Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Son Kicked off Travel Team

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Son Kicked off Travel Team

    Well, here I go again. I was enthused about my boy playing travel ball. About eight months ago, a guy started a company in our area. A friend took her son out of Little League due to conflicts and put her son in this new program. It's a for-profit business operated out of a small rented warehouse. The guy has nets up for three batting cages and some wooden mounds that he apparently built. There are a few benches just inside of two roll-up doors and a few tarps tied to the walls to stop balls during soft toss drills. He has a wooden bar that he uses to display trophies and candy. He sells the latter to his customers. He also sticks his emblem on shirts and hats and sells those.

    The cost was $75 per month plus a one-time $70 uniform fee. For that price, he puts a kid on a team to play two tournaments per month. Each team also has two indoor practices per week and one fielding practice. The indoor practices consist of an hour of pitching instruction and an hour of hitting instruction. He advertises having "pitching machines", but he only has one. He also advertises having machines that are operated by remote, but that wasn't the case. In fact, hitting practices consisted of him asking me to feed the pitching machine to all of the kids while he and some young kid he hired did front toss and side toss with the kids. In some ads I saw months ago, he said it was air conditioned. But it's not. It's open and extremely hot during the summer. So I was sweating my tail off every practice.

    At first, the kids seemed to be receiving some decent instruction. But something about the guy bothered me. First, a guy who is very involved with a very successful local Little League program warned me that the travel ball business is bad news. A few other people made similar comments. But nobody provided any details. Apparently, still more people kept quiet because they didn't want to spoil my boy's experience.

    For the first week or two, things seemed okay. Then I started to notice problems. He had lost some kids from his travel team and couldn't round up enough to play in a tournament. So the kids played in only one tournament in June. In that tournament, he had to use several fill-in kids. He asked people to invite their friends' 8-year-olds to play. Then, when those kids came to a game, he put them in a favorable position on the field. It was obvious that he was trying to recruit the kids and was giving the false impression that these kids were going to play premium positions all the time.

    As we got into summer, he started a special program for summer hitting instruction. Suddenly, kids who weren't on the team and weren't even the same age were invading our practices. We went from having 10 kids to having 15 or more at practice. Suddenly, we didn't have enough time to get through practice. One day, four kids were unable to hit in the cages. Another day, he made me deliver only 10 pitches to each kid.

    For our fielding practices, the team's paid coach worked all alone. I volunteered to help him since it was obvious that he had his hands full. After all, the guy had a walking cast on his leg from some sort of foot or ankle injury. I wasn't impressed with the kid's coaching. But that's another issue entirely.

    During pitching practice, the guys were allowing kids to squat and catch 50 mph fastballs with no gear on. I was terrified that one of the kids was going to take a pitch to the chest or face. I even went to my car one day and got a mask and chest protector for a kid to use. He was scared to death to catch without gear. If this guy's insurance company knew what was going on, I imagine they'd freak.

    This guy's facility is a death trap. He hasa bench right by the front door, and parents sit there and watch practice. By the bench is within four feet of the path of the ball during pitching practice. If a kid threw a really wild pitch, he would smack someone right in the head. I saw it nearly happen a few times. The pitching machine cage has a concrete wall at the end of the tunnel. The top part of the net is not tight, and balls occasionally careen off the wall and nearly hit the pitching machine operator in the back of the head. One ball scared me so bad that I wanted to walk away from the machine. It was moving at 70 mph and missed the back of my head by inches.

    Moving on, the guy invited my son to play full-time for the team, and I agreed to this. I wanted to let him do it for the summer and see how it went. I told him that we would be playing some rec ball in the fall. It was my understanding that he didn't have a problem with this. I heard from some other parents who also had plans to play rec ball. So I mentioned that I was going to be coaching and would love to have their kids on my team.

    Last weekend, we played in our second tournament. The business owner said the team's catcher was on vacation. This meant that we had no catcher's gear. Apparently, he wasn't willing to furnish gear for the team. So he was telling all of the players to ask around about some catcher's gear that we could borrow. After a few days of searching, we found some gear.

    We went 1-3 in the tournament. So the team is 1-7 since my son joined. I am not worried about winning. But it seemed like these nonprofit teams were providing better instruction to kids. Our coaches argued that our team would win more if they played kid-pitch. Instead, they were in a machine-pitch tournament. The guy who runs the business said he wasn't going to enter us into another machine-pitch tournament after we were 0-4 in the first one. But he did it anyway and then claimed that it was a mix up with the tournament director.

    So, one day after the tournament ended, everyone received an email from this guy. First, the team is moving up a division. He charged $100 per month for the higher division. But he's raising fees for everyone. So it's going to be $125 a month now. I was aware that he probably wasn't making much money. I also could understand the increase. For me, though, it wasn't going to work. I can't shell out that much, and I definitely didn't want to pay that much for such poor instruction. I should note here that my son improved more from me working with him for an hour than from working with this guy for two weeks. I know this because the guy praised my son at the first practice after I spent a little time working on his pitching, and the same thing played out after I spent some time working on his hitting.

    Apparently, something happened yesterday involving conversation between the guy who runs the place and some of the parents from the team. I'm not sure what was said. But here's what happened on my end. I texted a dad who had indicated that he was not happy with the program. I told him I was wondering about starting my own 9U team. In retrospect, it was a huge mistake to say something to this guy. He didn't respond. He seems like a tool, but he also acted like he would be interested in having his son play on my travel team.

    Last night, I got a text saying that I was "harassing" parents and that he had spent a lot of money advertising and recruiting these kids to his program. He kicked my son off the team via text message without ever discussing with me what he had heard. So I'm not sure whether people told him to stick it and that they were going to play for me or if they told him that some weird dad from the team is bugging them. I'm not really that concerned about what those folks think of me.

    I have talked to a few people since last night. I have heard a lot of I-told-you-sos. Like I said earlier, some people didn't want to say anything negative. But they are now telling me what they've heard.

    The tough part is that I have to tell my son something today. It looks like some of us are going to form our own travel team. We already have a nonprofit organization that wants us to put our team under their organization. This organization has two softball teams right now. A few of the parents have boys and want them on a team, too. The organization also requires the team to do one community service task per every three months. Last month, they did a beach clean up and were featured in the newspaper.

    I joined this for-profit travel team for two reasons. My son had a buddy on the team, and I didn't want to deal with the headaches of trying to build my own team. But I clearly made the wrong decision.

    As some of you know, I just left a terrible Little League that I let pummel me into submission. It should come as no surprise that I'm a little miffed at how youth baseball has been sabotaged by guys trying to make a buck and guys who don't have the proper temperament for youth coaching. Think what you want about my apparent knack for being the target of BS.

    All I want to know is what I am supposed to tell my son. Do I tell him he was cut from the team because of me or because the guy as tool or do I just tell him that he's not going to play for that team and will play for a new team that we're going to create?

  • #2
    It's like watching a slow train wreck.... This story has been discussed a number of times here over the years - different state, differenet kid, different time.... but the same story. Parents who typically look for something better than LL often find more problems and greedy for profit "experts"... At this age why not help LL get better? It worked for 75 years.

    $125.00 per month to do something that should be fun and free??? WTH?
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't tell him he was cut. You removed him from a bad coach and an unsafe situation.

      Tell him that there are dishonest people in every walk of life and in every type of organization.

      If you know the guy's building is violating city codes of some sort call the city manager to have one of his employees check it out.

      Comment


      • #4
        I told him I was wondering about starting my own 9U team.
        Poaching is usually frowned upon.
        efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

        Comment


        • #5
          Again, your son is 8 years old... This entire scenario you've explained is ridiculous, ON YOUR PART...

          The kid needs ground and fly-balls hit to him, and you can throw him BP and have a catches with him... AN THAT IS IT, period... Then at 11 or 12 find him a decent team to play on... Geez, its not rocket-science.

          When is enough, ENOUGH...?
          I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by songtitle View Post
            Poaching is usually frowned upon.
            I understand that much. But I wasn't poaching. He would have learned that had he the cajones to call me instead of can my son via text message. I was actually looking for advice when I told the guy I was wondering about starting a team. I wanted to know whether I was overreacting to the situation or if it was a bad organization. I was hoping he'd let me know what he thought of the organization. I wanted him to help me make a decision for myself. If I was already set on starting a team, I wouldn't have said that I was wondering about it. I would have come right out and asked his son to play for me. In truth, I don't care for his son. He behaves poorly. His younger son kept taking my daughter's DS away from her and throwing it around. He also ate half of my daughter's lunch. And my wife spent most of her weekend babysitting this 3-year-old because his parents neglected to do so themselves.

            Comment


            • #7
              The guy who runs the company just threatened me via Facebook. He says he's going to file a police report against me for trying to steal his kids. I encouraged him to file that report.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
                Don't tell him he was cut. You removed him from a bad coach and an unsafe situation.

                Tell him that there are dishonest people in every walk of life and in every type of organization.

                If you know the guy's building is violating city codes of some sort call the city manager to have one of his employees check it out.
                Thanks. I'm going to follow your first bit of advice. I'm not sure about the building stuff, though. That seems like too much. The mayor and city manager are friends of mine, too. I don't want to put them in a bad position.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                  Again, your son is 8 years old... This entire scenario you've explained is ridiculous, ON YOUR PART...

                  The kid needs ground and fly-balls hit to him, and you can throw him BP and have a catches with him... AN THAT IS IT, period... Then at 11 or 12 find him a decent team to play on... Geez, its not rocket-science.

                  When is enough, ENOUGH...?
                  The reason I wanted to do travel ball is more social than anything else. I see photos of my friends having pizza parties and hotel pool parties with their kids' teams. They were enjoying these little mini-vacations. I thought that looked like fun. And it was. The kids were having a blast together. The problem is that adults get in the way. It's disheartening. Going with a for-profit business was a huge mistake. Rec ball starts in less than two months. We're going to enjoy the rest of the summer. There are a few local kids who need some practice, and I'm going to work with my boy to develop that pitching and improve his defense.

                  I may work toward building a 9U team for this winter. It's not a priority.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                    The kid needs ground and fly-balls hit to him, and you can throw him BP and have a catches with him... AN THAT IS IT, period... Then at 11 or 12 find him a decent team to play on... Geez, its not rocket-science.
                    I understand your point but taking fungos and BP from dad would probably get old after a while. I don't think many kids would enjoy themselves enough to stay in the game if that's all they got until 11 or 12. Especially when their friends are playing games/tournaments and bonding on the field. Seems like a recipe for a kid to develop resentment for the game or at least his parents. I like the idea of letting your child play on teams with his friends, whether it's rec or TB, with a dose of coaching from dad on the side. Kids just want to have fun, and parents should want that too right? If the kid has talent for the game, it will show.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HeinekenMan View Post
                      I understand that much. But I wasn't poaching. He would have learned that had he the cajones to call me instead of can my son via text message.
                      Just for devil's advocate purposes... You didn't have the 'cajones' (as you call it) to quit his team or talk to him before you started poaching his kids (after he spent thousands of dollars on cages, etc.) Maybe you could see this from his side.

                      I wouldn't worry any more about the entire situation. Just find a team for your son, and have fun.
                      Last edited by songtitle; 07-11-2012, 07:23 AM.
                      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        At that early age I strongly recommend LL. The kid can have fun and even learn a few things. All LL games are free to everyone and never a gate fee.

                        LL also offers you the chance to help coach the team (if the coach allows). You will find that at that age it is a lot of fun to help coach.

                        I coached a for two years at the 9 and 10 year old level. It was a blast. I told the boys that all we were going to do was have fun and learn a few basics. I mean I kept it really really simple. When I had batters I only had one signal and that was to take a pitch on a 3 and 0 count... You can't steal bases at that age anyway.

                        Travel ball puts a lot of pressure on a kid and I'm not sure it's wise at the early age of 8. I can't imagine a coach having a "for profit" travel team for 8 year olds.... that's just insane. Now if h?e is a teenager when coaching is so important maybe I can see a coach making a little money (if he is a good quality coach), but at age 8? The guy needs to get job and stop trying to make money off 8 year old kids and their family's. 15 kids at $100 a pop is $1500 a month. The tournaments only cost a couple hundred to enter.

                        Dude, at his age listen to some folks here. Play LL and help coach the team. You and your son will love it.

                        If nothing else my boy played LL and travel at the same time. They never have LL games on Sunday and most travel games are on weekends. Your boy might enjoy that but don't play some clown $100 a month to pay a couple hundred dollar entry fee for tournaments.

                        Sparks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CoolHandLuke View Post
                          I understand your point but taking fungos and BP from dad would probably get old after a while. I don't think many kids would enjoy themselves enough to stay in the game if that's all they got until 11 or 12. Especially when their friends are playing games/tournaments and bonding on the field. Seems like a recipe for a kid to develop resentment for the game or at least his parents. I like the idea of letting your child play on teams with his friends, whether it's rec or TB, with a dose of coaching from dad on the side. Kids just want to have fun, and parents should want that too right? If the kid has talent for the game, it will show.
                          Of course let him play games... Play with friends, yes!!! Even some travel-ball as well...

                          To me "HeinekenMan" just is going about everything from his crazy-ass league involvement to this travel-ball disaster, in the absolute opposite direction he should go in, and complaining about every poor decision-making/mistake along the entire way... His kid is 8 years old for god's sake... Give it a rest, just let him play and stop complaining... If he can do it better, than dammit, DO IT... NOW!

                          Sorry for the rant... Geez.
                          I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                            At that early age I strongly recommend LL. The kid can have fun and even learn a few things. All LL games are free to everyone and never a gate fee.

                            LL also offers you the chance to help coach the team (if the coach allows). You will find that at that age it is a lot of fun to help coach.

                            I coached a for two years at the 9 and 10 year old level. It was a blast. I told the boys that all we were going to do was have fun and learn a few basics. I mean I kept it really really simple. When I had batters I only had one signal and that was to take a pitch on a 3 and 0 count... You can't steal bases at that age anyway.

                            Travel ball puts a lot of pressure on a kid and I'm not sure it's wise at the early age of 8. I can't imagine a coach having a "for profit" travel team for 8 year olds.... that's just insane. Now if h?e is a teenager when coaching is so important maybe I can see a coach making a little money (if he is a good quality coach), but at age 8? The guy needs to get job and stop trying to make money off 8 year old kids and their family's. 15 kids at $100 a pop is $1500 a month. The tournaments only cost a couple hundred to enter.

                            Dude, at his age listen to some folks here. Play LL and help coach the team. You and your son will love it.

                            If nothing else my boy played LL and travel at the same time. They never have LL games on Sunday and most travel games are on weekends. Your boy might enjoy that but don't play some clown $100 a month to pay a couple hundred dollar entry fee for tournaments.

                            Sparks
                            Listen to this guy "HeinekenMan", please!
                            I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                              Of course let him play games... Play with friends, yes!!! Even some travel-ball as well...

                              To me "HeinekenMan" just is going about everything from his crazy-ass league involvement to this travel-ball disaster, in the absolute opposite direction he should go in, and complaining about every poor decision-making/mistake along the entire way... His kid is 8 years old for god's sake... Give it a rest, just let him play and stop complaining... If he can do it better, than dammit, DO IT... NOW!

                              Sorry for the rant... Geez.
                              Yes…way too much drama for 8 year old baseball.

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X