Posted by: Bring the Heat

Transitions - 09/03/11 02:22 AM

I borrowed this from a friend of mine here in the north who coaches a large travel program AND has a son who is playing D1 in the south. He truly sees the light.

Good Reading, especially for parents

Transitions !
This is kind of an interesting topic since it runs the spectrum from Little League Baseball up through college and possibly beyond although I have no experience with the beyond. By TRANSITIONS, I'm speaking of moving up from one level of baseball to the next and the problems that arise when doing so.

Go back to the start of Little League, T-Ball and how there was always that one kid who was bigger, stronger and could hit the ball further at 6 but by the time the kids were 12, he wasn't the biggest or the best. I can remember there being parents who kept track of their son's home runs through the first few years of coach pitch and minors, pretty funny stuff. Then came "Majors" with it's tryouts, practices and playing on a fenced field, complete with dugouts. All really neat stuff. The reality is, at 12 years old, playing on a field with 200' fences was the last and only time that a player can dominate a small field. Even the LL World Series has had to move the fences back in Williamsport to 225' because of the equipment and the fact that the kids are bigger and stronger. Here lies problem #1. When I played LL there was 1 All-Star team selected from the best players in the league that were 11 and 12 years old. Now we have 10U, 11U and 12U All-Stars, and then there are some All-Star "B" teams as well as the summer travel All-Stars. So just about every kid in the league who wants to play beyond the regular schedule is put on some sort of All-Star team. This is where the nightmares start for the high school coaches..

The following year is the big move to the big field, 90' bases and 60'6" mound all fit in a field with 400',370' and 330' dimensions. Those 200' home runs now land 30' out beyond second base. The hot shot SS with the rifle arm, struggles to get the ball across the diamond and the pitcher who threw smoke or had the nasty curve can barely reach the plate. Tryouts come for the school teams, modified, jv and varsity. Lots of changes and of course cuts.

As a high school assistant coach for 12 years I heard plenty of times about the kid who didn't make the school team and "how was that possible? He was an All-Star!" Sorry but the field outgrew him. He did not make the TRANSITION from small field to big field or he was a big kid at 12 and just hasn't grown as much as the others. Rarely will you find the big homerun hitter at 12 to be the same slugger at 17. Parents however, they don't see this. They still have little Larry going to the HS tryouts with his town All-Star shirt on.

It doesn't stop there.

A player who has really enjoyed success in his baseball career, has worked hard and made those first few transitions. He's now a HS senior who has played varsity 2 or 3 years and gone from the timid underclassmen to the kid who's name is in the paper all the time and in fact he has a baseball scholarship to a nice school. It's only a partial as most college baseball scholarships are but the numbers are exaggerated by mom and dad. We hear "full rides" and other such percentages that most times are false. Here in this situation, Larry is fortunate, he's had a great high school career, All League, All County, All State etc etc, school Wall of Fame, Prom King and the accolades go on and on. Off to college we go.

Larry steps on campus and fall ball starts. Larry is now playing and competing with MEN 4 years older then he is. It's the first time that he has had to do this. In LL it was 11 and 12's. In HS it was Jr's and Sr's. Now it's 4 years worth of players between the ages of 18 and 23 years old. Men who can go out at night, go to bars, buy a beer and some may even be married with kids all playing with Larry. Mom and Dad however just remember all the letters and accomplishments from just a few months ago and they expect their son to jump right into the starting line-up or pitch the Friday night opener. Guess again..... TRANSITION.... New school, new coach, new classes, new teammates who were all the best players on their respective, LL, HS and Summer teams, New system, new signs, new schedule (50+ games), study hall, women and of course mom and dad and their expectations.

Most freshman do not play much the first year in college and even fewer start any games at all regardless of what the college coach said during the recruiting process. Remember these words, "If he told you that you would not play until you were a junior, would you chose his school". The answer is "NO" and the coach knows that. He tells you what you need to hear to chose his school and he will continue to, so that you stay. Is he a coach, politician or counselor? All of the above.

This to me is the toughest year and believe me I have heard from my share of parents on this one and I have heard all the BS from the coaches. It's ego, history and the lack of knowledge that really hurt the situation. I wrote last week about going out and watching games and pre-game. See for yourself. Can your son play at a top 25 program when he wasn't the best player on his HS team? Should he be starting for 4 years in college when he only started for 1 in high school? His high school only had 15 players, now his college team has 35, where does he fit? The college coach is giving him scholarship money, he likes him and wants him to succeed, it's just going to take time. I'm not sure of the percentages but the number of players who transfer within the first 2 years do so because of the failure to make this TRANSITION. It's around 30%

Enjoy the ride! Your son has made the team now let him make the TRANSITION. Don't make it harder or make it worse. Help him to understand that at each new level there is a new beginning and a clean slate. Once you're there, no coach cares what you did last year or for the last coach. He only cares what you are going to do to help his program. It's going to take time. Understand this and help your son do the same.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/03/11 04:12 AM

Posted by: MacDaddy

Re: Transitions - 09/03/11 04:50 AM

Heat, thank you for sharing an outstanding, well written and lucid observation of baseball not seen often enough on this or other baseball blogs.
Posted by: BeenAround

Re: Transitions - 09/03/11 05:31 AM

Bring the Heat, Excellent contribution!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/03/11 05:48 AM

Great post. Unfortunately, delusional, entitled LI parents will find it tough to swallow. Talent and hard work are what is necessary as well as luck. Then take in all the better talent in the South and West etc. If your kid gets a D1 scholarship to a top 50 school, it is like hitting the lotto.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/03/11 03:27 PM

Wow, the guy is an expert after 11 yrs as an assistant HS coach.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/03/11 04:01 PM

you sound like a parent of an 11u or 12u guy who is hitting popup homeruns and you feel that he is guaranteed to be a star.

Get the [***censored***] out of your eyes and ears for a SECOND and take a bit of advice. Someone posted something that will help all of you guys and you still are looking for a way to stir the pot. WHY???

He did something right. I think it also said that his kid is playing. The guy didnt say he was an expert. He was just expressing his experience as advice to people.

Somebody on this side help me out. I dont have a username but I see all of the clowns posting garbage here and now something useful is posted and someone is knocking the guy.

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
Wow, the guy is an expert after 11 yrs as an assistant HS coach.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/03/11 08:03 PM

This is what you took out of that post. You probably have a babyball superstar and have never seen what kids look like when they dont prepare for the big field. 99 percent your kid is not ready, 1 percent he really is a superstar, in which case just keep doing what your doing. I wish your kid luck with a Dad with blinders on. Bring the Heat, great post. My son was one of the big "clumsey" kids when he was 9, I listened to your advice and he worked hard and at 13 he is growing very well into his body and he's big and strong and getting fast, I will make sure he is ready for the next transition. I know there are no guarantees.
I would like to add, even the kids that throw hard at 13, like my son, will not succeed at 15 if they don't pitch with movement and change speeds, cause 13 year olds can hit fastballs (65-75)very well. All of the 13's that I have seen throw harder really don't control the strike zone.
Bring the Heat looking for more posts for that 13-15 transition.

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
Wow, the guy is an expert after 11 yrs as an assistant HS coach.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/04/11 12:26 AM

being a smartass so an idot like you can respond.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/04/11 01:35 AM

I'm an idiot who can spell. (idot)
You missed a spot this morning when you were wiping down my windshield.

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
being a smartass so an idot like you can respond.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/04/11 05:47 PM

I must say. I am a living example of not making the transition. Travel teams my whole life, All City in HS - then went to a D1 school and after the Fall Season of my Sophomore year it was official I couldnt make the transition to the faster play, the bigger guys. This is a great article. Parents need to get a grip - now with kids of my own I realize the parents dont get it and most likely had little or no success of their own and feel they will make up for it through their kids. Just let them play and love the game.
Posted by: BeenAround

Re: Transitions - 09/04/11 09:25 PM

You’re right on the money with your post! That is a great article! I have a similar background to yours, played on several high profile travel teams where many of my teammates went on to play in the show. Went to a top D1 school with a full ride, but as things changed (transitions) my interests changed, baseball was not top on my agenda, and I could not maintain the enthusiasm and commitment needed to play at that level. Baseball started to become a chore instead of being fun because I could not make the transition of the increased training and dedication. There were plenty of distractions!
Parents, as I have stated in my previous posts cherish this time, allow your kids to develop fond memories of this time, give them the support needed to chase their dream as far as they can. Some boys peak in middle school, others in HS or college. Be realistic and always remember that its kid who has to put in the time and effort. If you push them too far, they will most likely rebel and find other interests. Use this game as a vehicle to foster a good relationship with your kid and help prepare them for the cruel world that awaits them once they enter the workforce. It’s certainly not Disney out there!

Thats my rant for today!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/05/11 03:38 AM

Posted by: BeenAround

Re: Transitions - 09/05/11 06:27 AM

True, if a kid does not have talent they can only go so far. I recently had friend of mine who has a kid in HS approach me, ask me about his kid and were he should proceed. The kid is now a senior in HS and has not made any of the school baseball teams at the JV or Varsity level, getting cut three years in a row. The father tells me that his kid’s summer coach has informed him that his kid has so much untapped potential and that the coach will refine this kid and get him ready for college baseball. I said to my friend, college?? Let me be honest with you, your kid has not made his HS team, how can he play college ball? The father then said to me, “the coach said HS ball is all political and the college coaches don’t look at HS anymore.” I then said, “ok, what was your son’s batting average this summer?” The father responded, I think 280. I then asked the father, “how fast is your kid in the 60, “the father said, “I think 7.5.” I then asked the father, “how much does this guy want for fall ball?” He answered, “$1200.” I said, “find a new team and coach!” The father never played ball as a kid and did not know whether what this coach was saying was true or not and was being taken for a ride.

However, in relation to my previous post, a kid could be the best player on LI in HS and then go to college and many things could derail him in the transition like, change of interests, girls, mental inmaturity, etc.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/06/11 07:26 PM

no it isnt 1/2 that team will play lacrosse or volley ball or whatever a few will be smoking pot and playing video games maybe 4 or 5 of your 12yo all star team will be playing varsity baseball and some of them for catholic schools etc so believe me you are wrong about that
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/07/11 04:34 PM

I guarantee more mathletes are getting money for college than baseball players. no need to put down good students. thats whats wrong with most delusional parents. baseballis cool- make fun of the mathletes. like they are settling to be a mathlete because they cant play baseball. what is more imprtant- making the varsity baseball team to play 20 games or being a great student. I have friends who spend thousands a year in private lessons- meanwhile they dont know anything about their kids schoolwork. Forget about trying to help with homework- they couldnt do it themselves.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/07/11 10:10 PM

Good Post, I think this was aimed at the post that said if you are not a good ball player at 10 you should play at a low level or become a mathlete or something like that. D1-2-3 athletes also need good grades and they are usually driven kids. The person who posted the dig about mathletes, probably has a 9-12 small field superstar, doesn't care much about his kids grades and justifies his kids grades because he is good at 10 at what he thinks is baseball. He also lives in a trailer park. He is concerned about telling someone that their kid is not up to his standards in sports. By even bringing school into this tells you his kid is not a good student. I feel sorry for this kid because when he doesn't transition to the big field, he won't have his education to fall back on.

Originally Posted By: Anonymous
I guarantee more mathletes are getting money for college than baseball players. no need to put down good students. thats whats wrong with most delusional parents. baseballis cool- make fun of the mathletes. like they are settling to be a mathlete because they cant play baseball. what is more imprtant- making the varsity baseball team to play 20 games or being a great student. I have friends who spend thousands a year in private lessons- meanwhile they dont know anything about their kids schoolwork. Forget about trying to help with homework- they couldnt do it themselves.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/07/11 10:29 PM

really puttting down a kid for being a good student sorry guys most school teams are not taking your kids if they are not good students check the requirements these school programs want there graduating athletes in the honor role it brings more colleges looking at there programs.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/08/11 12:32 AM

Baseball scholarships are not 100% , most are 1/4 to 1/2 if someone is getting a full ride that means that he a great student also. My Nephew got a 1/4 sport and 1/2 academic scholarship and needs to keep his grades up to keep both. When your grade slips it may be wiser to give up the sport then the academic.

If you are getting a full ride in baseball you are beyond great. Not many Long Islanders get full sport scholarships.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/08/11 02:44 PM

Full rides for baseball are not as common as they were years ago. Each college only gets 11.7 baseball scholarships so they mix in other monies where appropriate.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/08/11 04:56 PM

Full scholarships are a thing of the past in Baseball. truth is that about 80Percent of kids that go to college for baseball do not finish their 4 year commitment to baseball. Different reasns for that , not good enough, not as good as expected, can't hack the school and baseball together, that being the biggest reason. The only full scholarships you see have contingencies in them that stipulate that they must obtain good grades and remain on active college team roster. With the exception of injuries.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/09/11 06:33 PM

To the poster above you have no idea what you are talking about.

First if you are a D1 scholarship player you have to be awarded at least 25% in baseball money. That is based on Tuition not anything else so room, books and meals excluded.

Two Baseball scholarships are awarded one year at a time not as a four year deal.

Third the full ride with baseball money is a myth a full ride is based on academic money, grants, work study and loans you qaulify for.

Fourth all schools have standards for holding the scholarship and grades is a big one many players become becnh warmers due to grades.

Fact most players drop from d1 programs becasue the realize that school is the more important factor and thats a good thing becasue very very few players play beyond college ball, unless you count the mens leagues out their.

Best thing you can do fo your son is make sure the school he attends will fit him even if baseball goes away.

But lets get the facts straight before we spread bad info.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/09/11 09:06 PM

So where am I wrong? You basically repeated everything that I mentioned. And yes you are right about two year incriments. Don't let anyone tell you that full rides don't ocur because there are ways around everything if yoy have the notivation to do so. Do you really think that if bryce harper was going Division 1 he would be paying for anything. I was one of those players that went to school and stopped playing after 3 years so I do think I know what I am talking about. I roomed with a player that paid for nothing including room and board, he also drove a car way above his possible price range, and it wasn't from his parents that were dirt poor hillbillies.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Transitions - 09/14/11 08:06 PM

Maybe that crap was years ago the rules have changed and baseball is a terrible sport to try and get a scholarship for. The rason your roomate didn't pay for anything is because they were poor and got money from grants and finacial aid that has nothing to do with baseball. As far as his car tread lightly there you may let it slip what D1 school you went to and have a hit squad on your tail. Stuff like that should be left where it was I'm guessing like 25 years in the past.