My Son Wants to Quit Baseball...

Member
 
May 12, 2008 2:27 PM

He has been playing since he was 4 (now 14). He is in his 2nd year of modified JV.

He is a very good player. Don't really want to get into all the details, but he's at least as good as the younger players who are all starting, but he gets no playing time. Same thing last year. He is, however, one of the better batters on the team, but he's also one of the smallest.

Anyway, he's getting really discouraged, and I can tell that he's completely lost his love of the game. It saddens me greatly. His coach is a very hard-headed older man who has been coaching at the school for at least 20 years. You cannot talk to this man. I have heard that he's sworn at parents who tried to talk to him about their kids' playing time. It is obvious that he is grooming players for his JV team. My son knows this and is experiencing a combination of anger, discouragement, and some loss of confidence.

I have told my son that it's his decision, but that he'd better think long and hard about it and be sure it's not something he's going to regret later, and if he decides to quit, he has to tell the coach in person. I'm hoping that if he talks to the coach, maybe the coach will give him an explanation or encourage him that he's important to the team, in some way. I really do feel that the coach has failed him. Any kid who once loved baseball the way he did would not want to quit.

However, I do feel that it's a big commitment of time (they have 5 games this week) to do nothing but sit on the bench or play right field. He's not learning anything, and he's not developing his skills at all. I can't see that he's going to have a good experience in the future having lost two years. I think his time would be better spent concentrating more on school work or on hockey, which he loves and gets a lot of playing time.

For those of you who have coached, do you agree/disagree? and please don't say he should stick it out for the team. The team could care less.
 
 
 
View Printer Friendly Format
5,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 3:34 PM

What an awful decision to have to make.

My first thought is what about summer ball?

My second thought is to be careful saying "only playing right field." As you get older, every position is very important. I don't think in HS you can hide a kid in the corner like you can in LL.

I don't wish I was in your tough position. Best of luck.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 3:45 PM

Sounds like it's time to hang it up. Once the game is no fun, looking at RF as some sort of banishment to baseball oblivion, then it's time to get out.

Could be he's peaked out at the competitive level in baseball and sees what's needed at the next level and sees the writing on the wall. Plus, there's another sport that he's excelling so maybe it's time to concentrate on that sport. By time kids get to high school, they figure these things out and they know whether it's time to stick it out or move on..
 
Last edited by zombywoof May 12, 2008 3:56 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 3:52 PM

I agree with biggerpapi - play summer and fall ball to work on skills. Unfortunately size is an issue for many coaches. Who knows how much your son will grow over the next few months. One of son's best friends was told he didn't make the last cut - it was based on size.

Being on the team really isn't lost time. If the coach sees him daily and sees that he is hustling and when tryouts roll around an improvement - who knows?

5 games this week? That's a no-no down here! wow!!
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
5,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 4:10 PM

I would urge him not to quit during the season. That burns a bridge. In future years, that coach may retire, or your son will grow older and be eligible for teams coached by others. If as you say the problem is the coach, it is a problem that will pass in time. But quitting will label your son as a quitter, and that will keep him from ever surviving tryout cuts in the future.

As for summer and fall, not bad ideas, but I would consider whether maybe your son needs some time off. 14/15 is the age where lots of boys decide that baseball isn't the most important thing for them any more. Maybe your son is one of those boys. Sometimes parents call this "burn out" but often it's nothing more than the kids recognizing that they've hit their ceiling and it's time to move on to more productive pursuits.

Also, ask someone who has seen the team, and whose opinion you respect, to give it to you straight as far as assessing your boy. You wouldn't be the first parent to suffer from rose colored glasses syndrome. Get yourself some objective information. Maybe the coach is right all along.

As for size, time may well take care of that. Lots of kids grow quite a bit from age 14 on. If that's the issue, then he could stick with baseball and continue developing his skills in the hopes that the genes might yet kick in and give him more size and strength to work with.

Whether coach is right or wrong, playing time is an area where you may not properly question the coach's decisions. You need to steer clear of any attempt to discuss such things. The best your son can do is stick with it, work hard to improve, and maybe when he gets to varsity age he'll get a fresh look from a different coach.

If your son agrees to try that path, then summer play (for coaches who appreciate him, who will play him and offer sound instruction) can only help.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 4:20 PM

We know one side of the story, and let's assume it's 100% accurate.

Some coaches have a hard time noticing progress. My two sons played for the same coach for four years. He seemingly saw in them, each year, how they played when he first saw them, and kept them on the bench, playing instead those players who looked good the first year, including his own son.

When they moved up to HS Ball and everyone had to try out for a coach who had not seen any of them before, my sons made the teams and three of the prior coach's favorites, including his son, did not.

Perhaps some time away, playing for a new coach, will rejuvenate your son's interest. If it doesn't, let him make his decision after educating him on the responsibility to accept all the consequences of that decision.
 
Last edited by Jimmy03 May 12, 2008 4:21 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 4:36 PM

quote:
I would urge him not to quit during the season. That burns a bridge. In future years, that coach may retire, or your son will grow older and be eligible for teams coached by others. If as you say the problem is the coach, it is a problem that will pass in time. But quitting will label your son as a quitter, and that will keep him from ever surviving tryout cuts in the future.



I urge him not to quit during the season........never let someone run you off........if he leaves let it be on his own accord........years down the road, he will regret (however small) quitting during the season.........there is honor in sticking it out.....and possible redemtion of the joy of the sport........
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
 
May 12, 2008 4:38 PM

Here's our advice for whatever it is worth. First, let your son work it out. You mention that the coach has cussed out other parents. He is the norm, not the exception. I don't know of any coach that wants a players parents questioning his playing decisions. Parents need to stay out of those type of issues.

Second, being on a baseball team is more than just playing or starting. Everyone on that roster has a role. I'm sure if your team is like most other high school teams, they have mid week scrimmages, and situational practices in which everyone participates. Those scrimmages and practices are just as important as the games to many coaches. If your son is good, then his skills may motivate someone else that doesn't want to lose their position to your son. You'll have to ask your son, what motivates him? Is he setting goals and working harder in practice to achieve those goals? I only ask that because you also mention that:

"He's not learning anything, and he's not developing his skills at all."

Again, that may be the problem at hand. Because practice and scrimmages are where you learn and develop skills...it's not always in regular season games. The coach may have picked up on that. I don't know your son and for all we know he is the hardest working player on the team, but the fact that you mention he isn't learning anything makes us wonder if maybe that isn't being projected to the coach. If that is the case, then your son has already "quit" in his mind.

The only way to turn this situation around is giving 1000% effort, learning, developing and setting goals to get out of that mental rut. If he truly loves baseball, he needs to truly love the journey to get there as well. That means paying dues, working harder, hustling and doing everything he is asked to do and more in practice.

There used to be a kid we knew who was a smallish infielder who also never played much...but he never gave up trying. He was the inspiration in the dug-out, leading the team in other ways like spirit and upbeat chatter on the bench. He usually only got in games that were blow-outs, but when he got up to bat, he received more vocal support from his team mates than anyone else. He never even thought about quitting. He was having fun just being on the team, with his friends and for the love of the game. At the end of the season, the coach gave him a special award for being the most inspirational player on the team. He never played much, but I guarantee that he learned and developed in many ways other than just baseball.

Quitting is usually not the answer. It's kind of a disease in our opinion. Once you do it once, it's easier to justify doing it again and again.

Have your son turn it up a notch and see what happens. The coach hasn't cut him, he is on the roster and he must see something in your son right? If things still don't change then at least your son can hold his head high and at least know in his mind that he gave it his best effort.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
10,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 4:44 PM

This sort of problem occurs even at the college level

We have two players who are currently sophomores and during the frosh year saw virtually no action---one is now starting meeting week games and is 2-0 while the other is coming out of the and leading the team in saves.

In many cases it just takes time and perhaps a bit of luck
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
100+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 5:13 PM

Highwinds,
You aren't alone. Lots of folks out there have been or are in your position.

We were there as sophomores. Better bat, better glove and better work ethic than the kids ahead of us. But we never sniffed the Varsity field, maybe a clean up AB or something. Played all of JV.

Junior year starts out....we play all the intra squads and appear to be the number one. Opening day.....out trots a senior ahead of us....GGGGRRRRRRRR. Same thing for 6 games....getting only a DH here or there....Son felt let down and was at that decision point. Thought about hanging it up but he loves it too much. He decided he'd stay and work hard. Then he gets a start. Goes 2-3 with a double and triple. That was 15 games ago and we haven't sat an inning since. We've kept hitting and making plays.

Sooner or later..it all works out like it's supposed to. Even if it ain't like we want it to.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
RJM RJM is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
10,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 5:26 PM

quote:
I have heard that he's sworn at parents who tried to talk to him about their kids' playing time.
Parents should not approach coaches about playing time or positions. Let your son grow up. he should ask the coach how he can earn more playing time.

"I really do feel that the coach has failed him."

The coach has not failed your son. Your son has failed to impress the coach enough to gain playing time.

"Any kid who once loved baseball the way he did would not want to quit."

A fourteen year old who is willing to quit based on an experience with one coach may not have as much passion to play the game as you believe.

"He's not learning anything, and he's not developing his skills at all."

Players learn in practice. They gain experience in games. If he's practicing he's learning and developing.

"The team could care less."

The game of baseball will go on without any one player. Ask Barry Bonds.
 
Last edited by RJM May 12, 2008 5:36 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
10,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 5:59 PM

"I really do feel that the coach has failed him".


How so?
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
10,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 6:11 PM

.

How so?

It could be that every time the coach offers his son a piece of Trident© he gives him one of these instead...





Wink
 
Last edited by gotwood4sale May 12, 2008 6:21 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
100+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 6:35 PM

highwinds,

Sorry to see your son in this posistion.

Lots of good advice so far but I want to emphize one point. Do not let him quit before this season is over. After the season all bets are off.

Short story.

A friend and summer teammate of son, a jr. in HS quite his HS team mid season because he felt he was not getting the playing time he deserved. He is a good kid and a good player but unfortunatly this summer he will have to put up with the inevitable whispers that he quit on his high school team. I must admitt that I will view him through different colored glasses.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 6:40 PM

He has been playing since he was 4 (now 14).

I can't tell you the number of boys I've seen get burned out over the years because of this very problem.

At age 6 my son decided he wanted to play s****r. It killed me but his friends were doing it and so I let him. He played t-ball for 1 year before this decision. Even worse to me, he kept playing s****r until he was 11. One day he comes to me and says he was done with s****r, that he wanted to try it out and realized he no longer liked it (halleluiah!). Picked his glove back up and hasn't look backed since. I say all that to say this...sometimes there may be other "things" he may want to try. Let him. But whatever you do, don't let him quit midseason.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 6:55 PM

Quitting the team over playing time is not the answer to your son's problem's.
It just teaches him to quit when the going gets to tough.

What can the bench player do to help out his team??
First off be ready when you do get the chance.
Watch the opposing pitcher, check to see what he's throwing and his tendencies with an 2-1 count, Ect.
Steal sign's from the opposing coaches.
Anything that helps your team to win, outside of cheating.

At 14 year's of age a player has no idea what there potential is or could be?
If and when a player decide's to quit they need to have no REGRETS with there decision.
EH
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 12, 2008 8:48 PM

He really shouldn't quit during mid or late season. At this point, he should finish out the season, then take a step back and decide if it's time to move on.

If there's still that drive to play the game, then maybe a good summer league might be the way to go and take it from there.

However, once it's not fun anymoore, it's time to walk away.
 
Last edited by zombywoof May 12, 2008 8:52 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
Highly Regarded and Beloved Old Timer
 
May 12, 2008 9:54 PM

So he wants to stop playing? I see no problem. Remember this is a game. In the past he has given up something "else" to play baseball. This is no different ----- other than the fact that you are asking a biased crowd --- after all this is a baseball forum and baseball is revered here. I say support him if he wants to move on ---- don’t criticize him. This could be the start of something positive in his life.
Fungo
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
Bum Bum is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
1,000+ posts
 
May 13, 2008 2:19 AM

He's only 14. A lot of things change between 14 and 18 (senior year). If he loves the game but is discouraged over playing time, I'd suggest putting him on a good (but fun) Summer team where he could get some playing time and reenergize. Baseball is a game that should be fun.. so have some!

Then maybe put him on an instructional fall team. Then work hard in the offseason.. he could make a big jump between now and next year if he really tried.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
100+ posts
 
May 13, 2008 6:50 AM

Recently had a parent call me to say his son decided to quit BB and drop out of college. His son was a Senior at a D1 university here in Nor Cal and a starting "Big Bat" in the lineup. This parent spent hours personally working with him and coaching/financing his teams. But in the end it came down to this young man making his own decision about what he wants to do with his own life.

There should be some things in life that belong solely to the individual. Whether to play a game as an "extracurricular activity" should be one that belongs solely to your son.

Your son should have the right to decide how he wants to spend his "recreational time" all things with it being legal and above board of course.

If my son came to me and said he wanted to quit BB even though he has played it most of his life that is his decision. He has the right to decide that for himself.

Let him grow and develope and trust what you have taught him will be at the root to help him make good choices.
JMO
 
Last edited by LLorton June 7, 2008 9:02 AM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
Member
 
May 13, 2008 8:56 AM

Thank you all for your input. He actually has decided to stick it out for the rest of the season. I respect that decision and think it's a good one.

He said he will probably try out for lacrosse next spring instead of baseball.

Who knows? Once he hits his growth spurt, he may go back to baseball. He appears to be taking after dad in size, and dad didn't grow until he was 16...
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 14, 2008 12:34 PM

quote:
Again, that may be the problem at hand. Because practice and scrimmages are where you learn and develop skills...it's not always in regular season games. The coach may have picked up on that. I don't know your son and for all we know he is the hardest working player on the team, but the fact that you mention he isn't learning anything makes us wonder if maybe that isn't being projected to the coach. If that is the case, then your son has already "quit" in his mind.




There is another side to these stories. On my son's High School team, the Coaches decide very early on 8th graders playing on Freshman Fall ball team or in Freshman year who they think will play. Those kids get 95% of the instruction and very little field time to show they can play. My son has started for most of his High School career, but I have seen many instances where very good players have been "passed over" for another player and it isn't for lack of hussle or ability. It happens and the only thing to do is transfer to another school or find a Summer team that wants him to play. If he wants to play in College, go to camps at the schools he wants to go to. Get evaluations from them and work on your own to make the needed improvements.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
100+ posts
 
May 14, 2008 12:57 PM

Please don't act like these HS coaches are gods. For goodness sakes, they are human and make 99 mistakes a day with respect to baseball decisions. They favor some kids over others for opportunities on a whim--on nothing more than personality or style. Remember, there are 5% superstar players that no coach can deny (and won't, even if these players are arrogant twits). There are bottom 20% who simply don't make the grade. The 75% in between are of equal or about equal talent levels. That crunch is where the coach decides, plain and simple, which kids to favor with the opportunities to develop. This man's son has fallen out of favor based upon some prejudice, or personality thing, or style thing, or because he did not suck up well enough. Let's be honest here--among that 75% in the crunch, the coach cannot distinguish based on talent so he picks his favorites and plays them all the time and we end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy. The kids who get the reps grow into players. The kids relegated to the bench don't. Reverse it and see who succeeds.

This is not to say that this does not reflect life. This same breakout occurs on our jobs all the time. Some career superstars are easy to spot right from the start. Others fall by the wayside quite quickly. The 75% in the crunch are hard workers who scratch and claw to climb to the top with the 5% guys.

Heck, the same thing applied out there in the jungle. 5% did well no matter what. 20% failed and were eaten alive. 75% did all they could to survive, propogate, and feed the offspring. This is all the nature of life.

Now, that said, if you want your son to look at this in focus, tell him to stick to his guns, bust his tail, work harder than anyone else, all year round, get bigger, faster, and stronger, develop skills, always be the most positive kid out there--and he will make it. He will break down this coach's barriers through sheer determination and force of will. If he does not want to go that route, tell him you can find him a job pushing a broom or mowing yards or cleaning toilets--he can spend the three hours or more he would normally spend on baseball each day working. That may be a dose of reality for him that he needs.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 14, 2008 1:42 PM

Ya know, part of the beauty of living in the United States of America is that we have freedom of choice. There are lots of spring sports in each high school. Baseball is only one of them. Can you imagine if it was the only? All the comotion over playing time!

Baseball is not for everyone, just as the s-word isn't, nor is football nor swimming...etc.....I am very pleased to learn that this freshman will finish out the season...and then try out for lacrosse next year. Isn't it marvelous that kids have that opportunity these days? When I was in high school, there was no lacrosse or s-word....and baseball wasn't nearly as big then as it is now.

At the school where my children attend, it doesn't matter who the studs are. It doesn't matter if you can catch a ball or throw a ball...or hit for that matter. It doesn't matter how hard the kid works, or how dedicated he is...or even if he plays summer ball. What does matter is if the kid's parents own a "pub" for after the games, or if the kid plays football or if the parent is on the school board. Or is a friend of any one of those mentioned. Transfering is out of the question--unless the kid sits out a year and the kid goes from a public to private school. Can't go public to public unless the family moves or engages in "illegal" methods.

It's an awfully long season to work so hard just to sit on the bench. It can be humiliating and insulting to work hard, to do all that is required and then some--and with a good attitude, only to get no playing time....even in a blow-out or a game that doesn't matter for conference.

I wish the highwinds family the best of luck. With or without baseball. I am glad their son has options.
 
Last edited by play baseball May 14, 2008 5:26 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
100+ posts
 
May 14, 2008 3:32 PM

quote:
Originally posted by isaacvanwart:
Please don't act like these HS coaches are gods. For goodness sakes, they are human and make 99 mistakes a day with respect to baseball decisions. They favor some kids over others for opportunities on a whim--on nothing more than personality or style. Remember, there are 5% superstar players that no coach can deny (and won't, even if these players are arrogant twits). There are bottom 20% who simply don't make the grade. The 75% in between are of equal or about equal talent levels. That crunch is where the coach decides, plain and simple, which kids to favor with the opportunities to develop. This man's son has fallen out of favor based upon some prejudice, or personality thing, or style thing, or because he did not suck up well enough. Let's be honest here--among that 75% in the crunch, the coach cannot distinguish based on talent so he picks his favorites and plays them all the time and we end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy. The kids who get the reps grow into players. The kids relegated to the bench don't. Reverse it and see who succeeds.
You can't be serious, can you? I can't tell if this is sarcastic or serious.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
100+ posts
 
May 14, 2008 4:00 PM

I concur with those who advise do not quit during the season. It will always leave a bad taste and a terrible, yet firm ending to his playing baseball, if it turns out that way.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 14, 2008 6:36 PM

quote:
Originally posted by KnightTime:
You can't be serious, can you? I can't tell if this is sarcastic or serious.


Actually, it's quite accurate in what's written here. HS coaches do make a lot of mistakes. , There's booster club parents who's kid could get a slight edge unless he's a legitimate star. Then it don't matter who's on the booster club. Younger brothers of star players coming into a system are at an advantage Also, these coaches may not know the players they got as well as those who coached them before the HS coaches got them. Quite often, there's players who get an opportunity who clearly arent ready and there are others better suited who get screwed for one reason or another, even at the HS level.

However, things out of a players control such as success of the team. If the team's going well, the coach may be less likely to make changes or open up opportunities where if a team's struggling, the coach might give more shots to players to prove themselves. Sometimes timing is everything.

My son somewhat flew under the radar for about 2½ seasons until the varsity coach brought him up late in the season for very limited action.

I gave him some advise going into this season. I told him to to continue play the game right, be smart, hustle, hit the snot out of the ball as he always has, and make the coach look like an idiot for not playing him. Make it that it's the team's loss for not playing. He already knew that though. He just needed a shot.

My kid went basically from role/part time player in the preseason to full time starter batting 3rd for varsity by time the season started.

So while there may be things the player can't control, there are things the player can control and if they show they can play, some of them will get their chance to prove it.

My son had a small window to prove himself, didn't have the luxury of getting called up as a young player and make his mistakes. Nobody handed him anything. He took advantage of his opportunites and made the most of it. That's all they can do.
 
Last edited by zombywoof May 15, 2008 5:32 AM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
100+ posts
 
May 15, 2008 4:49 AM

KnightTime: If you cannot tell serious in that post, then you wear blinders when it comes to HS baseball coaches (heck, for that matter, you must be wearing blinders as to human nature). People, baseball coaches included, are simply flawed. They make alot of mistakes. Many of these guys played a little HS ball, maybe small college. Few of these guys are genuine baseball experts. They do it because they love the game, or they need the cash to boost retirement, or the school bullied them into it during teacher downsizing. In any case, they are not expert talent evaluators and are no better at dealing with the complexities of the baseball player tool/attitude/intelligence mix than most parents. Yes, parents have a stake in seeing little Timmy play, but coaches have their own stakes in this game. I have watched this process for nearly 50 years--after the top 5% and bottom 20%, you are left with EQUAL talent in the 75% crunch. At that point, it boils down to personality, prejudice, self-interest, family connections, etc. If Timmy's dad finds a way to persuade Coach to play Timmy (a crunch kid), to get him the reps, the at-bats, the experience, then Timmy will develop and fulfill the prophecy of success. But Johnnie and Mark and Tom, all of whom were relegated to the bench because they never broke the code with Coach, could have done just as well as Timmy, had they been given the opportunity. Don't even think that it goes any other way. And if you don't experience this daily in your job, or in any other walk of life, then you truly are wearing blinders. This is simply the way the world works, for better or for worse.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
100+ posts
 
May 15, 2008 4:46 PM

quote:
Originally posted by isaacvanwart:
KnightTime: If you cannot tell serious in that post, then you wear blinders when it comes to HS baseball coaches (heck, for that matter, you must be wearing blinders as to human nature). People, baseball coaches included, are simply flawed. They make alot of mistakes. Many of these guys played a little HS ball, maybe small college. Few of these guys are genuine baseball experts. They do it because they love the game, or they need the cash to boost retirement, or the school bullied them into it during teacher downsizing. In any case, they are not expert talent evaluators and are no better at dealing with the complexities of the baseball player tool/attitude/intelligence mix than most parents. Yes, parents have a stake in seeing little Timmy play, but coaches have their own stakes in this game. I have watched this process for nearly 50 years--after the top 5% and bottom 20%, you are left with EQUAL talent in the 75% crunch. At that point, it boils down to personality, prejudice, self-interest, family connections, etc. If Timmy's dad finds a way to persuade Coach to play Timmy (a crunch kid), to get him the reps, the at-bats, the experience, then Timmy will develop and fulfill the prophecy of success. But Johnnie and Mark and Tom, all of whom were relegated to the bench because they never broke the code with Coach, could have done just as well as Timmy, had they been given the opportunity. Don't even think that it goes any other way. And if you don't experience this daily in your job, or in any other walk of life, then you truly are wearing blinders. This is simply the way the world works, for better or for worse.
Isaac, I'm glad you have life all figured out. You are obviously the resident expert on this subject, and how dare anyone question that. What you are spewing is complete and utter nonsense. It is a sad testament about how some people have a distorted picture of the world. Your idea is that there is a great big HS coaching conspiracy. For that matter, it's a great big conspiratorial world out there. You should know because you've been watching it for nearly 50 years. Yup, 75% of all the people in this world are EQUAL. Therefore, in your utopian world, we would have equal outcome for everyone in all walks of life. Wouldn't that be a wonderful world?
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
100+ posts
 
May 16, 2008 11:50 AM

KnightTime--I cannot recall in any post stating that I am seeking a utopia or that there is any great coaching conspiracy. Quite the opposite on both points.

I reject any notion of a utopia and have accepted the realities of this world for what they are. You have to figure them out and work within that framework. It is far from perfect, but God makes it pretty clear that we all are far from perfect and that this world is far from perfect (as a result of Man's Original Sin and the subsequent sin of all people). Perfection is God's to grant us through His Grace and the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. . . but we will not enjoy it until the next life. So, no, I have no illusions about utopia on Earth and would never call for it. I am just stating my views on life's realities. I have found that they cannot be navigated unless they are first understood. And my view is that 75% of us are in that crunch and are scratching our way, as best we can, towards the top. I have never met anyone with any ambition who did not fit this mold, whether in the 5%, the 20%, or the 75%. We all want to do better. It's just that we have to figure out what we can succeed at and then find out how to negotiate the way up in that endeavor. I certainly do not pretend to have a monopoly on knowledge, wisdoem, or insight. I would happily respect any reasonable alternate view you wish to set forth.

As for the "coaching conspiracy," I reject that as well. No such thing exists. What does exist is the one character trait with which all coaches (i.e., all people) are endowed--fallibility. That does not mean that they all get together and figure out how to make mistakes together. It simply means that each of them, on his own, makes human mistakes. Accept that. It seems to me that your responses would indicate that you see them as infallible (are you, then, not the one seeking utopia?). It is nothing I would not say about anyone else--you, me, Coach Bob Knight, Coach John Wooden, Coach John Thompson, President Bush, Billy Graham, the Pope, the Queen, my son, my wife. Get the point. Each of us makes mistakes. Also, each of us acts, every split second of our lives, on our prejudices, our preferences, our tastes. . . Which leads us to make decisions about people. So, naturally, coaches make decisions on the 75% in the crunch, the bulk of any team, using these distinguishers. All I am saying is that a kid and dad and mom have to accept that reality, figure out how to work it to the kid's advantage, and get into the few who get the opportunity to play and fulfill the coach's genius and prophecy. If you don't do that, you sit the bench and Timmy gets that opportunity even if Timmy is no better than your kid. So, no, I do not see a conspiracy. Only what I perceive to the realities of life.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
Member
 
May 17, 2008 10:11 AM

My son has experienced exactly what your son is. He is now a Senior, first year on Varsity and being a great teammate for his team. My son has had a very difficult time keeping his head up among all the "Golden Boys".... but he has done it. Baseball is so much more than just the game. I believe my son will come out of this not-so-easy experience with great life skills. My son now has the mental make-up and confidence to succeed in any avenue. Please check out his story on www.showballbaseball.com and this is NOT a plug for the showcase but a great story of a boy who did come home, approached his parents with his frustration, walked away feeling supported and DID have his dreams come true.
P.S. My son is a power hitter, played first base and right field. He now watches these "Golden Boys" play and yes, still asks "Why?" but knows that he will play in College and all but one of these "Golden Boys" will not.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
Member
 
May 18, 2008 10:04 PM

My son actual split time his ninth grade year between JV and Varisty and had a great year his next year was pretty good too, but here's were my advice gets a little diffenent. Don't force anything on him because it will hurt both you and him later. He has been playing since he was five years old and I have not in all these years seen or heard of a coach treating a player like my son every. This not unlike what your son is feeling now. I do not and have not look at my son or his abilities with rose colored glasses. He has six diffenent colleges talking with him and it's not because of his high school coach. He went to a college showcase a little late because of my handcap, but at that showcase he was seen by twenty plus coaches from around the U S and the phone started ringing. You must let him decide what to do and please support him in his decission. It's his young life that only he can enjoy or suffer thru. Look for other better coaches and without drawing attention to yourself investagte the other coaches he will be playing for and if they will be staying. Sometimes they will leave on a short notice but most will be there for a while. If they are similar to his current coach try to find a better one. Last but not least my son because he is an athlete, not because he's great or a bum he deserves to be lead by a man of charter, intelligence and a true desire to make the future better by helping young men grow. They will face adversity along the way but that is for the parents to help them with not the coach.
 
Last edited by TrojanDad May 18, 2008 10:07 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
 
May 22, 2008 10:51 PM

Went to link but did not find your story? Would love to review it.

quote:
Originally posted by ndmom:
My son has experienced exactly what your son is. He is now a Senior, first year on Varsity and being a great teammate for his team. My son has had a very difficult time keeping his head up among all the "Golden Boys".... but he has done it. Baseball is so much more than just the game. I believe my son will come out of this not-so-easy experience with great life skills. My son now has the mental make-up and confidence to succeed in any avenue. Please check out his story on www.showballbaseball.com and this is NOT a plug for the showcase but a great story of a boy who did come home, approached his parents with his frustration, walked away feeling supported and DID have his dreams come true.
P.S. My son is a power hitter, played first base and right field. He now watches these "Golden Boys" play and yes, still asks "Why?" but knows that he will play in College and all but one of these "Golden Boys" will not.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
 
May 23, 2008 12:06 AM

WOW!

My son too, has been flying under the radar and I just don't get it. He has spent alot of years preparing himself for the next level. For the past seven/eight years he has given up weekends, holidays, vacations all for the love of elite travel baseball. We have spent hundred of hours and thousands of dollars in lessons to get him there. I have seen him outperform the starters but still rcvd no playing time. In fact he played 4 games out of 28 (he played more games in one weekend playing travel than he did this whole season) He has the 5th best batting average (458) but only 21 at bats (whoopie). I'm not all about having my son play all the time every inning of every game - but know the players and know that subbing my son in and out of a game would have never lost the game. There was 28 players on the team and the same 9 played the whole season while the others played only during a blow out or a DH B game. This coach has inflated the egos of 9 and robbed the other 19. My son is a utility player played 3rd base in travel and was placed his only 4 games in the outfield (does it matter if it is L/C/R ? it is still the outfield) As far as behavior issues, he is well liked, no detentions, 3.0 gpa, responds well to criticsm, very coachble, cheers for the players but received no opportunities or time! Don't give me "you have to hustle and try hard to get noticed" because how can only those 9 players have it and the other 19 all be slackers? Our coach never looked at anyone after first game of the season. The starters are in fact good players however; there definitely is no skill discrepancy or lack of effort between those on the bench and those on the field!

So Tell me, what is it that we can control here? You can't control the politics. You can't control chemistry between coach and player. You can't control your size. You can't approach the coach - such boldness would surely get your kid labeled. You can't control the the inflated egos of coaches, players, and parents. Just what is it you can control?

Sorry for the rant and thanks for listening

inally posted by zombywoof:
quote:
Originally posted by KnightTime:
You can't be serious, can you? I can't tell if this is sarcastic or serious.


Actually, it's quite accurate in what's written here. HS coaches do make a lot of mistakes. , There's booster club parents who's kid could get a slight edge unless he's a legitimate star. Then it don't matter who's on the booster club. Younger brothers of star players coming into a system are at an advantage Also, these coaches may not know the players they got as well as those who coached them before the HS coaches got them. Quite often, there's players who get an opportunity who clearly arent ready and there are others better suited who get screwed for one reason or another, even at the HS level.

However, things out of a players control such as success of the team. If the team's going well, the coach may be less likely to make changes or open up opportunities where if a team's struggling, the coach might give more shots to players to prove themselves. Sometimes timing is everything.

My son somewhat flew under the radar for about 2½ seasons until the varsity coach brought him up late in the season for very limited action.

I gave him some advise going into this season. I told him to to continue play the game right, be smart, hustle, hit the snot out of the ball as he always has, and make the coach look like an idiot for not playing him. Make it that it's the team's loss for not playing. He already knew that though. He just needed a shot.

My kid went basically from role/part time player in the preseason to full time starter batting 3rd for varsity by time the season started.

So while there may be things the player can't control, there are things the player can control and if they show they can play, some of them will get their chance to prove it.

My son had a small window to prove himself, didn't have the luxury of getting called up as a young player and make his mistakes. Nobody handed him anything. He took advantage of his opportunites and made the most of it. That's all they can do.[/QUOTE]
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 23, 2008 12:37 AM

quote:
Originally posted by irish county will:
WOW!
So Tell me, what is it that we can control here? You can't control the politics. You can't control chemistry between coach and player. You can't control your size. You can't approach the coach - such boldness would surely get your kid labeled. You can't control the the inflated egos of coaches, players, and parents. Just what is it you can control?


The only thing a player can control is how he plays when he gets his shot. If there's an issue of playing time, the only one who can approach the coach about it is the player himself.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 23, 2008 6:31 AM

To all of the posters who insist that there is no difference in talent in the middle 75% or that politics or chemistry between coach and player are often to blame, I say this:

Determining who will start is always subjective. One pitcher has the highest velocity, another pitcher has the most control, a third pitcher throws the best off-speed stuff. Who you gonna start? One position player has a stronger bat, but another player has more speed and agility and has a better arm. A third player has limited range and is not a power hitter, but he is very consistent and reliable with both his fielding and his hitting. Who is "best"? There will always be those who disagree with who is starting, but it usually boils down to the legitimate preferences and priorities of each coach and the needs of each team. To say that coaches are not putting the best players on the field is an insult to their abilities to coach.

ndmom, that was indeed an awesome story about your son. I have never seen him play, but one phrase in his write-up did stand out to me: "power potential." It is possible that your son has tremendous college potential and yet does not possess oustanding present ability. Perhaps he has yet to bulk up and the coach wants to start someone who may not be a college prospect, but has current power in his bat to help the team achieve its goals. You mentioned that your son played 1B and right field. The coach may have been waist deep in players for those positions, thus requiring him to make some hard decisions regarding who to start. You may be surprised at how he agonized over who to put on the field.

On my son's team, 13 players have hit HR's this season. Three of those players rarely get to play. I am sure their parents have been extremely frustrated that their sons are not starting, but such is the game of baseball. There are only 9 players on the field at any given time and there will always be some who are deserving, but for one legitimate reason or another, just can't quite make the cut.
 
Last edited by Infield08 May 23, 2008 6:46 AM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
1,000+ posts
 
May 23, 2008 8:37 AM

I recently got some excellent advice and I thought I would share it with you all:

quote:
Baseball, like life in general, is not fair.


How one handles these situations is what counts.
Make goals and make them happen.
If its a difficult path that finally gets you there, double the reward in the end. Smile

Sometimes the rockier the road,...
the sweeter the success.

Patience and perseverance.


Highwinds,...I wish your son the very best! He's young and has many choices ahead of him. I hope he tries them all!
 
Last edited by shortstopmom May 23, 2008 8:45 AM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
PermalinkView Printer Friendly Format
 
Post Reply