Curious as to others experiences with showcase organizations pre high school in Houston. My experience and frustration is that some of these organizations have expanded into these younger age groups and are sacrificing practice and development. Does your son practice regularly with his team? How many times per week? Is there a facility? A field?
I guess I am not aware of a pre HS showcase org in Houston. Does any org advertise themselves as such?
Guess what I typed was confusing. Some of the showcase organizations have younger teams as well, middle school aged.
I've never heard of pre-HS showcases, either. I don't think things have changed that much in the last 10-15 yrs...
What I have observed in the last ten/fifteen years in Houston is organizations that previously only had HS aged teams have expanded their age groups downward. Used to be many of the top HS "showcase" organizations started at 9th grade and the players came from Little League, Pony and other rec type leagues. As travel ball expanded to an earlier age, these organizations expanded their age groups to younger. Both to get players earlier ahead of their competition, and as a revenue stream.
I watched a once prominent travel org that had several major leaguers play for them, and many, many college players come through their system eventual fold because the coaches did not want to deal with the younger age kids (and probably most likely their parents). Josh Beckett, Matt Carpenter, Nathan Eovaldi and Brandon Belt all played for them in HS. On the positive side, many of their coaches still coach locally.
I have had friends sons that play with the Banditos and yes they have minimal practices and expect that your getting you work in on your own time. High school teams are mostly the same but in my experience they have organized throwing and pitching camps, hitting clinics stuff like that. There are a ton of teams in every part of the city though, you should be able to find a team that practices regularly has likely hired a professional coach and is focused on development and getting your kid ready for high school. What part of town do you live in?