Collegiate summer team

My son, who is a HS senior was just asked by a coach at his future collage if he would be available to play for the coach's summer team.  They play in the sunbelt league.  I assume this is one of those opportunities you don't say no to.  But wanted to check in with some of the experts.  

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Here is a little bit of a contrarian view point.  We had a similar situation also arise.  My S future coach asked all of the incoming recruits if they wanted to play in a local college league near the school.  We live 3+ hours away and without being in school for housing purposes we could not do it realistically.  He was already playing on an 18u team for tournaments. This got us thinking about since he is recruited as a position player should he be seeing college pitching this summer. We considered playing local college wood bat leagues.  We ended up asking what we thought would be our best resource on this question, a coach who coaches for his tournament team in the fall/winter and manages a Northwoods League team in the summer. His advice was since you are already getting at bats on the 18u team this is going to be your last summer to have fun and not play serious baseball all of the time, he did not believe he would miss out on much not seeing college pitchers.  We ended up following this advice and he will work on getting stronger and faster while not playing during the week this summer.

So different programs/head coaches have different requirements and expectations with summer college baseball.  Much more emphasis is put on college summer baseball with competitive D1 teams and conferences of which the Sunbelt is a part.  Especially if the offeror is the future Head Coach or Recruiting Coach that brought your son to the program in the first place.  It is going to be difficult to say "no".  It is kind of one of those offers you can't refuse.    As you will see, D1 HCs like to have "their guys" they can depend on.  You want to be one of "their guys".   This is the guy that will have a great deal of control and influence over your son for the next 4 years.    

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JMO.   I wish you the best going forward.  Please let us know what you decide and how it turns out.


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Okay, roger that....wrong Sunbelt.  Possibly you've got a little more leniency & leeway with the NAIA Coaching staff versus a D1 coaching staff.  However, my point about wanting to be "one of their guys" is always going to be the case across all divisions, conferences and teams.  The situation is still somewhat awkward because it puts a lot of pressure on the player almost to the point where he can't say no.  Look at it as a great opportunity to get to know the coach better and face college pitching.  Good luck!

This will be the first introduction your son has to "optional" things. There will be "optional" practices, "optional" lifts, "optional" meetings.

Here, his future coach has "invited" an incoming freshman to play for that same coach's summer team. It is "optional" in the sense the coach cannot force the player to play; the first impression the coach will have of the player will not be "optional."

This is where the rubber meets the road - playing baseball in college is a full time job; it just so happens, the job began - in this case - before college actually began. Quite an honor to be asked and it will give the player a huge head start in understanding the coach's drills, philosophy, game prep, game strategy and the type of pitching he will face (the majority of pitchers he will face from summer on will be over 18; for the most part there is a huge difference between a just graduated HS pitcher and a college pitcher. The earlier he begins his adjustments, the better).

Imagine having the summer to make an impression regarding playing time rather than waiting until the fall. Before anyone posts the possibility of a negative impression, there isn't time to have fear of failure in college ball. If you fear failure you're in the wrong place..

I generally agree with the positives and reasons to play stated by others here.  I am not familiar with the league you are referring to.  I don't know what the coach/player dynamics are with this particular school and what the sense of obligation may be.  I am, however, quite familiar with NAIA ball.  My concern for your son is this...  NAIA can be good baseball but, on average, teams are not deep.  So, if the better players are off to decent summer leagues (which the usually are), then, theoretically, you could be left with weak competition, thus not giving him the advantages many are suggesting here.  Just a factor to consider....


Thanks everyone for your comments.  I guess I see this as making the high school varsity team as a freshman.  It gives you a chance to learn what the coaching staff is looking for and be ready to play just a little sooner.  Fortunately, we live close by.  It will give him a chance to find his way around the facilities, meet some of the players and hopefully, make a good impression with the coach.  He has been texting the coach, but they have not been able to touch base via phone yet.  Both are busy with the current baseball season.  

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