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Showcases give college coaches and pro scouts one aspect of a players talent-- travel teams playing high level competition give them another perspective--

Players need to be seen in both a showcase atmosphere and the high level competitive atmosphere-- many kids "show" better in highly competitive games ---

Do both so the player does not shortchange himself


You say to do both and don't short change yourself. But on a practical level: lets say that the players family really can not afford the $2,000-$3,000 an elite summer team would cost, along with an additional few thousand to attend showcases---What do you suggest to that player? I may be a bit idealistic, but i surely hope that money (or lack thereof) would not be an issue in a kid getting recruited.

In my mind money is not an issue when it comes to recruiting.

I also think that if you do some research you will find that many travel teams have ways and means of making it possible for kids in financial need. As for showcases it would not be the first time a young man found a sponsor for an event so that he could attend. Many business firms have such plans and $$ in place for their own employers--they may not advertise but if you ask you may find your needs can be assisted.

Nothing comes easy in this world whether you have $$$ or you don't---when it comes to baseball you have to work for it, one way or another.

Problem is too many people make excuses when things get tough or don't always go right !!!

My son played on a competitive national travel team and attended showcases; and, it worked out very, very, very, very, well for him.

I don't smoke or drink or chase women. I spend my "extra" money on my children.

Walking up the mountains in Arizona, with my son and some of his teammates, during a break in the Junior Olympic tournament...PRICELESS.
At 15 - son was asked to join a travel team - left Texas and spent most of his summer in Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.

Was a HUGE measuring tool to see where his true talent/skill level...and what to work on.

At 16 - son asked to join yet another group...was a more competitive arena as far as being known by colleges and scouts...etc. Team was better than he'd ever played on...he had to step up.

At 17 - son asked to tryout for another team (one of those select teams mentioned on the Texas thread)...made their 18 year old team as one of only two (seniors still in high school ) - others were graduated seniors.

He was put into an environment that the level of play pushed him and he was with older guys who had a little bit of an edge over him...

He found himself and and his maturity level increased...cannot say enough about the opportunity that helped him step out of his paradigm...

Yes, $$ factored into this situation, but we believe the investment in his future cannot compare to not giving him options.

It was a huge part of the process. And important.
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There are a great number of variables here that affect the player and the family’s decision. I have always been an advocate of attending showcases AND playing for a good summer team, but common sense will have to dictate some restrictions. None of us have enough money or time, so we have to plan. I think we have to look at the player’s talent, his (and the family’s) guidelines for a college, how much money we have to invest, and go from there. A great summer program will help a player develop his baseball skills more effectively than attending showcases but, showcases normally provide more exposure than the summer team.
When my son was a freshman in high school we made a decision to play for a high profile summer team, attend one showcase (Midwest Prospects), attend two college camps, and hope for the best. He did receive invites from additional showcases but we had already planned our budget. We did make an exception and accepted an invitation to attend East Coast Professional Showcase.
Would I recommend all players doing the same thing we did? No, because no two players are the same. But any player that wants to play college baseball has to have a certain talent level and they have to be seen or recommended by someone in the “loop”.
Are traveling teams necessary? No, they aren’t necessary but they normally have good coaching, they provide an opportunity to get better, they provide exposure to colleges and scouts, and it’s simply a higher level of baseball!
If I had a $1,000.00 and KNEW my son could play D-1 college baseball I would spend it on showcases. If I had the same $1,000.00 and HOPED he could play college baseball, I would spend it on the best summer team his talent would allow. If I had a $1,000.00 and KNEW he would never play college baseball, I would save it for college tuition!

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.
I've been doing a lot of thinking on this issue of showcase versus travel team lately and have spoken to a number of coaches (D1/D2) to get a balanced opinion.
As I've said here many times before, every player has a unique situation. As Fungo alluded to,knowing the talent level of the player has to come into this. I'd also suggest that one's geographic location is a huge factor. In our part of the world, I think most of the coaches attend regional tournaments rather than showcases. I've also had more than one coach tell me that they would rather see a player in action with his team so that they can get a better feel for how he really conducts himself in the team dynamic.
Say you "only" have a thousand or two to spend on your sons baseball, I ask you only one thing. Would you rather have your son get exposure and remain around the same level player, or would you rather have him get limited to mid level exposure and learn and become a better player? My answer would no doubt be elite travel team.
If there are a few local schools you are interested in and through personal contact with the coach, video, recommendations or endorsements from your high school coach, and getting the college coach to come to a few of your games to evaluate your talent, then the answer is - not necessarily.

It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. A coach will be happy to come see you play if he is given a compelling reason to come or if he is in the area.

This harks back to the old - are you trying to get recruited by any school, or are you focusing on certain schools you think might be a good fit and expoling the best way to be recruited by those specific schools.

Travel teams will obvoiusly offer you more "exposure". I dislike that word because its important to be more proactive and do more research on schools and programs, rather than simply going to tons of events and hoping some random schools contact you and show interest. The benefits of the travel team, while they may offer you exposure, will be getting to play your sport more and getting to play against more talented players.
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One should also keep in mind that the good travel programs are very active on the part of their kids when it comes to marketing them and are a great assistance to the player looking to play college ball.

It also gives the player a strong reference point for college coaches as they can call the travel team coach for info and get the real scoop on the player.


In our area, 95-98% of the high school coaches don't do anything to help there players get to the next level! Sure, you can have an "all-state" player or "all-conference" player, but then, do you really need the coaches input, if he'll give it????

In our sophomore team parent meeting Monday night, the varsity coach said that, all of your sons will most likely not play pro ball, and in most cases not even college ball. Our team won state last year, the first time in 33 years. He also said that you shouldn't expect any "scholarship money" for baseball! O.K., I do understand how the process works!

Our sophomore team is carrying 25 players (1 is a freshman), and I believe the varsity team, made-up of seniors and juniors, is carrying approximately 32 players!!!!! Now you know why he said that our son will mostly likely not play baseball in college, or wherever, you need to play to get better!!!!

Now your situation may be different, but I can guarantee you that up here, in Illinois, and maybe other states in our vicinity, you have to play at a higher, more competitive level. ask if travel teams, high level travel teams are necessary, and then add several showcases to the schedule, you bet there necessary!!!!! Smile

"You observe a lot by watching."
Our last 3 summer budgets for a 17-18 team have averaged about $26,000 per season. This covers airfare to one far away tournament, as well as everything else. We carry 20 players. Before 1997, we had a full boat sponsor, so $$$ wasn't an issue. He moved to NoCal, and had to stop sponsoring us. Anyway, $1,300 is a lot of duckets. By the way, all of our coaches pay their own way. We are fortunate in that we live in a relatively affluent area and have some good corporate sponsorships to offset the costs. I figure about $700 is out of pocket for each player. We are fortunate to have great parents year in and year out. Each year, we have one or two out of state college coaches recommend a player come play for us. When this happens, we have a parent step up to open up their home to this player. As for the $700 each player is responsible for, we have a core group of parents who figure out creative ways to sponsor one or two less fortunate (economically) players each season. Without the parents, we would be in big time trouble.

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