I'm hoping we can use this thread to collect information, advice, war stories, reminiscences, and so forth from players and parents who were involved in collegiate summer ball this year while those recollections are fresh.
I'll start. My subject is how grueling college baseball is.
My son (rising red shirt junior) plays on a team in the middle of the standings in a middle-ish collegiate league. His team is local so he stays at home.
He had his last regular season summer start last night. Managed to grit through 6 not-very-pretty innings to get the win against the first place team and help the team move into a tie for the last playoff spot going into the last day. He says half the team wants to make the playoffs; half just want to go home. Everybody has been working hard all through the fall, all through the spring season, and now through the summer. Guys are just spent.
My son wants the team to make the playoffs and win one game so he can get a playoff start. But last night he also said, "I'm ready for a break." He led his college team in innings pitched and he is tied for the lead on his summer team, so he is over 100 innings. He is tired.
As soon as the season is done, he will begin a conditioning program and not touch a baseball for two months. He hasn't had such a long break from throwing since he had knee surgery as a freshman. So he is ready to put the ball down for a while.
One observation about end of summer collegiate baseball. Everybody is worn out, and fatigue reveals character, love of the game, and determination. Tired people make decisions slowly and poorly. Tired people are more likely not to charge grounders, run out grounders, lay out, or back up bases. However, guys who love the game and are totally committed continue give it all they have even though they are exhausted. These guys really command my respect. The difference gets real obvious this time of year.
I can only imagine that the fatigue is worse for guys who are away from home. My son has teammates who either didn't get to stop at home on their way to summer ball or who were just able to do a touch and go. One teammate hasn't slept in his own bed at home since the first week of January.
It your sons play summer ball, be aware of this factor and think about ways not to add stress and fatigue to their lives.