The #1 issue in travel baseball is educating parents in the do’s and don’ts. Parents need to understand that all travel baseball is not the same. All coaching is not the same and all tournaments are not the same. There are so many travel clubs out there that you need to weed through what is worth it and what is not. The first question is what are you looking for? . Are you looking for the proper training and the best schedule? Are you looking for a place to play for the summer for your son ? Are we trying to continue into college? These are questions you need to understand. If you are looking for something to do in the summer then there are many teams that will fit your bill. If you are looking for the training, coaching, schedule and discipline then there are very few. If the latter questions are what you are looking for then the most important thing is your ROI(return on your investment). Parents spending money on sports programs need to get something back in terms of college scholarships.
First and foremost is the issue of coaching. You need to search out what programs send players to top colleges and universities year in year out. There was a recent article from the East Cobb baseball program which stated that ex pros and college players do not necessarily make the best coaches. That was the best statement that I have seen in a while. Because a player played in the pros or college does not mean they can teach AT ALL!
The top coaching programs are the ones that develop players through work and discipline. It’s not that easy to figure out with all the media. Many programs will have on their website that such and such played and was sent to college through that program. But in truth that player played in a tournament or two with that club and went on to a top school and they pasted it all over there website. That program took an already made player and claimed him for them. He did play for them but was never trained by them. How about a program stating that one of their players received a scholarship to an Ivy League school? The only problem with that is that the Ivy’s don’t give out scholarships . Is that what you’re looking for? The top programs develop their players so that they make an impact in college in their freshman year.
The next issue is of competition. Does your program play games and tournaments against top programs or just run of the mill teams? Many programs are based on trophies which simply mean that they enter low end tournaments to get the trophy. It sounds good that they won the tournament but did they do justice to the kids? The answer is no! If you are not playing against competition that can beat you it is useless and that trophy is just a false sense of accomplishment. It makes the players think they can play but when it’s time to play against the top teams they fail continually. When those players go onto college they cannot compete because of the low end competition.
This is work that needs to be done prior to putting down money on any program. There should be research on the program you intend on placing your son in.
Here are some simple questions that you need answers to before choosing:
What are your goals for your son? College, High School or just something to do.
If college then you are looking for the program that gives you the best return on your money over the 4-6 years. (13-18or earlier )
Check the programs background for placing players in college. Does the program help you with your college selection or is there another charge?
How are the programs past players that began with them at let’s say 13 or 14 doing at their respective universities?
Are the players that are advertized on their website developed within or recruited?
One very important fact is that all programs are not the same. Some programs are more expensive than others. The fact that program c is cheaper does not mean it is as good as or better than a and also because a program is more local will not help either. Down south there are players that travel up to 3 hours a day to be in the best program.
Parents if your son has the talent it need to continue to grow each and every day and year. This can only be brought up by choosing the best program and that you need to have all the questions answered above.
We at the Connecticut Bombers have never put a player on our lists of colleges that have not trained with us for years. Most of our players return 400-800% on their investment in college depending if they have followed the program set up for them. Our coaches are the some of the tops you will find in any college program. You will find programs in the state with 75% of the staff developed through the Ct Bombers system. Isn’t that what you’re looking for? We will follow through with the player until he is in college. We also continue training with them in the pros. Our track record in putting players in top schools is unmatched by any other program that develops players. Remember we DO NOT RECRUIT PLAYERS WE DEVELOP PLAYERS.