Sure could use some advice from coaches that offer guidance to players, or from parents that have navigated this journey before me.
My only son is a 2024 grad year multi-sport student athlete entering 8th grade. He just now finished his 12u 50/70 travel ball with a trip to Cooperstown Dreams Park - so much fun. Moving up to 60/90 full time this fall. The kid loves to play, just about any sport, however his interest is greatest with baseball. Over the last few years in youth travel baseball, he has had much personal baseball growth and team success at the regional level. He has also been fortunate to participate and compete in several national events.
As parents, we have seen his interest in baseball only increase, while at the same time we also received some feedback that recognizes his potential to play beyond high school.
I believe my son has a couple years before he needs to make college recruiting exposure a priority, however that said, I think it is important to have a plan that builds a ramp to the future, so he is prepared to realize the maximum upside out of his current potential.
- Should my son switch travel teams for a team that attends more nationally recognized tournaments?
- Should my son switch travel teams so he can play-up against his grad year peers?
- How much investment should we make in private lessons to supplement his team practices and his reps with dad?
- When (at what age) should my son attend his first PG Showcase?
- Does my son need to establish a profile at each of the big three player ranking organizations (PG, PBR, BF) ... as a parent, do I need to budget my vacation time and discretionary income on multiple showcases and camps every summer for the next 4 or 5 years?
- When should my son start attending college summer camps vs. playing summer travel team tournaments?
- Will my son fall too far behind in his baseball skills as he is busy playing multiple sports vs. his single sport peers that have already begun to specialize in baseball?
Thanks in advance for your thoughtful replies!
Chuck all your questions and prove he can compete on the 60/90 field. Until he does this all your questions are irrelevant. He also needs to get himself playing grade appropriate in travel ball as soon as he proves he can handle the field size. Playing 12u as a 7th grader unless he’s a physical late bloomer he was a bigger boy among many little boys. At the least he was likely more emotionally mature.
My son played 13u as a 12u eligible (May birthday) baseball player the summer after 7th grade even though he was only 5’2”. 13u is slow motion ball acclimation to the big field. In 14u the game speeds up significantly due to player growth. If a kid plays 13u in 8th grade he’s only played one year of slow motion, big field ball heading into high school.
Play as many sports as you can until they get in the way of your goals.