...So, I jump into this post with some hesitation because I don't want to get roasted for asking questions about my 2024 but, I am going too, so be kind. ...
1) He's 6'3", 170 lbs, tall, lanky and strong and just turned 14 in October 2019. He is a multi-sport athlete, but baseball is his love, passion and desire. He is a good hitter (.457 average this summer /fall), great 3B and RF (great fielding skills, tracking ability and cannon for an arm), but his bread and butter is pitching. He consistently throws 77-80 and this past weekend hit 83-84 several times on the radar at a showcase tryout. He has TON of movement on his ball, good command and several pitches that he consistently throws well with appropriate velocity and command - 2 seam FB, 4 seam FB, curve and change up.
2) He plays other sports - basketball, flag football, swimming (summer recreational) and does weight training/speed & agility regularly. We take from mid-October/first of November until February 1st off completely from baseball, except for cage work with his team and some field work outside on warm days, but no throwing. (He did throw this weekend because it was a tryout).
3) His grades are okay. He's only in 8th grade so no SAT or ACT scores. GPA is around a 3.3. He understands he has to get that up and really work hard at school going forward. School has always been tough for him as he has ADHD, and a general lack of interest in school!! LOL.
4) He played for a well know showcase team this past summer/fall. He played up an age group in summer and then was with his age in fall. Made a PG All-Tournament team this fall and has top measurables on PG for his class. Was recruited by several other showcase organizations for next year and we are weighing out our options. We've been told by several of his coaches that he has great potential for D1 baseball as a pitcher and that if that is what he truly wants, we need to start planning now. We've seen 2022s and 2023s from his showcase program commit already!! (Back when I played college sports, I don't remember kids being signed/committing this early! Shows my age!)
So...with all of that being said, I don't really know where to start? He'll be playing showcase ball this summer and the organization we are leaning towards will be playing WWBA-Atlanta, PBR-Atlanta, Dynamic tournaments and a few other PG tournaments. He'll do some weekday summer ball with the high school team also, but what do we do after this summer? When do colleges begin actively recruiting? When do we need to get him front of his desired schools? Do we do camps in the fall to get exposure? Go to individual events? Write/email coaches about spring HS ball schedule?
Again, it was much more cut and dry when I was recruited WAY back then. It's almost too much to ask teenagers to have to think about all of this while maintaining grades, a social life, athletics and learning to grow up. We just want to be able to maximize the process and make available the best opportunities for our son as possible. (He's an only child so sometimes he gets unwanted extra attention
Sorry this is so long and thank you!
Hi Mom, welcome to the posting side! Don't worry, it's usually more like a quick searing than a true roast
Looks like your son is in a great spot at the moment with regard to baseball skills, measurables and projectability and already has in's with some good travel teams. You have found a GREAT resource, despite the occasional searing (which can actually help at times). I'll just ramble on a few of your points. Be sure to read through the thread/link that Tequila provided and know that you ca search any topic here as well.
First, I'm going to throw out the caveat that many of my comments may be generalizations and may or may not apply to your son.
Recruiting plan - You asked some questions like "when do colleges begin actively recruiting?", "when does he need to get in front of schools?", "what do we do after summer?", "do we do fall camps?", etc. I think a big part of the process is to start putting together an overall recruiting plan. That is where you start. The answers to all your other questions will become easier to answer once you have that framework in place. It will be a bit easier for you than most as he is already showing signs of being a D1 caliber player. I think his experience with academics as related to ADHD will be a factor as well, but more on that later. Still, he needs to start figuring out what his target schools will be and how to connect the dots. Everything needs to be considered. Academics, majors offered, cultural environment, costs, baseball program fit, learning environment, geographic location, etc. The down side to this is he has to start figuring it out early if he is to remain on the D1 path as they do tend to recruit earlier. You and he are not going to figure out all the answers but you do want to figure out as much as you can as to, as you say, "maximize the process and make available the best opportunities for our son as possible".
Academics/school - I think it will be important that you put particular emphasis on this area in many aspects. You can potentially use baseball as a motivating carrot for him to do well with his grades. Better grades earn more college $. Better grades are necessary to remain eligible to play. Better grades make recruiting coordinators much more comfortable with offering baseball $, etc., etc. Also, depending on the nature and severity of the ADHD, you will need to identify what type of learning environment he succeeds in. This will quite likely be an important aspect of choosing a college as well.
Other sports - Your son will most likely have to face the question, perhaps several times over the next three years, whether he can continue with some or all of other sports or focus on baseball. There are TONS of pro's and con's to be measured. Don't let one coach sway his decision but don't ignore valuable information to consider either. There are consequences to our actions, trade-offs, risk/reward to be weighed. Most of us love the idea of kids playing multiple sports. But at what point does it hinder time and efforts toward development of his "primary" sport? And on the other side, will he regret the once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing the other HS sports as well.
Arm care - you currently have a plan where he is shut down for a period of time over the winter. This will most likely become increasingly difficult to adhere to as he gets deeper into his recruiting efforts and has "important" camp and showcase opportunities come up during those timeframes. You and he will have to plan ahead and learn to pick and choose and say no when it is very difficult to do so.
Only child - he is coming into the age where it becomes important for him to be given some leash and start to work things out on his own. This sometimes means allowing him to take wrong paths to failure (not criminal, of course). This sometimes means only providing a resource when he shows he really wants it and is willing to work and sacrifice for it (as opposed to pushing and nudging him into it). In my experience, this can be most difficult for parents of only children to do, particularly when the consequences of failure can seemingly have an impactful effect on something as important to him as his potential college (and beyond?) baseball career. You will have to be keenly aware of this and be willing to take the short term pain in the interest of developing a stronger character young man long term.
Alien life (outside of baseball) - I think you acknowledged this point in one of my previous posts, but I will repeat... make sure your son has an identity he is proud of outside of baseball. Make sure you have a relationship with him that is full outside of baseball. That day will come. It can happen a million ways and in the blink of an eye. One throw, one silly accident, one pretty girl, one change of heart, one new passion, one consuming college major, and on and on.
We look forward to hearing about his progress!