Out of state options

My son is a rising senior who will graduate from high school in May 2019 and turn 18 in July 2018. . We live in Fairbanks, Alaska, where baseball opportunities are very limited. 2 years ago he was excited about baseball and starting to think about playing after high school. His sophomore season he struggled, with lots of errors in high school season and just not feeling it during Legion. This summer he is completely burned out on his Legion team -- he's not getting anything from the coaches, he's tired of his teammates, he's tired of playing on a team that is constantly losing to the bigger and better teams out of Anchorage. He's told me he's seriously considering not playing Legion next summer, and has also talked about taking a year off of school after he graduates.

The only real baseball opportunities that I know of in Alaska are tied to American Legion. I believe this eliminates any possibility of him staying in state and playing on a different team. We have known other players to leave the state and play elsewhere in the past. I am interested in looking into this possibility for my son for next summer.  The best options for us would be anywhere in the Chicago area, Springfield, IL, or St Louis but we are just looking for any kind of ideas to look into at this point.

My son is 5'9-1/2", 190 lbs. He has consistently played short stop through all three years of HS ball and the last 2 summers of Legion. This year his Legion coach is moving him around -- he has played every position but catcher and dh at this point (and his goal is to play those before the season ends in a couple of weeks). He's not a serious pitcher or catcher and prefers infield but is a utility player. He participated in Baseball Factory last summer but we're locked out of his account and can't find the results from his "tryout." I do remember that his running speed was slightly above average, his hitting velocity was average, and his throwing velocity was slightly below average. If I'm being completely honest he needs to lose some weight, get back into shape, and build upper body strength. Right now he just hasn't found the motivation to do so. I'm hoping that if he has something to look forward to next summer he'll work at it this winter.

Edited to add -- our goals are to get him more/new experience. He could really benefit from new and more intensive coaching and teammates who care about baseball as much as he does. We also hope for him to get a feel for a different kind of baseball than what he's used to. He has several people in his life encouraging him to consider continuing to play (Dad and I are not pushing that, it's coming from others) and I feel like an experience like this might help him decide what direction he wants to go. He has to be the one who wants to pursue future play but I think he's not sure what he wants to do at this point.

Thoughts? Where do we start?

Original Post

To be honest, from what you describe it seems like your son HAS decided on whether to keep playing and the answer is pretty much no. He's almost done with high school, sick of his team, burned out on Legion and not motivated to do the off season work required to even think about next levels — if he doesn't have the inherent love of playing that gets him past those obstacles, he may well be ready to be done. And that's okay.

In my experience, kids find (or reveal) themselves in the college search. My daughter danced for 14 years. I set up college visits at schools with dance teams where she could have danced. As we started the search process, she explained she was done with dance after high school. It took some adjustment, but she's now a senior in college and loves her life as a different person with time and energy to explore new interests.

Maybe put the time and energy into exploring his college options for next fall. Maybe put on the list schools with healthy club baseball and then he would have that option if he wants it, but he may not. It could be you have raised a great baseball fan, rather than a player??

That's a tough adjustment for parents, but my guess is, your son will be fine.

I agree with IOWAMOM.   The player has to be motivated, not mom or dad. 

Honestly, getting an opportunity yo play college ball is very competitive and demanding and often expensive.  At his height and weight, I would definitely encourage him to use his time and effort searching college options.

 

Iowamom23 posted:

To be honest, from what you describe it seems like your son HAS decided on whether to keep playing and the answer is pretty much no. He's almost done with high school, sick of his team, burned out on Legion and not motivated to do the off season work required to even think about next levels — if he doesn't have the inherent love of playing that gets him past those obstacles, he may well be ready to be done. And that's okay.

In my experience, kids find (or reveal) themselves in the college search. My daughter danced for 14 years. I set up college visits at schools with dance teams where she could have danced. As we started the search process, she explained she was done with dance after high school. It took some adjustment, but she's now a senior in college and loves her life as a different person with time and energy to explore new interests.

Maybe put the time and energy into exploring his college options for next fall. Maybe put on the list schools with healthy club baseball and then he would have that option if he wants it, but he may not. It could be you have raised a great baseball fan, rather than a player??

That's a tough adjustment for parents, but my guess is, your son will be fine.

The thing is that he does still seem motivated. When I asked if he was going to play HS ball there was no hesitation to his "yes." The team is more competitive locally (although not statewide) and the coach actually coaches. We would not pursue going out of state unless he was motivated to do so, and I feel that having something that he wants to do beyond our short HS season would potentially  give him that motivation. Looking back now, I think his frustration with Legion ball, and that being his only option, are part of why he didn't work last winter to stay more in shape. Right now I'm gathering info so that he and I can have a serious talk about the future. I don't want to present this as an option to him if it's completely impossible. But if I say, "How about playing ball somewhere else next summer?" and his response is a solid no, we'll be done. I am a college advisor and also have 2 older children, one who danced and one who swims, so I know that there has to be internal motivation and buy-in for this to work. I just feel like right now he sees no options other than Legion and that's what is sucking the love of playing the game out of him.

AKMom posted:
Iowamom23 posted:

To be honest, from what you describe it seems like your son HAS decided on whether to keep playing and the answer is pretty much no. He's almost done with high school, sick of his team, burned out on Legion and not motivated to do the off season work required to even think about next levels — if he doesn't have the inherent love of playing that gets him past those obstacles, he may well be ready to be done. And that's okay.

In my experience, kids find (or reveal) themselves in the college search. My daughter danced for 14 years. I set up college visits at schools with dance teams where she could have danced. As we started the search process, she explained she was done with dance after high school. It took some adjustment, but she's now a senior in college and loves her life as a different person with time and energy to explore new interests.

Maybe put the time and energy into exploring his college options for next fall. Maybe put on the list schools with healthy club baseball and then he would have that option if he wants it, but he may not. It could be you have raised a great baseball fan, rather than a player??

That's a tough adjustment for parents, but my guess is, your son will be fine.

The thing is that he does still seem motivated. When I asked if he was going to play HS ball there was no hesitation to his "yes." The team is more competitive locally (although not statewide) and the coach actually coaches. We would not pursue going out of state unless he was motivated to do so, and I feel that having something that he wants to do beyond our short HS season would potentially  give him that motivation. Looking back now, I think his frustration with Legion ball, and that being his only option, are part of why he didn't work last winter to stay more in shape. Right now I'm gathering info so that he and I can have a serious talk about the future. I don't want to present this as an option to him if it's completely impossible. But if I say, "How about playing ball somewhere else next summer?" and his response is a solid no, we'll be done. I am a college advisor and also have 2 older children, one who danced and one who swims, so I know that there has to be internal motivation and buy-in for this to work. I just feel like right now he sees no options other than Legion and that's what is sucking the love of playing the game out of him.

Sending you a PM.

I'm confused as to what the goal is here. Is the goal to play college ball? Recreationally beyond high school? As far as next summer, there aren't a ton of options. He will be a graduated senior regardless of how young he is. If he is looking to play college ball my only suggestion would be to get him to a camp/showcase in the main 48 that caters to unsigned seniors with D3/JUCO schools. Or fall team in the main 48 that feeds players to similar schools. 

As far as finding motivation/purpose...a better coach isn't going to help a ton at this point. As a younger player sure. But as a rising senior, even a good coach can only do so much from now to November. 

I believe the only option this late in the process is put in the work, go to a JuCo and try to walk on. Another option is an adult league. But you don’t make life decisions around playing in an adult league. 

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