I thought I would start this thread again to maybe help our freshman and sophomore college parents out there. We lost a really good young player between fall and spring ball to a transfer because I think the parents/player's expectations were not where they should have been. Our son is in a very competitive top rated D1 school. When he started a couple of years ago, all we hoped for was for him to make the traveling team, not really expecting a whole lot of playing time, and we did and were thankful. Luckily for us participation and playing time has progressed. I think sometimes players (and parents) come into a program expecting to play right away or have all kinds of accolades bestowed on them because their son was a star in high school. I want parents to know, that most players at the college level were stars in high school. The parents who do best in college are those who dont have unreasonable expectations coming in... then everything else just seems like a blessing. Enjoy it instead of fuming over when or where your son will play. For those parents who are trying to decide which college is best for their son, check out the rosters, see who plays your son's position, how did he do, how many years of playing time does he have and then understand what you are getting into before he signs.
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Original Post
quote:
most players at the college level were stars in high school. The parents who do best in college are those who dont have unreasonable expectations coming in... then everything else just seems like a blessing.


Some things just need to be repeated......
Intersting, my son is at a Junior college, and there are several D1 D2 transfers.2 this semester.I myself have wondered why they came back? grades, homesick, projected play time???.I think you make a very good point, understand that as a freshmen and sophmore you might not be the go to guy.
I think for my guy he made the right choice , but others want to be ata 4 year school, they worked hard in HS, they have talent, but I can just say watching my son just playing JC ball,there are some really good players out there.
I think kids should go and watch all levels of baseball to get an idea of where they fit.
Texbbfan, your post is right on.

My son is a college freshman and during the parents' weekend scrimmage in September, he was the back-up to the back-up to the back-up at 2B. Big Grin But he worked hard, got great feedback during his fall exit interview, and was told he most likely will be the main back-up to a starting infielder this spring -- progress!

We hold no illusions, however. In looking at stats for past years, the back-ups got typically 15-20 AB's the entire season. We are hoping for at least that many AB's this coming season for our son, and anything on top of that will be gravy! clapping
Infield08

Good for your son (and more for you for being so supportive). I recall going to our college baseball field while my son was in those winter camps there when he was 10 or 11 years old and looking out at the grass, scoreboard and thinking... what great fun it would be to just have the chance to wear a jersey and play on that field, and he did. We have spent many hours reminding him of how wonderful his being there is and reminding him to think how he felt when he was standing outside the fence looking in at the "big boys." Sometimes getting reminders of our past makes us more grounded.
fanofgame

There are of course lots of reasons good players transfer. Most are very valid. I agree with your thought. Go see the games, visit the towns, thinking through your fit before committing is less likely to cause the unreasonable expectations.
It really comes down to fit. When my son was being recruited by top D1 schools he told me if he just made the team he would be happy. Well he not only made the team but pitched a lot against top Pac 10 schools.

After he got a taste of playing he wanted more. He transferred the following year to a D1 school where he was a major contributor until he was picked up by the Astro's after his junior year. He has had graet friends at both schools and would not change a thing. It really came down to fit.
quote:
Originally posted by Texbbfan:

I thought I would start this thread again to maybe help our freshman and sophomore college parents out there. We lost a really good young player between fall and spring ball to a transfer because I think the parents/player's expectations were not where they should have been. Our son is in a very competitive top rated D1 school. When he started a couple of years ago, all we hoped for was for him to make the traveling team, not really expecting a whole lot of playing time, and we did and were thankful. Luckily for us participation and playing time has progressed. I think sometimes players (and parents) come into a program expecting to play right away or have all kinds of accolades bestowed on them because their son was a star in high school. I want parents to know, that most players at the college level were stars in high school. The parents who do best in college are those who dont have unreasonable expectations coming in... then everything else just seems like a blessing. Enjoy it instead of fuming over when or where your son will play. For those parents who are trying to decide which college is best for their son, check out the rosters, see who plays your son's position, how did he do, how many years of playing time does he have and then understand what you are getting into before he signs.



Tex, this post of yours should be pinned and put at the top of this page to stay permanently.

When my son was being recruited and we saw some of the college players during the tryouts, etc. it was easy (and naive) to perceive that he could play with some of these kids. When he ended his HS days being this so-called stud, etc. my mind thought he just might be starting material. laughs.

Fast forward to his freshman season which began last weekend. We have close to 18 pitchers at his JUCO. He was always a starter in HS, East Cobb, and his Legion team this past summer. He had some spot closing opportunities that he enjoyed as well. At the current moment he is in middle relief with about 8 other freshmen. Does he like it? No. But he told me that his goal for this season was to break into the starting line-up on weekends, or at least mid-week. Or become the closer. As a dad it was good to see that he now saw that nothing will be handed to him and he must earn it.

It's hard to say that I truly had unreasonable expectations, but I did wonder at first. And even though it is a process, I am sitting back and just encouraging him to focus on goal, and to not quit working hard. I think I read it here on hsbbw some time ago that a lot of kids who make it to the college level quit working because they feel that they have "arrived" and can slack up a bit. The ones who succeed while in college and go further are those who stay hungry and stay focused.

He, like Dad and mom, consider it a blessing to be playing ball. Trying to figure out how and when son would get mound time has made me scratch my head but I now just sit back and enjoy being there.

Great post again Tex!

Last edited by YoungGunDad
Yes, this is a great thread - great post, Texbbfan. I have linked the thread in Golden Threads - it's that important.

And what you have all said above applies at ALL levels of college baseball, not just the big DI's.

My son attended a small D3, and most of the players on his college team had been the stars of their HS teams. I think that ALL of the starters had been. It was rare for freshmen to get a starting spot or lots of innings as a pitcher, but if they worked hard and had the talent, they became more important to the team the next year.

"Reasonable expectations..."

Julie
Great post Tex, and comes at a great time of the year.
YGD,
Your post brings back memories. Most HS starters begin their college careers as relievers, the coach is doing the right thing. Sit back and enjoy the game, that's all you can do, it makes the journey so much more enjoyable. Smile
quote:
Most HS starters begin their college careers as relievers,


And that was true also even at a small D3. Though my son did get his only start as a freshman, at the coldest game of the year...temp around 30, sleet, wind, and a little snow. It appeared that the upperclassmen pitchers were okay with a freshman getting that start. Smile

Julie
Last edited by MN-Mom
MN-Mom
You gave me a good laugh about the cold. When you are the under classman, any start is a good start, kind of like the postal service, rain, sleet or shine.. give me the ball!
quote:
Originally posted by Texbbfan:

For those parents who are trying to decide which college is best for their son, check out the rosters, see who plays your son's position, how did he do, how many years of playing time does he have and then understand what you are getting into before he signs.



I wonder how many players and/or parents casually look over this aspect during the recruiting process. I mean, they look at these rosters and see it plain as day....2-3 2B, or 2-3 C, etc. and say to themselves, "I think Billy can break in and if not be #1, at least #2 right away." Wrong. Those #2 and #3 backups are there for a reason. The player and/or parent really needs to listen to the verbage of the college coach when he says "I think Billy can come in and make an immediate impact" or "I think he can get some playing time". We all have visions of grandeur when it comes to our sons playing ball but it seems we can't see the forest for the trees..lol.

Tex, your post is so well labeled "Reasonable Expectations" because I'm not sure a majority of those entering have them. Being served a big dose of humility can sometimes be a very good thing, IMO. I know because I am still eating my slice and having to wash it down with milk.

I may be completely wrong with what I am about to say. It's merely an observation. I can't help but wonder how many players leave a program due to lack of playing time with a Dad/mom who may have been back home complaining to son often about the injustice on the coach(s) part for not giving Billy the opportunity, not seeing his real talents, putting him on the JV team, etc. etc. The converse to this is the player who doesn't see much playing time right away, if at all, but see's his role, a new challenge worth working towards, having fun being there and learning so much, etc. coupled with a Dad/mom at home encouraging him to keep working hard, stay focused, be a team player, have fun, etc. They follow our lead and most times will listen to our suggestions. We should be very careful what we are saying when we speak to them about where they are at this point in their young lives.

I know I've been rambling but I can't help it. I am one of these parents who is learning a brand new process on how I should be at this point. It's much easier saying it than doing it and it's a daily thing.
Last edited by YoungGunDad
Couple of things.
For most players, very possible that the position they played in HS will not necessarily be the position they play on a college team. The coach is recruiting a player for a reason, that reason just may be that he has the ability to play on that team, but the coach may have other plans along the way. During the recruiting process, this is good to discuss with the coach. If a player's goal is strictly for one position, it most likely is not going to happen. A good example I know of is a player on son's team, outfielder with a great bat but a stronger loose arm. He ended his college career by being drafted by the Yankees as a pitcher and an ERA and strike out leader at the cape. At first, he wasn't happy, his folks weren't happy, but the coach saw his bigger role as a pitcher and where he could HELP the team the most. That's the key work HELP. Though some are just happy to make the roster, others aren't happy with the coaches decision. IMO, they probably might not be happy with the next coach's decisions either. In this case, I think that the parents (very nice people) added to the frustration, but after seeing how successful their son was, everything changed. They also learned to become pitcher's parents. Wink

As a parent of a college pitcher, I had no problems with him starting off slow. Weekend starters might average 100+ innings per season. My son was not happy either relieving, his coach's philosophy is that you learn it all, early, and for him it worked out well and he enjoyed for a few years wearing all hats, he enjoyed the role of "go to guy". Yeah, he most likely could have gone to another school and been the friday night guy for 3 years, what for, more work on his arm? In my experience, I'd rather he be able to learn in differnt roles, rather than thrown into the fire. An inning here and an inning there, is how you learn. The total college experience is more important than just the playing experience, JMO.
Sometimes things happen, injuries, short players from the draft, that forces the coach to use freshman early. It's early, things change, where you begin the season may or may not be where you end your season.
For position players, most likely if you can hit, you will get the job above eveyone else, that's just the way it is, you do not have to be the best at your position. That's how I saw it happen on son's team, if you hit, you played evey game and learned your position by trail and error.

I agree that parents must keep their comments to themselves regarding playing time or position, this only fuels the fire, because most of the time the coach has a reason why the player sees limited playing time.
quote:
I am one of these parents who is learning a brand new process on how I should be at this point.

Some things just need to be repeated.......

There is change going on at this point...........

The fact that the change is realized and recognized is good for parents and their sons.
Last edited by FormerObserver
How did the player feel about playing time when he went to the school?

I will wager you is was totally different than what the parents were thinking

The problem is thst parents do not want to let go and allow the boy to make choices, accept situations and grow into a man
To base your decisions on current roster is not the best way to look at it. It is part of the process but it doesn't allow for recruits that may move in front of you for a position. JC transfer etc can arrive next season that are better than you in the eyes of the coach. I see this all the time. At best you are in a lottery when it comes to signing with a college.
Not every pitcher wants to be a starter. My son prefers relief and closing. They are like sprinters as opposed to long distance runner.
Last edited by BobbleheadDoll
quote:
Originally posted by BobbleheadDoll:

it doesn't allow for recruits that may move in front of you for a position. JC transfer etc can arrive next season that are better than you in the eyes of the coach. I see this all the time.



How true that is! A player and/or parents can never, ever plan on JUCO transfers. I'd say the odds if you are at a 4yr program are very good that you can count on it!

Not every pitcher wants to be a starter. My son prefers relief and closing. They are like sprinters as opposed to long distance runner.

If anything, Younggun is learning what "change" is all about in life by his new roles thus far. Who knows, maybe he will find that he enjoys relieving and prefers that over the other. shrugs

He is on a 3day/4game road trip this weekend. He hasn't toed the rubber yet. He was told last night to be prepared to close todays game. Yesterday morning he was told that he would be starting todays game...laughs. When he called he said that he wasn't going to get his hopes up and was just going to be prepared for whatever they wanted him to do today.
Last edited by YoungGunDad
[/QUOTE]
He is on a 3day/4game road trip this weekend. He hasn't toed the rubber yet. He was told last night to be prepared to close todays game. Yesterday morning he was told that he would be starting todays game...laughs. When he called he said that he wasn't going to get his hopes up and was just going to be prepared for whatever they wanted him to do today.[/QUOTE]

That's the life of a college pitcher.
As the father of a freshman who was very active in the recruiting role I would love to add my two cents. First off it is MOST important to research the schools and teams you are interested in (or are interested in you) before committing. Find out everything you can, I even called parents of current student/players to find out what the school/team/coaches were like. (I actually called for the kids, but they were reluctant to speak to a parent). Do your research, know your limits, what type of a position are you willing to except, Being a backup to a backup on a World Series caliber team is just fine for some kids. After all, being part of a team (like a family) is a major benefit to surviving the trials and tribulations of college life. The support available to athletes is amazing. Chris had his heart set on a D1 school, even if it meant climbing the proverbial ladder for several years and finally in July the right one came along. The recruiter was very excited about our son and worked several offers to get him there, even though it was late and federal money was gone, a substancial package was made available. It was still more then we had planned on financially but who were we to stand in the way of our sons dreams. Besides, if it didn't work out there was always a JUCO to step back to, absolutely no shame in that. Luck would have it the day after signing our LOI the current shortstop signed a pro contract. Bingo, door opened and now it looks like he's the opening day SS. It all worked out and I look back at all the stress and worry and realize it was for naught. If you do your homework, and your son truly has a passion for the game and realistic expectations good things will happen. Its all about the RIGHT FIT!!!
Here's is a little bit of info from the parent of a HS Senior regarding right fit and patience. Our son has been coached to control the things you can control since he started playing this great game. It has paid off in HUGE dividends after signing with an NAIA school this fall. He had JC to D1 opportunities, but said the NAIA school offered exactly what he wanted. He was true to our program of not saying "no" to anyone until he said "yes" to the school of his choice.

Prior to Junior year, we sat down and discussed what was important to him from academics to athletics. We made a list of about 20 items and told him that when a school sent a letter, camp notice, enrollment information, e-mail, etc....(Jr or Sr. year) he would RESPOND, research, and rate each school...no matter what level (JC to D1) to each inquiry he received. Those were things he could control. We (parents) believed that since the finally decision was his, he better have as much information as possible...and he had to do the research.

Following his summer between Junior and Senior years (just 4 months ago), he narrowed his wish list to about 10 institutions. Several showed little if any interest in him because of their current rosters...they were eventually crossed off his list. His fall ball team played 2 teams on the list, both of which lacked the discipline, energy level and instruction from the coaching staff that was important to him...two more crossed off.

We visited each of the remaining schools and made a total of 3 visits to the school he eventually selected. We then assisted him in researching every aspect of the school and baseball program, including interviewing parents and players currently on the team, and some alumni from years ago. Those were things he (we) could control. As it happens, both of the players at his position will be graduating this spring...and he is one of two recruited this fall to fill those positions. I am extremely proud that he did not get caught up in the "I have to play D1"...and we questioned him hard on that issue.

In October, he gave the coach his verbal and signed one week later (NAIA school). We (the family) knows that it is the right fit for him and have absolutely no reservations about the school academically, socially, athletically, etc... WOW what a relief.

After the signing, which took place in our home, I asked him if he was satisfied with where he was in his decision. His response was a resounding yes...and he followed it up with this: "I am going to make it impossible for the coach to sit me. I control my effort level." Now Mom and Dad just need to be patient for the games to begin...next year.
quote:
For position players, most likely if you can hit, you will get the job above eveyone else, that's just the way it is, you do not have to be the best at your position. That's how I saw it happen on son's team, if you hit, you played evey game and learned your position by trail and error.


Great thread!

Another thing to keep in mind, especially for the 2010 season, is how the new compressed schedule, 27 scholarships and 25% rule will affect rosters.

Seems to me that once the 'under 25% kids' that are grandfathered are gone, roster spots/playing time for position players are going to be a lot tougher to get?

Wil we see more 2-way players(ie. reliever/mid-week starter and a back-up at another position?)

This could affect a roster spot for the utility-type player who is being grooomed.

Love to hear thoughts on this!
I agree that position players that can come in for relief or close should be attractive to programs down the road. Not sure if starters wold be used in that duel capacity. Maybe in tournament situations where the pitching staff gets used up or is hurt late in the season.
Last edited by floridafan
My son is a junior a 2010 graduate. I have gone through the process once before with a son who went D1 and is currently pitching in pro ball. We are getting an early jump in attending various schools and sending letters. It is interesting the parenst of the seniors on our team who thought our head coach would help has done very little to nothing. They are telling me they wish they would have been more pro active.

I have always told my son to play mutiple positions to make himself more valuable. As we visit schools the coaches are excited he can pitch, catch and play middle infield. I believe these kids with the new rules and limited monies will reap the benefits.
I really appreciate the great posts on this site and particularly in this forum. I am the father of a junior HS ball player who is beginning to get a great deal of attention by D1 colleges. This is something he has been working towards for along time, but now that it seems to be starting to happen, he and I are almost becoming a little overwhelmed. This site has been almost addicting with all of the great advice as well as just some things to consider. I really appreciate the vast amount of experience that can be found in the posts. In particular, I really appreciate the posts on maintaining reasonable expectations and understanding what the landscape of players looks like at the potential D1 schools that are showing interest. The best options available for him will certainly be based upon how he fits into the picture as an athlete and academically. I also understand that he has a lot of baseball ahead of him in HS that should be enjoyed, moment by moment. I will be there taking it all in and learning through the process with him.
quote:
I also understand that he has a lot of baseball ahead of him in HS that should be enjoyed, moment by moment.




It's so easy to want to look ahead, but force yourself to enjoy the here and now. You'll be glad you did!
Just remember, there is ALWAYS going to be someone trying to take your spot. My son, who is a sophomore knows after getting a few innings as a freshman that every year they will recruit someone that he will have to battle with every game, every practice for playing time. He knows that returners or guaranteed no more than an opportunity to battle for innings. Never feel comfortable and remember that you can never be just as good, you have to be better! Cool
We're just starting the HS process, so I don't have any 1st-hand knowledge. However, 27's former coach has a college-aged son, and we have watched his career with great interest. His first 2 years he spent at a JUCO; more for grades than anything else, I believe. His HS talent was good, but he lacked the typical "physique". That didn't affect his work-ethic. He put on muscle, worked with the coaches on everything he could control, and didn't expect the world to be handed to him.

This year he chose a local D-1 program over others he could have chosen. The head coach has him listed as their #1 starter. 93 mph fastball and a knee-buckling curveball. He set realistic goals, and he achieved them. To me, he is a success before the season even begins. And, it also stresses the importance of fit and expectations.

Go Wolverines!
I just now read this thread and am glad to hear as a parent and player that we're on the right track. My son and I have talked about this many times since the initial recruitment started with the school he eventually signed with. He's a freshman now with just a couple weeks under his belt. But the way he laid out his goals were:

1) Make the team
2) Make the travel squad
3) Earn some playing time
4) Become a starter
5) Keep the starting job

He knew going in that reaching these goals would come one at a time and each of them would be more difficult than the previous one. He was well aware of the mountain he set out to climb.

It's still way too early to know how it's going to turn out but reading the previous posts it's reassuring to see that my (and his) expectations aren't to far apart from y'all that have been through this before.
Nice post stanwood. I sat down and had a similar talk with my son recently. He will be an incoming freshman in college. The goals we/he set are very similar to what you've shared above.

The problem with my kid now is that he's currently bored out of his mind. The majority of his buddies are off to school already. After he plays long toss, hits in the cages, and works out in the morning, he spends the rest of the day on his X-Box. crazy He doesn't move into his dorm until the 18th, and quite frankly, I'm running out of chores for him to do. He mows a mean lawn and does a fine job trimming hedges....in addition, he's an excellent detailer, as he's waxed and detailed three of our vehicles thus far. I will have him help out with my RV before he takes off. If you live in the So Cal area and need help in the yard, or a nice clean car in the next two weeks, I have your man! Wink

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