Reply to "When was/is it important to be on a high level team?"

Truman posted:

I've watched many kids under age 14 put on "high level teams" and tried to determine any significant value in doing so to see if it's something I should do for my son.  Many parents recommended it for my son, but I just couldn't find any significant benefit for the expense.  Eventually, I did get him into a "high level team" to see if he could adjust and compete with a higher level of play.  And from our experience, I found that those who did it earlier really had no significant advantage over my son or any other player who didn't go into "high level teams" earlier.  The only reason I got my son onto a "high level team" when he turned 14 was that I wanted to raise the bar and see if he could compete with the "higher level" players on such a team.  If he hadn't been able to, I would have pulled him out.  And one of the key things I looked for in a "high level team" was some "high level" coaching along with practices.  And most importantly for me in getting my son onto a "high level team" was the amount of play time he would get.  If a player doesn't get much play time, then there's not much point to being on such a team.  I feel it's better to be on a lesser team and get a lot of play time as a lot of play time is important in getting live game experience that than be brought into high school.   Even then, the playing environment changes as the various players age and mature and entering high school decides what he likes and what they don't like where interest in baseball often gives way to other sports or girls or what ever.  Many of the kids I've watched on the "high level teams" quit baseball at various times for various reasons.  As a kid grows older and matures and maintains a passion for baseball, I feel the "high level teams" then have a lot to offer, especially if the kid's high school doesn't compete at a high level.  One other observation I've made is that many of the kids who are starters and get a  lot of playing time on "high level teams" at age 14 and above tend to be top players on their high school teams, but hardly not as much for player on "high level teams" at younger ages. 

Certainly, putting kids on a younger "high level team" doesn't hurt the talented players.  And if a parent has the financial resources to do so, why not?   But I feel it's mostly delusional to think there's any  significance to a kids future in baseball in getting them involved in such teams at such a young age.

Just my two cents. 

Thank you Truman, your two cents puts my mind at ease.  I guess my question should have been does a kid who plays on an "elite" type team for youth travel ball have any significant advantage in high school over a player who plays on decent teams but not these supposed elite youth teams. 

My son will attend a 6A High School and even the JV roster is full of players on very well known local teams. I wanted to raise the bar of competition for my son but didn't want to invest another grand to see if he could hang with tougher competition. If he couldn't, or lost his passion for the game, I was going to encourage him to run track.  However, this year even though he was 13u eligible I asked him to play 14u, he was okay with that. I did not take him to any tryouts for the "BEST" teams, but he will see them on occasion in competition.  So far he seems to be hanging just fine, still loves the game, and is enjoying himself. I guess I'll reevaluate in July when he is a rising 9th grader.  If he's welcomed onto a "BEST" team roster that the coaches see him having a significant role then good.  If not, then at least he will see where he is lacking compared to the other kids who did make the team, and it will give him something specific to focus on.

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