Somewhere around 12 or 13 my youngest son was on one of the very top teams in the state. Not sure why he was on this team because he really didn't get to play that much.
The team went to Colorado to play in some kind of big tournament. They took a bus and I couldn't go. They did very well, think they darn near won it and played something like 11 games in one week.
So I picked him up from the bus when they returned. While driving home I asked him how he did and if he had fun. He said, "It was a blast". Once again I asked how he did. He said he didn't play much, only played about one inning, but we really did good.
I will admit that I was kind of angry that they would take a kid for a whole week and not let him play. But he was so happy about it all, so I didn't let it bother me. I really liked his attitude about the whole thing.
That team did have a lot of young talent. They all started in high school. Several played college baseball. A couple played DI.
My son slowly improved and at age 22 he made his debut in the Major Leagues.
I've told this story a few times on here. I'm not positive I remember all the exact details. I just know I learned something from that experience. The most important thing I learned is to not get in the way. And it is easier to develop a good attitude when you enjoy what you're doing.
I still think it is most important to play. However, it doesn't mean it's a waste of time sitting on the bench for a real good team. There is always something to learn.