Labrum injury – bad timing

What Prepster said.  Even if "board real estate" was limited, your chronicles of the experience would be WELL worth occupancy as this is something that comes up frequently.  It can be extremely difficult to deal with and navigate and you are telling the story with such great detail and honest emotion, providing very useful information and experience.  Continued best.

Thanks Prepster, Cabbage, 3and2, and everyone else who have lent supportive words and thoughts! It means a lot, truly.

To Prepster's question; yes, his physical therapist is experienced in baseball shoulder injury recovery and I think we're in very good hands on that front. I agree that doing what is prescribed, as precisely as possible, is very much key to a full recovery. I'll have to really watch my son as he'll have a tendency to want to do more, not necessarily because he thinks it will speed up rehab but because he'll feel like he just can. I've been warned about this multiple times.

One other small update; we did get a response from the coach that I mentioned earlier and he said that they're still looking for two catchers to replace their graduating seniors and Teq Jr. is on the list of potential guys to do that. He also strongly suggested that he visit campus to find out if the environment is somewhere he can see himself at during his college years. To me, that was a very positive response, especially given that my son told him what his expected recovery time would be. Sounds like I'm going to be scheduling a trip soon!

Thanks again to everyone for the support. I'll update in a couple of weeks.

Three weeks post-op update:  The boy is doing pretty well with very little pain other than soreness from PT, which he's starting his second week of. Mostly range of motion exercises which are fairly small movements and pretty boring to him but progress here can't be rushed at any cost.

The other day we were talking about the road to recovery, from a baseball perspective, and I brought up things like fatigue when receiving, blocking, etc. and how his body would remember the training he's done for years but the endurance aspect will take a while. He promptly told me that he isn't even thinking about that stuff right now. He just wants to get back to doing things like being able to sleep on his side/front. That gave me some perspective.

He's got three more weeks in his sling, which means three more weeks without driving. I'm not sure any of us thought through that one all the way. He's been driving on his own since he was 15 so we're having to re-discover the logistics of carting him around everywhere.

He and I are headed up to small D3 in the NWC the first week in October to meet/interview with admissions, sit him in a class, tour the campus with the HC, watch a baseball scrimmage, and hang around for the football homecoming game so that should be a nice trip to break up the monotony and everyday frustration for him. It's also good for him mentally that we're doing this at the request of the coach, who also set everything up for him for the visit. Good to know that there is still interest even with the coach knowing about the injury and rehab time.

The struggle now has become 99% mental so we're just trying to maintain positivity for his sake. He's got a great team of coaches, trainers, family, and friends around him so I think everything is going to be just fine. As I like to reiterate with each post, I hope this may help someone in a similar situation at some point. Thanks to all for the continued support!

Hi folks, I thought I’d post an update nearly seven weeks post-op. As of this past Monday, my son is out of his sling and has been cleared to do anything he does in PT on his own, if he so desires. He can also resume working out his lower body, minus anything that would put stress on the shoulder like front or back squats with a bar. After his workout Monday he was in the best mood I’ve seen him since the surgery, and has pretty much maintained that since. As I’ve stated before, it seems the mental aspect has been the toughest part of this for him. He goes back in five weeks to hopefully get cleared to start a light throwing program but we haven’t gotten any direction on hitting, catching, or any further workout timelines other than the PT Rx.

On the recruiting front, he’s managed to somehow maintain the interest of, and dialog with, three head coaches – a D2, D3, and NAIA. We visited the D3 this past weekend and he did the admissions interview, coach meeting/tour, class visit, baseball practice, and homecoming football game. This school is his first choice but also one of the most expensive, and the coaches know that. His pre-read came back with a recommendation to apply RD to “strengthen his application” and I think this is because they know that affordability is paramount for us here rather than any difficulty getting in i.e. a stronger app would result in higher merit aid. The D2 I think would be a great fit but is essentially a walk-on opportunity (with potential for money later) if extended, though I’m told once a spot is secured there are no cuts other than for disciplinary or academic reasons. The coach has expressed that he would like to get him up for a workout and some hitting in December if possible. He’s seen him once at camp and also had him up for junior day earlier in the year. The NAIA HC also has seen him at a camp and wants to get him on campus but we’re not sure the school would be as good of a fit.

All in all, my recommended takeaway at this time is POSITIVITY and strict adherence to the recovery plan outlined by the surgeon and physical therapist. Thanks to everyone for the continued support!

For those of you following my son's story-line, and any others who may want to chime in, I'm actually looking for a bit of advice in this post.

*Quick update though;  recovery is going well (nine weeks post op). Ongoing PT increasing in range and weight. He's able to work his lower body in whatever way he chooses (short of anything that requires holding weight like bar squats, etc.) so that has been huge. He goes back 11/19 to get cleared for light throwing and hopefully to start swinging a whiffle ball bat.

Back to my request for input - I may have mentioned somewhere that we had a plan A, and a plan B, but we didn't really have a plan C, which is what this injury would have required. I hate to advise anyone to have an injury plan but it would have helped had we had some idea of our course of action in the event. Suffice it to say, it changed much about the application process which, as many of you know, involves forms, processes, letters of recommendation, tax information, transcripts, test scores, essays, emails, phone calls, visits, and deadlines. On the athletic side, it changed our entire 2018 summer and fall schedule which would have involved quite a few events in front of college coaches, hopefully some requests for him to apply early admission, and maybe an NLI. As it stands, he's only applying EA at two schools primarily because these are two coaches who are still interested in his potential in their programs. The big unknown, and crux of my question, is what happens if neither of those result in an offer or, in one of the cases, a financial aid package that will work for us? There are a couple of other schools where there is interest but they are a bit lower on the totem pole of preference for my son. One of them has told us that they pretty much recruit right up until the last possible minute, so that is encouraging, but I'm curious what anyone might think about how to get attention when my son essentially can't play until Feb/Mar of 2019. My assumption is that he'd continue to email coaches until the path is clearly closed but I feel like that's sort of throwing an empty hook in the water without a real plan of action. I've probably also mentioned before that the boy is not interested in the juco route. This isn't because he thinks he's too good, rather it's because baseball isn't #1 on the importance scale and he doesn't want to transfer two years into college. We've also had a relatively difficult time finding any two year colleges that we feel have an academic line-up that meets the criteria that he wants.

I'd be very appreciative of any thoughts on a strategy or any insight based on similar experiences. Thanks for everyone's continued support through this. It's been tough at times but we're going to ride it out until the horse is completely dead.

You and your son caught a terrible break, as shoulder injuries/surgery are very difficult to overcome.  I know neither of you want to hear this, but I would focus on academics and getting into the top schools of his choice.  That, it itself, is very difficult.

You will get an idea of the financial aide package using the school’s calculator.  As you complete them, if you say to yourself “no way” upon seeing the result, rest assured it will be “yes way”

My oldest, HA/no sport student, applied to 12 schools and got into about half.  I think all non-athletes need to be prepared for that volume and results.

If his accepting schools end up with a baseball opportunity in year one, that’s great.  If not, he can look after that year or realize, it’s not as important if he loves the school he’s at.

I wish my response was more positive, but I just think it will be difficult for your son to be offered a roster spot, coming off such an injury.

Best of luck Tequila, hope I’m wrong!

Thanks CTbballDad, and I appreciate your directness. We are prepared for an outcome that doesn't involve baseball though it will be a huge bummer. The outlet and enjoyment that it has provided my son will not be able to be directly replaced but he had the good fortune of finding the gym a couple of years ago, and I daresay, likes it with almost as much vigor. Also, his surgeon did a very good job prepping us for the fact that he may never return to form or the injury may recur. My son simply did not want to look back thinking that he didn't try everything he could. I think college baseball for him right now depends on a couple of things: 1) playing pain free and at, or above, the level prior to the injury, 2) a coach willing to take a chance, and 3) some luck thrown in there. I probably shouldn't say it, as just a proud parent, but I feel that if #1 happens that #2 will get an absolute steal. The kid already has a couple of stories of adversity that he's come out on top of, as it relates to baseball, so I feel that if it's possible, he's one that can do it. Thanks again for the feedback!

I would advise my son to apply to all the schools that have expressed interest (it sounds like this is 3 or 4), plus some additional schools he'd have interest in attending.  I'm assuming these are D3s which would still have roster flexibility.  I don't think there's anything he can do baseball-wise between now and the end of December (most application deadlines) so the focus is on getting into schools he'd like to attend.  Once he gets accepted and you've sorted the financial side, he's got till May 1 to make a decision, and he can use this time to engage coaches and get stronger interest via spring baseball.

Smitty28 posted:

I would advise my son to apply to all the schools that have expressed interest (it sounds like this is 3 or 4), plus some additional schools he'd have interest in attending.  I'm assuming these are D3s which would still have roster flexibility.  I don't think there's anything he can do baseball-wise between now and the end of December (most application deadlines) so the focus is on getting into schools he'd like to attend.  Once he gets accepted and you've sorted the financial side, he's got till May 1 to make a decision, and he can use this time to engage coaches and get stronger interest via spring baseball.

Thanks Smitty! That's plain and simple and essentially the path he's on. Right now there are two D3s, a D2, and an NAIA that have expressed ongoing interest. The D2 wants him to come up and work out in December but realistically it will probably be January before he's able to do that. They've seen him before and evidently they've got a spot for a catcher in his class (no money but with the opportunity to work into it). One of the D3s (his top choice) might not work out financially but if a roster spot offer is forthcoming, all indications are that it will be within the next few weeks. That will be a difficult decision if that happens without a FA package in our hands. Thanks again for the response!

I think it might be best to call the coaches of the interested schools and see where they stand. I wouldn't want to wait another 4/5 months until March to get an answer you can get now. Your son won't be playing and with the exception of the D2, they won't be seeing him play anyway. 

Something to consider - You say baseball is not at the top of the totem pole. But unless your son is being offered money at the D2/NAIA why not just apply to schools as a regular student and try to walk on? I'm not here to put down a D2 or NAIA education, but very few are known to have quality academics. With your sons scores/grades it might be more beneficial to him to apply to some D3s and look to walk-on when healthy. With the expanded rosters/your son being a catcher there is a very good chance he finds a spot somewhere. Just know that your son is coming back from a serious injury, if he gets reinjured or isn't the same - are these schools he would want to attend without baseball? 

Thanks PABaseball, those are some great points and definitely worth considering walking on at a D3. Yes, all of the schools he is considering applying to are places he thinks he would be happy at without baseball. The NAIA that I mentioned is the only one that was never really in the conversation. The connection there is that the PC at the D2 left and became the HC at the NAIA and my son really likes him so conversations sort of carried over. I ultimately don't think it's a great fit for him but I don't see any reason to rule it out until we have gone through the process with them. It's part of the whole "go where you're wanted" mentality. Thanks again for the advice!

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