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So son is just finishing up freshmen highschool baseball season.  He worked really hard to make the team, made the upper level of the freshmen team. he didn’t get a lot of playing time, (which is fine we understand) he mostly closing pitched and played second last few innings of games. He performed well while he was in, was able to go into high pressure games as well, hit well as well with the few at bats.  It was adjustment for him being the starting pitcher in travel ball and playing every game but he took it in stride and never complained.

the plan was to play this summer on traveling league in summer. Back in the spring we didn’t have coach for summer team or even enough kids but we had 10 kids tryout so we didn’t even know if it was gonna happen. ( don’t even get me started on how the board could just take our  out money knowing there was not enough  kids for a team. )This is still parent coached most of time, one of parents agreed ( who we don’t know)  we heard nothing, nothing from the association board, other than we will hear something after highschool season. We are not signed up for any tournaments ( even though we have paid extra) season is supposed to start in week in half. Highschool ends next week. Our son just heard the grapevine that this summer ball coach added another player to the team. Supposedly a friend of his kids who has never played baseball. There are 13 kids on team. 3 of whom now have never tried out. My DH is livid, the supposed  coach can’t send out simple email letting us know the plan for summer ball if we are in tournaments but he can just add his friends to the team ? We have short season as it is here . So now with 13 , 4 kids on bench at all times. My DH thinks we should just pull him and have him spent the summer working out, and training on his own. Because he can already see once again dealing with coach that either A doesn’t know what he is doing or doesn’t care.  Really only 5 people from the upper freshmen team were playing summer ball. The better players are multi sport and are doing hockey and football training over summer. Frankly the association should have made this a house team and refunded people’s money back in the spring. So long winded way of asking

is it better to take summer training on own vs being in summer team that you maybe only pitch or play a few games.

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Hard to say. He was always that player right on the edge of the next level. So he always has been big fish in little pond. This year on this freshmen team, was good for him, he didn’t play as much. When he did play he was able to compete at the higher level.  Which was something we always wondered about. Sure he is star pitcher on lower team how will he do against better batters , etc. He was on team this year with some good players which was good experience for him.  His downfall is he needs to work on his speed (running) and just general athleticism. He isn’t one of those naturally athletic kids, he has always had to work at it. He has come a long way. He loves pitching, at the previous levels he was the starting pitcher and pitched whole games, when he moved up the level his teammates and coaches were not surprised at all as they never understood why he wasn’t on upper level before.  He throws mostly cutters, sinkers, it works for him very well. he just needs to bring his speed up a little more. This year though there two other pitchers that the coach used they were good too. They weren't perfect either, which again was fine with him, he just did his best when he was in. Tried to be ready for when he was needed.

I have no delusions that he is gonna be some superstar. He just wants to keep,playing as long as he can.

next year they go from 2 freshmen teams to one sophomore team.

gonna be real honest DH is definitely thinking of pulling him on principle. Since my son has been playing we have had maybe one decent coach and lots of teams full of “ travel ball players “ that really they all should have just been playing house, which has fine but not if you pay double the price give up every weekend and traveling over and hour 3 nights a week.

when he was younger we took him out of traveling back down to house and it was best decision. He got better , improved his skills then moved back up traveling again and performed much better.

so would you pull your kid from a team if you thought there wasn’t going to be a decent coach or team if you thought they would do better just training on own ?

If you can afford it, I'd do both - play for the team (or another team) and train on your own.  I'm sure it's possible, but I'm not sure I've heard a success story where a kid elected to not play and just trained.  Remember baseball's a game.  Meant to be played and enjoyed.  Remove the fun and joy elements and it'll take a VERY special player to stay motivated all summer enough to actually improve and grow.

Way off topic, but I think it's a decent metaphor.  I once saw an interview with 80s pop star Rick Springfield where he was asked what he does when he isn't inspired and can't write songs he likes.  He said "I give myself permission to write sh$%y songs."  He keeps working.  Grinds through it.  Suffers some, but he never stops working.  I liked that answer.

Technically yes we can afford it. However we just don’t know if it’s worth it. Do we spend more money or start to accept maybe our son is not going to push over the edge.

Confession my DH is very competitive and is “that Dad” on occasion. He can be very negative. He has been that guy that thinks his kid should just quit he is no good and the next day so happy and impressed when he plays well and so patient at times with teaching him and helping him build his skills. Which has made sports a challenge. Our son has skills, talent and build and very coachable to be a great baseball player. He lacks some of the athleticism , that competitive streak and that “it” factor that some of his teammates at the higher level have. Its almost like too restrained at times. It’s that baseball mental game I guess.

just don’t want to be that parent to that doesn’t realize when it’s time to be done with sport either.

oh and btw my son wants to play. He always wants to play.

What's a DH?  In baseball it means "designated hitter".

I thought Iowa high schools play their season all summer.  Do you mean freshman ball is done and those not on varsity play in summer leagues?

Your son should ask the high school coach for an evaluation of the season, what he needs to work on, and ideally should include a discussion of what he's doing in the summer.

Playing on a dad-ball team with inexperienced players can be miserable, or it can be fun.  Depends on the coach, the kids, and what your son wants out of it. We knew dad-ball teams through 18U with kids who didn't make any level of high school team at all.  They did it because their kids wanted to play baseball.

13 kids is really very minimal for a summer team; some will get injured, take vacation, etc. and the team will be scrambling.

Yes DH was abbreviated for Dear Husband and yes it was meant sarcastically in this situation.

most do take the freshmen through summer. This school is not this year for some reason.

some of the biggest problems with schedule is a lot of Monday Tuesday games after finishing up tournaments on the weekend. ( if we get signed up) Our pitchers will be used up over the weekend. Then with 4 sitting all the time and our son primary position is pitcher. So he could end up only playing in 2 or 3 games.

It’s more of a gut feeling that this could be a miserable situation,  this team was formed back at end of March. The coach was supposedly figured out two weeks later. Not one single email communication about anything and as far as we know we aren’t even signed up for tournaments. When we ask they keep saying information coming. We are a week and half away from first game and still no information. Last year our “dad ball” coach did nothing. Didn’t even do warm ups before games. Just sat on bench and during games went and chit chatted wasn’t even paying attention to game.

Ha DH ! Divorced Husband. Maybe soon 😉😆

Like I said no superstar.
His FB can definitely get up to around 80 at times which is in line with what the main starting pitcher could get to at times.  Throwing harder more consistently is what he needs to get better at.  However his main pitching his cutters and sinkers when he is on his pitches our nasty. I think that is how he made the team . At tryouts he had all the kids swinging and missing and coaches and kids were asking him why kind of pitches he throws. The main pitcher was primarily fastballs so the coach liked to use that kid most of the game and then throw in our kid and end because it threw them so off balance.

like we said he just wants to keep playing the game getting better. But maybe he has taken as far as he can too. Not quite the superstar but so close.

his HS coach told him a story he said the current captain of the varsity team hardly played when he started his HS career. He is pitcher and didn’t play much especially when fragment and sophomore but he kept working at it. Now he is captain and star pitcher.

@DanJ posted:

If you can afford it, I'd do both - play for the team (or another team) and train on your own.  I'm sure it's possible, but I'm not sure I've heard a success story where a kid elected to not play and just trained.  Remember baseball's a game.  Meant to be played and enjoyed.  Remove the fun and joy elements and it'll take a VERY special player to stay motivated all summer enough to actually improve and grow.

Good point by DanJ. But also have to consider the team. If the team itself is poisonous, then those fun/joy elements are not going to be present either. I speak from experience: son was on a summer travel team after freshman year that challenged his love of the game. Luckily, he also played on his HS summer team which was what kept him going and inspired. If your gut is telling you it could be miserable, then I'd trust it.

I don't know what the landscape is like in terms of teams around your area (Iowa?), but I'd look around and try to find something new. Even if teams are full, letting them know that he's available in case of injury is a plus. Putting him on their radar for upcoming seasons is a plus. Even if you think the team is above his current skill level, there's no reason to mark them off the list. Many players are inspired to work harder when they are around better players.

Finally: I don't think that you're necessarily in the wrong forum. Everyone has a starting point, and everyone grows and improves at different rates. The way you describe your son, he sounds like many kids his age who go on to have successful careers in HS and college at multiple levels.

This is the best forum, and you will get a range of answers.  Everyone on here had experience with HS baseball in some form.  This is not just about being recruited to college, although sometimes it looks like that.

No-one knows how your school's head coach runs his program, and what that means for your son.  You can ask upperclass parents how it can work, or your son can ask the coach directly.

How many freshmen eventually make varsity at your school?  I looked at my son's school (freshman, JV, V teams), it was about half.  The ones who got V playing time were usually on varsity by sophomore year.  Slightly different for pitchers, and injuries were more of an issue there, too.

Many kids who play varsity baseball don't want to go play in college.  But, it's all pretty local, in some places everyone on varsity trains year-round and plays on high-level travel, and in some places that's not the case at all.

. Other times we/he haven’t listened to our gut and it was miserable. Not really sure if there are any other options around us. The problem is too,  He actually likes a lot of the kids he was gonna play with half played on the upper freshmen team the other played lower half. The coaches kid on summer team is currently teammate on Hs team and he goes to school with them all. Might be a little awkward if he quits.

He played on a couple of all star teams the past few years and got asked to play with a neighboring town the last two years in the fall. However their HS team is taking the freshmen team through the summer. So don’t think that is option.

HS was definitely different we prepared ourselves for if you don’t perform you don’t play. We didn’t expect even if you do perform and someone else doesn’t they still play and you don’t.

Which is not to say he didn’t have good Hs Baseball experience because he did. The team had really good chemistry, they were all good team players. Coach overall was good.

I would say it is mix mostly seniors however there is definitely seniors o varsity that didn’t play much in their under class men years.  on varsity with maybe one sophomore. We definitely wonder where some of the kids went. Even this year at freshmen level. There were 3 or 4 AAA level players that didn’t even try out. Just decided not to play anymore. When it came time for that summer team tryout the entire AAA team from the year before didn’t even try out. From what I heard some of them just decided to only do Highschool. A lot of them play another sport and are training for that in summer , getting jobs and just taking a break.

which makes me think if our son just keeps training year round, hitting weight room, etc he can get better and who knows. Frankly when he was younger we never thought he would ever make the HS team. So that was his one goal make the freshmen team. He did that. Got to be closing pitcher in most  games, performed and got to make clutch plays. hit the ball his few at bats. So shouldn’t be disappointed.

You mentioned your son wants to play, his friends are playing and he seems to have a great outlook.  I'd recommend letting him play on that team and try to approach it with no expectations from the coaches,teammates or organization.  Speaking from experience that's really hard to do.  I'd also warn you that if you or DH go in looking for negatives you will find a ton and all be miserable.  Try to ignore all the negatives and don't talk about them with your son even if he's venting.... just listen and encourage focus on the positives.  Let your son play no matter the level and if he finds joy he will also improve.  We can't all be on the best teams with the best coaches , working for the best companies and bosses (unless our view allows for that to happen).  Good luck!

@Iammcfly posted:

Maybe I am not on right forum as my son sounds pretty amateur to you all. . That’s why I wanted to preface in my post I have no delusions he is hitting some amazing stats.

I find it interesting that you think it’s okay to throw your husband under the bus on a public message board. Personally, I think that’s despicable. IMO baseball moms are just as problematic as baseball dads - but there is no public forum that’s the right place to complain about your spouse.

There have been plenty of rude comments about baseball moms on this site ("my wife doesn't know the difference between a fielder's choice and a hit" is a mild one).  Seems legit for a mom to ask any sort of question on an anonymous discussion board.

There is a big difference between making a reference to not understanding the rules and referring to your spouse as DH. That abbreviation has many meanings. None of them are complimentary and some are very derogatory.

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