considering expectancy it is not better than spending your money on lottery tickets or on a roulette table.
                    Everything we do/spend on our kids is an investment, intentionally or not.

                    What I enjoy most about travel baseball, as a parent, is that my kid gets to see that there are other kids out there "like him" and what he has to decide is if he really wants to be good at this sport (and not just at a local level), he's going to have to decide how hard he wants to work at it.

                    Recently due to the importance of the catcher position, he's had to decide whether he is more interested in getting out of the way of the ball, finding a new position, or getting by fear and blocking the baseball. Last game, he blocked 10 consecutive balls in the dirt (not all pitches, just the ones that went in the dirt) and I was tremendously proud ... as I know what it takes to get by that fear of being hit in the forearms, shoulders, etc. It's not natural to throw yourself in front of a thrown baseball. THAT carries over to life.

                    Being able to stay calm in panicy situations carries over.

                    Having to adjust to situation carries over to life. Having to strategize and plan and prepare carries over to life.

                    Not everything in travel baseball is getting "one small step closer to the major leagues."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't have a problem if you spend a lot of money into the developement of the kids.
                      great if you can afford music lessons or travel ball. in fact that will be a great experience for the kid and he will learn from this.

                      but I do have a problem if people see this as a kind of "investment" hoping that it pays back in other ways than the joy of your kid (i.e. money).
                      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by omg View Post
                        All,

                        I did not state my point well enough. Fortunately, Showcase Daddy was there to correct me so let me do so.

                        By influence or importance I do not mean having to do with getting a college scholarship and I understand how that was interpreted. My fault.

                        By influence or importance I mean totally as it relates to instruction: pitching, hitting, fielding, base running. playing the game.
                        Ah, see.....I thought as others did, that you meant the "influence with getting a college scholarship" part also.

                        Interestingly enough, I don't find that many of these "Showcase Coaches" (at least the "good ones") in our area, do much more than you mentioned....recruit the very best players in the area, and get them in front of the scouts and recruiters that they need to.

                        In fact, I coach hitting to a couple of players from one such team, and they say they never have practice with their "Showcase Team" (at least they don't go to them if they are held), but they will play 90 games in the team's "Spring League" season (during what should have been their HS season), as they elected to stay with the "Showcase Team", instead of playing for their respective HS teams (another pet peeve of mine, but that's probably for a different thread).
                        In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by omg View Post
                          All,

                          I did not state my point well enough. Fortunately, Showcase Daddy was there to correct me so let me do so.

                          By influence or importance I do not mean having to do with getting a college scholarship and I understand how that was interpreted. My fault.

                          By influence or importance I mean totally as it relates to instruction: pitching, hitting, fielding, base running. playing the game.

                          Now that made me laugh….

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dominik View Post
                            IMO travel ball is a huge rip off of parents playing with their hopes and dreams.

                            If you do it for fun and can afford it go for it but unfortunately a lot of parents think they can get a scholarship or pro career for their kids. this is a huge industry right now and parents probably could have paid college fees from the money the spent for equipment, private lessons, DVDs, travel team fees and so on.

                            the thing is those things do improve your kid but if he doesn't have the talent even the best coaches and travel teams won't make him a college player.

                            parents have to realize this. if they want to still spend the money after doing it fine but unfortunately a lot of them see it as an investment. It can work but considering expectancy it is not better than spending your money on lottery tickets or on a roulette table.
                            Don't confuse travel teams of all ages with 17/18U showcase teams that get players in the right venues in front of the right people.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
                              Our local stud has not garnered much attention from college coaches previously. Few, if any, coaches have come to see him play in high school.

                              For his showcase team, 80 college coaches showed up for their scrimmage game. He's the 3 hitter and absolutely rakes, signed a 78% D-1 scholarship to the major state school.

                              His dad's advice to me (and his dad is as I described earlier a very humble, quiet, genius), "stop coaching everyone else's kids too, work daily with your boys/sons, get them to <region with the best travel teams> over the next couple of years." You can guess how that compares to the advise I get from those associated with the city/league.

                              I don't think people have a high view of the showcase/elite scene because it is quite literally something their kid (who may actually be very good) is not invited to do. This, very literally, is not one of those "elite" teams where you can pay 750-1500 for your kid to play on. It's one of those teams where you pay 150-450 for your kid just to try out for the team (along with 200 or so other kids). Naturally there's going to be 50-100 parents/kids that think they should have made that team.

                              It is very much a college type program ... and not a "small college" type program. I would equate it to a very, very, very big/strong JuCo type program. Guys are recruited like crazy to come in for 1-2 years and then move on to the next level. Just being on the team, in some areas, might be enough to get a kid some D-1 or good D-2 attention.
                              The team my son played for did not have tryouts. Players were invited to be on the team. If approached by a pitcher they didn't know, a practice would be considered a personal tryout. College coaches are at the showcases where they can watch hundreds of players over a weekend. There were sometimes one college coach at my son's high school games. During the spring the college coaches are busy coaching and closing the deal on the recruiting class.

                              Comment

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