AAU team decision

This is for 2018, So my 12u (will be 13u next year) may have the opportunity to join one of, if not the most elite team in the state.  The coach really likes my son, sees potential, but also knows he is not quite the caliber of his current players.  While no decision has been made by the coach, the coach did advise me, as of right now my son would not start.  He would have the opportunity to play in every game, he may get in 3 or so innings a game.  They play a lot of games, so his playing time would be equal if he played on another team that plays less games.  The coaching is done by some of the top coaches around.  The team plays the toughest competition around.  The group of kids and parents are wonderful.  The coach did say my son would have the opportunity to earn more playing time, he wants to see my son succeed.   They practice 3 times a week, which does not include personal training.  The cost of the team is only travel expenses.   The only other options that we have found so far (and my son is on this team)  are other aau teams, but what we have found is that they only practice 1x per week.  While the coaches are good, they are limited on time and I feel the practices aren't what I was really looking for. They had their first games this week and while they play well together, the competition isn't that great, they only do 4 tournaments, the season ends mid June (where most seasons go to end of July).  There is a charge for this team (fairly reasonable), with no overnight traveling required for tournaments.  There are other aau teams available (that go until and of july)and some are good (not as good as the elite team), but they are also significantly more expensive (so we would possibly need to stop getting private lessons).  Plus they travel as well - so we would incur travel expenses, plus they are located father away, so travel to practices would be an hour or hour and 15.  The elite team coach believes in pitch counts, doesnt want them throwing curves, believes in them having a high baseball IQ - all the items that matter.  I spoke to my son and he is OK with not starting and sitting out a few innings every game and possibly only playing 2-4 innings.

 

Any thoughts, anyone go through this?  Again - the coach has not made up his mind just yet, so there is no decision to be made just yet, but I would like to be ready to make a decision should one be offered.  I know the coach and his family and they are good people.

 

Thanks

Original Post

How many kids are on the team? Why is the coach talking to you about 2018 and "may" get the opportunity? If it were for this year I'd say it all sounds awesome and go for it. But thinking this far ahead for a 13u team seems a little much — who knows if your son, or the kids already on the team — will even still play ball by then?

At 13U, if everything is as described, take the higher level team with all the practices.  Good coaches and practice reps do great for developing skills, but if they are as you described, they do even more for developing his mind.

Only caveat, and you addressed it, is your son on board, I mean really on board to the playing time part of the equation.

I think you and your son have found an ideal situation.  Credit to your son.

Good luck!

Go44dad posted:
RJM posted:

Recruiting a non starter for 2018 in the spring of 2017 appears very odd. I looks like they're dipping into your wallet.

OP stated cost of team was travel only.

I know, the timing just sounds very odd. I posted earlier that my son's fall team wanted his commitment now for fall, and that seemed early. On the other hand, if it's a team that is driven by chemistry and the ability of kids and families to get along, then I can see trying to make sure you lock in the kids you want now, but then why wait to finalize the offer? Just seems odd that coach is having this conversation before he's decided for sure he wants the kid?? Having said all that, if everything is as it seems and the coach invites him, I'd do it. Sounds like a good situation and fun.

On the other hand, if it's a team that is driven by chemistry and the ability of kids and families to get along, then I can see trying to make sure you lock in the kids you want now, but then why wait to finalize the offer? Just seems odd that coach is having this conversation before he's decided for sure he wants the kid?? Having said all that, if everything is as it seems and the coach invites him, I'd do it. Sounds like a good situation and fun.

This is exactly the reason.  He would rather take a lesser player that has a better attitude and with good parents then a stud without that.  He also knows he is losing one kid due to the kid losing interest.  once on the team, you are on.  He never tells any kid they are off the team.  They leave on their own accord.  The coach pays for everything.  it is his way of giving back to baseball what was given to him.   His son is on the team and is a very good player.  The only cost to the parents are whatever costs are incurred while traveling.  

Dadof3 posted:

On the other hand, if it's a team that is driven by chemistry and the ability of kids and families to get along, then I can see trying to make sure you lock in the kids you want now, but then why wait to finalize the offer? Just seems odd that coach is having this conversation before he's decided for sure he wants the kid?? Having said all that, if everything is as it seems and the coach invites him, I'd do it. Sounds like a good situation and fun.

This is exactly the reason.  He would rather take a lesser player that has a better attitude and with good parents then a stud without that.  He also knows he is losing one kid due to the kid losing interest.  once on the team, you are on.  He never tells any kid they are off the team.  They leave on their own accord.  The coach pays for everything.  it is his way of giving back to baseball what was given to him.   His son is on the team and is a very good player.  The only cost to the parents are whatever costs are incurred while traveling.  

We paid $150 per year with our team with a coach who had played D1 and coached a variety of levels, including an MLB player. We had one kid move from Iowa to Utah, and coach said he wasn't being replaced, we were adding to the team. Player later moved back and rejoined us. Varsity team starting lineup will include all our kids--the six or seven who still play. The team still adopts a family at Christmas, plants trees in memory of grandparents who die, and the parents are foundation of school volunteers.

There are things bigger than baseball. When your kid gets a chance to learn baseball, make friends, and learn the principle of paying it forward, that's worthwhile. 

RJM posted:

Recruiting a non starter for 2018 in the spring of 2017 appears very odd. I looks like they're dipping into your wallet.

I can't speak for the OP, BUT, 12u/13u ends for most kids in GA this month.  The tryouts are June and July for the teams that will be together from August 2017 - June 2018....the timing doesn't sound weird to me.

To the OP, if the better team is offered then go for it.  The higher you get up there the more likely you are to sit.  It sounds like that coach wants your son to train and get better and if the chance comes up, like a blow out, I'm sure he will get your son in there.  If that doesn't work out I would go with what works best for your family.  If you work at home and can drive him the hour to and from practice for the better team, go for it.  If it doesn't work with your family schedule then I say stay local.  There will be a LOT of traveling as the kid gets older, but for 13u you can keep it local if you need to.

I would go with the higher quality team with more workouts.  One practice a week is insufficient.  (at least on a regular basis)  Your son will get more out of the workouts and improve his skills at the higher quality program.  It will strengthen his ability to work hard and achieve goals...such as receiving more playing time.  Higher quality, more practices + lower cost=winner!

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