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[Just making conversation here and this is not something personal.]

I've always thought it was too much to ask a 17 or 18 year old kid "What do you want to do with the rest of your life? What do you want to major in at college?" Most lack the maturity, knowledge and experience to make a good decision to such an important question.

Related to baseball and picking a college to play baseball, is it too much to expect a kid to make a good decision for the right reasons factoring in all the variables? Is that why so many kids end up transferring after freshman year?

And, yes...parents have a role and responsibility in providing counsel. But, if the kid isn't mature enough to factor in all the important parts of the decision do you expect them to be mature enough to listen to their parents for advice?


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I have a 13 year old in 8th grade with a June birthday. I fear he has no maturity at all. End of 17 he will go off to collage, decide on a Major, play baseball if he develops well, and make collage choices! Scary for me 🤷‍♀️ cause I know his level of maturity is so less than his teammates and class mates who is all 14 going into 15 thanks to reclassification or entering K at 6!

That said parents of older boys often tell me “one day he will wake up and put all the pieces together-his mind and body will come together and boom he will be his own mature adult self! Let the pieces of his puzzle fall together. 

I am not holding my breath at my age I still haven’t figure out what I am going to be when I grow up! 

I had to make the decisions for myself. My parents had no input to offer. They could have. They were both college graduates. They were both successful professionals. But they didn’t. I knew if I majored in something in finance/Econ/math I wouldn’t have trouble finding a job with a good gpa. Most college majors don’t prepare you for a job. They qualify that you’re smart enough to be trained. 

My son took the same route. But he got his MBA and did an internship before leaving college. He was hired by the company he interned. I got my MBA while working to enhance promotability. My daughter thought she wanted to do forensic science. She got the degree. Then she worked in a law firm for a couple of years before attending law school. 

The big thing is don’t major in something useless. Prove you’re smart. 

The biggest reason so many players transfer is Darwinism. College sports is survival of the fittest. There are many more roster spots than playing positions. Sometimes a program isn’t the right fit and the best thing to do is move on. Life isn’t over due to one wrong decision. Life is all about getting off the mat and righting the ship. 

When I was twenty-two I was hired by a major corporation. At our first training sessions at corporate we got a tour of the facilities including the board room. I freaked out everyone by sitting down in the chairman’s seat. I commented I was just trying it on for future fit. By the time I was thirty I didn’t want to spend another day in the corporate world. I started a company with two partners. It was the next twenty-six years of my life until we sold it. There’s always room for adjustment. You learn as you go. 

Last edited by RJM

Honestly, I disagree 100%.  Athletic recruiting offered an opportunity to meet and experience what my son wanted to do for the rest of his life. He had an 18 month advance over normal students.  It was the best experience for him to mature to see how the adult world works. 

 If kids don't have a clue what they want to do, maybe deferring college and working a real job will help?  My parents told me I had 4 choices: college with their financial help , work at home and pay rent, work and get own apt, or go into the military. I gave my kids the same options.  I chose door #1. 18 years old is old enough to own it, and take full responsibility.

As always, Jmo.

Last edited by fenwaysouth
@Francis7 posted:

[Just making conversation here and this is not something personal.]

I've always thought it was too much to ask a 17 or 18 year old kid "What do you want to do with the rest of your life? What do you want to major in at college?" Most lack the maturity, knowledge and experience to make a good decision to such an important question.

Related to baseball and picking a college to play baseball, is it too much to expect a kid to make a good decision for the right reasons factoring in all the variables? Is that why so many kids end up transferring after freshman year?

And, yes...parents have a role and responsibility in providing counsel. But, if the kid isn't mature enough to factor in all the important parts of the decision do you expect them to be mature enough to listen to their parents for advice?


I do believe that some are not as mature as others at 17, 18.  Parents definetly have a responsibility to help make decisions. That's why in the beginning of the journey it's a great idea to sit down and discuss with them the process, about what your expectations are from him/her, your finances, that money doesn't grow on trees, etc.  It's also a good idea to make sure that YOU the parent has done their homework, which is why this site is important.

Most importantly, is that they understand that they aren't going to college to get a degree in baseball. Or to get drafted. I see too many folks get upset because their son didn't get to live out their dream of playing baseball.

Well there are PLENTY of ways that one can be involved in the world of baseball. 

It's ok if they are not aware of what they want to get their degree in, they probably will at some point during their first year.  Funny, the last thing that I ever thought that son wanted to do was be a coach! 


You are old enough to drive a car, and vote, and go off to war and die for your country, you are old enough to choose your college.  Lord have mercy!!!

Anyone who disagrees, please read Iowamom23’s post 3 times.  Now read it again.

My great grandfather had 2 kids and a fulltime job at age 16, plus worked an extra job on weekends and was a volunteer with the fire department.   Just how soft are we gonna get as a culture before we change our ways?  If he was alive today he’d be stunned and say “the people who do the bare minimum, as compared to the way we worked and achieved responsibility, in your world are the ones who excel!”

And if you choose the wrong school at first, that’s a valuable life lesson in itself.  There are lots of college players who play at 2 or 3 schools in their career.  It happens.

Last edited by 3and2Fastball
@Francis7 posted:

[Just making conversation here and this is not something personal.]

I've always thought it was too much to ask a 17 or 18 year old kid "What do you want to do with the rest of your life? What do you want to major in at college?" Most lack the maturity, knowledge and experience to make a good decision to such an important question. 

The solution would be to put that decision off and not go to college. At the end of the day it's entirely optional. To challenge your point about the lack of maturity, at what age do you think they're mature or experienced enough to make that decision? 

I understand college is a big deal to a lot of parents and high schoolers, but quite frankly it's not a huge deal. Sure it helps shape who you are. Maybe it's where you meet your spouse. Maybe it helps shape your career. But when you're 50, nobody really cares where you went to school or whether it took 3 years or 7 to graduate. 

Successful people are going to be successful whether they start at MIT or community college. Sure, one may put you on an easier path, but where you chose to go to college when you were 17 doesn't really determine any outcome for you. 

Moral of the story. If you want to go to school, go to school. If you want to change your major, change your major. If you want to play baseball and it doesn't work out, transfer and try your luck elsewhere. What really gets lost in all these conversations about school, recruiting, etc is putting yourself in a position to be happy. If turning down D3 offers to walk on at a D1 will make you happy go ahead. If you would be happier at the small D3, but you have SEC offers do it. You have to do what's right for you, bottom line. 

Just had a conversation with my wife about our FaceTime with child #1 earlier tonight. She is on campus at her Patriot League school. The mens/womens hockey and basketball teams along with another 100 or so kids that need to be on campus are and everyone is doing distanced or virtual school. We started her recruiting journey fall of 9th grade (they started early in womens hockey if you were elite) but did not commit until early in the summer before her senior year. The difference between visiting a campus/talking with a coach was light years different between 9th & 11th grade. After seeing nearly every HA D1/D3 school in the NE she had a very good idea of what she wanted by the time she committed and then even more so prior to signing her LOI. 

The times that we had together talking about pros/cons/costs and opportunities available to her as an athlete were invaluable to her maturing and was a gift to me and my wife (we only get to have them around so long...enjoy every minute of it!). My kid was fairly mature (and really fun) as a senior but she is light years more mature now. While face timing her she was talking about how she was doing her laundry while updating her planner for the week and then rolling out and stretching in her room. We used to remind her to do most of those things and now she is smoothly transitioning between all of them while visiting with us. Awesome!

We dragged the 2022 baseball player with us on some of those visits and he visited many a campus and took his first several tours his 8th grade summer. He was pretty bored early on but has already said things to us when visiting other schools with him essentially letting us know that he got way more out of those early tours we dragged him on then we thought. 

SUGGESTION for those with kids early in this process or just entering HS...start to visit schools now! Take an extra 2 hours on the next family vacation to drive thru the University of wherever and check out their baseball park and wander thru the campus. Take a tour if you can sometime. I recommend taking your kid out of school some afternoon or day and visit 2 or 3 of the best (hopefully different) schools within a couple hours of you. Take a tour of a HA school if you can, visit a mega campus and a smaller school, visit a rural campus and an urban one, D3, D1, JUCO. Look to fly or drive to a city like Boston or Philly or Charlotte or Chicago or Cincinnati or LA or Denver or Atlanta. Every one of those cities has 5-15 schools that are totally different but great in their own ways. You can easily see 3-5 schools in a day if you are not doing tours. 

Hard to get any tours with the Pandemic happening but can definitely get a feel for what the campus looks like and their athletic facilities. The difference between Villanova's baseball stadium and Miami of Ohio's are vast. Villanova's is 15-20 minutes from campus (good luck getting any fans) and Miami of Ohio's is surrounded by dorms. That is a significant thing in my kids mind. Walking to the ballpark and getting into the cages to hit at anytime is a big deal to him. Getting a ride or driving 20 minutes in traffic to the ballpark everyday is not appealing to him...

@Francis7 I agree on knowing what you want to be when you grow up. Some kids are very clear about it. The vast majority are not...or even if they think they know, they change their mind. I think your major influences the decision the most with science/engineering majors and business majors and those do seem like majors that students have stronger feelings about at a younger age. 

As for maturity, I do think that is one of the problems with super early commitments. I've seen a huge change in my son even over the past year (from junior to senior year). There are some mature 8th graders but my kid would not have been making a decision at 13...we would have made it for him. We definitely felt recruiting pressure ("if you don't decide soon the money/spots will be gone") but stuck to our timeline. We needed him to be mature enough that he was driving the decision with a solid head on his shoulders. Plus he grew 5 inches after his freshman year. He is not sure what he wants to major in so he looked for a school with broad options and other considerations become important drivers. I'm not going to lie, he rejected some schools because he thought the baseball field was ugly but his logical decisions outweighed his illogical ones. Plus, I fell in love with my college because the campus was beautiful so how different was I as a 16 year old and I turned out fine? The other part of this is that as important as the school is, the most important part of your college experience is what you personally put into it so that means that there are several schools where your son can have a great experience.      

Finally, I completely agree with @used2lurk...PTWoodson is the last of three. He went on multiple tours and college visits with his sisters and that helped a lot. It's great if you can get them on different size campuses and different types of campuses (urban, rural, etc.).  In addition to our local schools (Georgetown, UMD, GWU, GMU, Towson, UMBC), we also walked around campuses (e.g. TN, GT, UGA, Duke, UNC, Auburn, Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina) when we were at tournaments or driving to or from tournaments. If my husband was with the kids, they snuck on the football/baseball fields and the basketball arena and then sent pictures claiming they thought it was the dean's office but it "must have moved."  If they were with me, we visited academic building or the commons. LOL

The trick if you have an athlete is layering the sports considerations on top of all the other considerations. In a way, it helps narrow things down considerably.


We always visited schools on vacation, and also we take in a college game of whatever sport is in season wherever we are. We've been doing that since middle school and while friends thought we were a little crazy or maybe too intense about it early, now my son is in the position of choosing a school during a pandemic when he can't get anywhere. Thankfully he already has a good feel for most schools that are in consideration from all those early drive through's, discussions and games. I do get involved in weighing pros and cons though since he is 16, not 18, and I want to support him.

I also agree that final decision when 16 / 17 / 18 doesn't have to be final. Sometimes what people want evolves as they go through the experience. Personally I transferred schools after freshman year and it worked out great. Life is filled with chapters that we decide how to write.

My son started getting recruited between 8th and 9th grade.  Had first offer as a 9th grader from powerhouse mid-major D1 which took some pressure off but he had no clue where he wanted to go other than SEC and top of ACC.  The recruiting process matured him greatly.  We implemented the 7 word answer rule where he could not answer any question from a coach without at least 7 words.  He learned to communicate with adults and began to know what their coach speak meant.  By the time, he was offered by the first SEC school he knew for sure what he was looking for in a college/coach (I'm one of those who disagrees with most and the coach plays a large part in it.  I don't think you can separate the two in recruiting because it is the coach not the college that is recruiting you).  He had the communicating thing down pat and feel comfortable talking to grown men about baseball and life.  He knew how to answer and it flowed because as he said "they all ask the same questions every time.  They are not that creative."  By the time it was time to commit before junior year he was mature enough to decide with a little help, which I think parents are supposed to give.  He knew early what he wanted to do and it was play pro ball and/or coach.  He has built some great connections with MLB teams in the process as he has met and spent time with a couple of MLB general managers and upper level guys on various teams.  He was also recruited solely by several HC of SEC/ACC/B12 schools so he got to spend a great deal of time with them.  Which as I told him at the time was, if nothing else, a great tool for jobs later in life.  Maturity comes in most cases if you work the system and give it time.  I don't think the what do you want to be question is as big as people make it.  I wonder how many on here ended up doing what they went to school for as a freshman in college.  I think overall it is a very low number.

We never had any problems with son knowing what he wanted to be when he grew up.

At 4, it was a Hurricane (Miami), around  8, it was an Atlanta Brave. That lasted a few years until he wanted to be the next David Copperfield. Seriously, he was pretty good, put on productions in our garage for everyone in the neighborhood.  Then street hockey took over so he thought about becoming a Florida Panther.  Also around 13 he was seriously considering becoming a pro baller. At one point, golf was a serious consideration.  Hours and hours playing the 9 hole course over and over.

He attended a 3 year middle school that included pre engineering. It wasn't so much about that, small classes and besides the required curiculum, a lot of real life skills. Somehow he managed to win a week long opportunity at Surf camp. So that was a consideration for a little while . Understand that baseball was not played year round as son was growing up. It gave him an opportunity to explore a lot of  other opportunities. 

All through that he never stopped loving baseball. My husband had taken him year after year to many spring training games. It never got old. The desire was to find  the best program that would have a good baseball program and good options for a degree. Scouts didnt start coming around until junior, senior seasons and summer.

Seriously folks, times have changed but don't ever let your kids stop dreaming. By the time they reach HS, most of them pretty much know what they want to do.  They may need your help in sorting out the process, and that's ok.

Happy Monday everyone!

I think having a plan seat in stone, in your mind (or your kid's mind), is a little crazy right now.  No one knows what may be thrown at you.  It's better to have the skills to adapt.  To understand that life goes on regardless and to have the ability to switch gears if you have to.  Make the best decisions you can, with the info you have,  and realize things don't always work out.

@K9 posted:

Not sure how we can expect that 18 year olds are adult when their frontal lobes don't finish maturing until their mid twenties.  Early maturity is treated as a virtue when it is probably just a result of physiological variance.

To really show we love them, we've got to do some things that are counter-intuitive.  This is the parenting part where you are hugging them at the same time you are kicking them out of the house.   At some time the eagle has to leave the nest and fly on their own.  My grandfather and grandmother had no choice, and never finished high school during the Great Depression.   For my father and his brother it was 18 years old.  My father went to college and grad school, my uncle went into the Marines.   For me and my two brothers, it was 18 years old....$hit or get off the pot.  For all my kids it was 18 years old.  My wife was on her own at 18 years old and paid for her own private college education.   18 is a magical number at casa de fenwaysouth despite our immature frontal lobes.   I fully expect my grandchildren will be shown the same love, support and courtesy at 18 years old.

I can hear my father now....."you've had 18 years to think about things.  How about we stop thinking and starting doing".  

Why are we telling ourselves that "junior" is not mature enough to choose an educational path or future lively hood but yet he has the privilege to play college baseball?   This is utterly ridiculous

Last edited by fenwaysouth

You don’t have to enter college knowing what you want to do when you graduate. You do need to point yourself in the right direction. My son knew the path he wanted to take. He’s on it at twenty-seven. My daughter didn’t know she wanted to go to law school until after her sophomore year. She’s now a prosecutor. I didn’t know until I graduated. But I set myself up in the right direction. With the right choice of major(s) and quality gpa I made it through the first gate of every major corporation interview. 

Athletes can use time management, self discipline, leadership and will to win as part of their positive qualities when they go job hunting.

@K9 posted:

Not sure how we can expect that 18 year olds are adult when their frontal lobes don't finish maturing until their mid twenties.  Early maturity is treated as a virtue when it is probably just a result of physiological variance.

There was no way in hell my kids were going to stay home and be coddled until their mid twenties. They didn’t need to be mid twenties with full frontal lobe development to start making good decisions and support themselves. If I thought they were making a bad decision I commented. But I never made the decision for them. They were on their own at twenty-two and twenty-three. People can learn from their mistakes.

I have one who is just starting to realize at twenty-seven his farts don’t smell like perfume. When the older one comments I remind her she was once the same way. Keep ‘em humble. 

 i was the same way. I thought I was all grown up and mature when I was supporting myself at twenty-two out of college. Looking back I was an inexperienced moron with a cocky attitude. I at least had the common sense to work hard and succeed. It took a girlfriend’s father to inform me if I died tomorrow outside some upset relatives and friends the world would keep right on rolling without me. It took me down a few pegs.

Last edited by RJM

I'm not saying that kids should be coddled into their twenties (although I see that my comment could be taken that way).  Just think that like physical maturity, mental maturity is something that varies from kid to kid.  I'm sure that many do know what they want to study and happily pursue it.  The others should be steered into something that is more general than specific so that they keep their options open.

When I was 18 and was asked to confirm my major I grabbed the football program and tallied up what my upper class teammates were majoring in.  Wound up an Economics major.

I think parents know well before 18 what their kid's maturity level is, and though I'm sure there is some biology involved, parenting style can aid maturation or retard it.  We've all heard of the helicopter parents, snowplow parents, etc... these parents are not helping their kids become ready for adulthood.  On the other hand, kids that have increasing levels of responsibility and autonomy as they enter the teenage years are much better prepared for adulthood.  JMO.

I haven’t weighed in on Francis’s posts in a while...but here goes. My son effectively grew up in college and while he was Initially immature and made mistakes, he effectively changed the way he thought about things and became hyper focused. Now, he still surprises me today when we FaceTime and i see him maturing more and more but I thought he was level headed and not “one of those guys” when we sent him to Clemson. 

****for the record, he drank some, wrecked a scooter(not while drunk) and Got injured, sought a bit too much approval from the upper class men on the baseball team early on ...but that’s about it****


PS: I know the post is about maturity at 17-18, hope this helps some. 

Last edited by Shoveit4Ks

I have heard this story several times, but have not validated the truthfulness.  None the less it makes a point.

With litters that they bread to become therapy dogs there are generally two types of mothers.  The first type help their puppies quite a bit.  They feed them when ever the puppies show signs of hunger, they are right there with their puppies as they learn to swim, etc.  The second type of mother shows very little interest in the litter.  They feed the litter when they are ready, not when the litter is ready.  When the litter learns to swim, the mother shows little interest.  Which mother type produces better therapy dogs?  I’m told the second type.  The puppies learn to handle situation without their mothers there to save them.  True or not true, it gets the point across.

From our mid teens to mid twenties we make some of the most influential decisions of our lives.  We all have to do it, and live with the consequences.

My 3 sons have each been very different, at different ages, as far as maturity, focus on work and the future, independence, willingness to listen to parents, etc.  I'd like to think we parented them all the same way, but the outcomes are based on their personalities, their birth order, their friends, other mentors, a whole host of factors. 

As a parent, you can think about, "what if he makes a choice I disagree with?"  You can control what you are willing to pay for.  But, you can't see all the variables either.  Why do you think that a 40-something parent can make these decisions any better than a 17-year-old?

I honestly think if we didn’t have an entire generation of helicopter parents coddling their children, my hard working 7.8 60 running kid’s best opportunity for college Baseball would be the lowest level JUCO in Wyoming or North Dakota or something.  Instead it is looking like he might get to play at a really good D3.

Maybe I should selfishly be happy for my kid, but, man oh man I am concerned for the future of this Country.  

Take the baby bottle out of the kid’s hands, Mom & Dad, it’s gonna be OK.  Really, it is.

And you know what?  Most of the kids from our area who came from the most spoiled backgrounds are now potheads at 17 or 18 years old, and experimenting with harder drugs and running around on the street, looking for “street knowledge” as some sort of real life parenting replacement that they never got at home.  The streets ain’t nothing nice, it is very sad to see.

Last edited by 3and2Fastball
@Francis7 posted:

[Just making conversation here and this is not something personal.]

It was really hard. I showcased the crap out of my son. Probably too much. My thought process was for him to learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. By the end he was definitely sick of it but he always looked composed.

In the end I think it was for the best. He learned to interact with a lot of different players and coaches at many levels. He surprised me with his maturity and his ability to negotiate with recruiting coaches. He juggled multiple offers, haggled a bit on his final offer, and had a very difficult grown up conversation with the runner-up coach to let him know thanks but no thanks. All on his own.

He's in his junior year now and seems very happy, and I'm happy for him. I don't think he knows yet what he wants to be when he grows up, but honestly neither do I. 😀



During the Area Code games the pro scouts named the players who traveled to many showcases - "showcase gypsies"!

They had no opportunity to learn the game! "You play to learn"!

When they enter college or pro baseball then the "sticker" shock arrives.

Minor League managers often would remark "who scouted this kid". College Coaches will question their Assistant Coaches.

When I coached a Summer team, I would invite pro scouts to provide a clinic both on the field and off the field. Questions to ask College Coaches. If a player left the team for a showcase, a summer vacation, a senior trip, he had no uniform when he returned.


 PS: our Northern California Summer League included 43 future MLB players in a 5 year term.

Last edited by Consultant

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