quote:I do think baseball knowelege learned in travelball will be hard to overcome in H.S.
Knowledge of the game, theory of baseball, and instincts are all important to continue in the game. This topic has been skimmed here but only superficially. But travel ball has no lock on that information.
Equally or even more importantly is the mental side of the game and passion. These are critical beyond HS ball which is also merely a stepping stone. When you get to the college level, everyone is good with innate attributes and refined technique. The difference makers are mental.
Finally, if a player is fortunate enough to go on beyond college, the ability to hit effectively with wood is the next stumbling block.
The mental side of the game is the most neglected part of youth baseball. How many times have we seen kids having temper tantrums, crying, and ragging their team mates when the going got tough?
I have no issues with either rec or travel on the small diamond. It is not a factor in future success. But if a player shows promise on the full sized diamond he needs to play with and against the very best he can. It is no longer for fun but has become serious and only the serious will survive. The HS coach couldn't care less about what a player did on the small diamond and how many plastic trophies he has acquired. He probaly won't even read his resume' because he only cares about what the kid brings to eat at his table. The kid will either eat or get eaten and the coach doesn't care which it is. His pay will be the same.
Think about the big picture, a picture not achievable by most. Compared to a pro player all of these puppies suck as ball players. All that can be said is they are good for their age. Unfortunately, only the fittest survive. Refined technique, a history of pitching coaches and batting coaches, camps and travel ball will not cut it. An aspiring basketball player asked a pro player what was the most imortant thing he could do to make it to the pros. The response was this, "Pick you parents very carefully." Innate means born with which means genes.
I know this may be a bitter pill for the 5'8" father and 5'7" mother of an 11 year old stud playing a gazillion travel games per year. But the ride may well be nearly over. He may be in the twilight of a mediocre career. The game will tell him when it is over and the little boy in him will die a little when he clears out his locker for the last time.
Is it all important? Not unless a parent paying big bucks to travel has expectations of a return on his investment. It is the kid's baseball experience. Assist him with moving on when the ride ends and lay no guilt trips on him.
There is such a thing as a sports psychologist. Their biggest client base comes from kids finishing with the ride whose stud days are over. The kids feel guilty about failing the parental expectations and taking so much time and money from the family. How sad is that?
An after thought: I just went back and reread the original post. While I differ slightly from his observations it is worth a read again by those interested in the topic.