I never like being in a situation where I have to ask the coach something in order to know the answer.   I would much prefer to talk to other parents who's kid participated in the program and have some specific knowledge.  I'm looking for as unbiased as possible, but I want to hear stories about kids that got "screwed" too to hear that side.  Regardless of how I get the info, I'd want to know things like how does he see my kid ranking talent-wise on his team, where does he see my son getting playing time, how does he allocate playing time in tournaments (i.e., round-robin, earned, etc), what tournaments do they participate in, how many players do they typically take to big/small tournaments, what are the costs.  I'd also like to know practice schedule and logistics (where, when), what kind of development programs they offer (weight training, skill training, hitting facilities/programs, throwing programs).

I suggest you find out (from other parents on the team) what the coach’s habits are regarding bringing “guest” players in to play in specific tournaments - usually the big ones. Nothing ruins a summer faster than being a good soldier and then one day seeing a “hired gun” playing your position when you get to Jupiter. 

Good feedback so far but the most important questions are the ones that are most important to you and your son.  What are you trying to get out of it?  Recruitment, development, playing time, heavy/light travel and costs, etc.

Assuming recruitment is at least partially important, since in HS, will this team get him in front of the schools he is targeting?  If son doesn't know yet what his targets are, will the program help him figure that out and provide good direction and support?  

Are they recruiting him because they've seen him play, because somebody referred him, or are they recruiting him because you'll write a check? 

If they've seen him play - ask where they see him fitting in, how many kids they carry at his position, how they break up playing time, and which level of college baseball they see him fitting at. The last question being the most important. 

Find out which tournaments they are going to, and which schools they have connections with. 

The suggestions so far are great.  Thank you for sharing them.

This team is recruiting my son because he was referred to them by another player.  After that, they saw him play.  Once they saw him play, they started talking to him about coming over to their organization for next summer.

For my son, he’s looking for exposure.  He’s not going to get that with his HS team.  We’re not a strong team and don’t play in a strong conference.  His last summer team was promising him exposure.  But, it never happened.  And, that coach has a lot of contacts.  My feeling there is that he has so many players that he was only going to knock himself out going to bat for a kid unless the kid was like #1 or #2 at his position in the state.  And, to be honest, in those cases, the kid probably doesn’t even need his help to get recruited.  Everyone else was on their own.  And, if the did manage to commit on their own, then he would just take the credit for it.

I think that’s something that they all do?  I just did a random sample of three top local summer teams.  I went to Perfect Game to see how many of their players committed and where they went.  I found a lot of overlap.  Sometimes all 3 were claiming the same kid.  Often it was more than one of them had the kid listed.  I think what happens is that everyone gets the strong player to play for them at one time of another even if it’s just one or two times.  But, because they were once on their roster, then they get the credit for them when the kid commits somewhere.

Scotty Doesn't Know posted:

The suggestions so far are great.  Thank you for sharing them.

This team is recruiting my son because he was referred to them by another player.  After that, they saw him play.  Once they saw him play, they started talking to him about coming over to their organization for next summer.

For my son, he’s looking for exposure.  He’s not going to get that with his HS team.  We’re not a strong team and don’t play in a strong conference.  His last summer team was promising him exposure.  But, it never happened.  And, that coach has a lot of contacts.  My feeling there is that he has so many players that he was only going to knock himself out going to bat for a kid unless the kid was like #1 or #2 at his position in the state.  And, to be honest, in those cases, the kid probably doesn’t even need his help to get recruited.  Everyone else was on their own.  And, if the did manage to commit on their own, then he would just take the credit for it.

I think that’s something that they all do?  I just did a random sample of three top local summer teams.  I went to Perfect Game to see how many of their players committed and where they went.  I found a lot of overlap.  Sometimes all 3 were claiming the same kid.  Often it was more than one of them had the kid listed.  I think what happens is that everyone gets the strong player to play for them at one time of another even if it’s just one or two times.  But, because they were once on their roster, then they get the credit for them when the kid commits somewhere.

This is the reason that asking the coach can only get you so far.  You have to do your own homework and triangulate to get to the truth.

Sounds good.  Then, the questions of importance are going to be which events, how PT is determined, costs, connections, schedules, commitment, etc.  It is definitely good, as someone else suggested, to talk to parents and players to get the pros and cons that are not part of the sales pitch.

Still, this will be just one component.  At the end of the day, the burden is on the student/player and parents to identify best target schools and initiate the recruiting efforts.  And, of course, the burden is all on the player to fully develop his skill set, mental approach, coachability, citizenship and academics to assure he is the best recruit he can be (among other things).

This site is a great resource for all of the above.  Continue to ask away and also know that you can search from a huge library of threads on any topic.

Scotty Doesn't Know posted:

The suggestions so far are great.  Thank you for sharing them.

This team is recruiting my son because he was referred to them by another player.  After that, they saw him play.  Once they saw him play, they started talking to him about coming over to their organization for next summer.

For my son, he’s looking for exposure.  He’s not going to get that with his HS team.  We’re not a strong team and don’t play in a strong conference.  His last summer team was promising him exposure.  But, it never happened.  And, that coach has a lot of contacts.  My feeling there is that he has so many players that he was only going to knock himself out going to bat for a kid unless the kid was like #1 or #2 at his position in the state.  And, to be honest, in those cases, the kid probably doesn’t even need his help to get recruited.  Everyone else was on their own.  And, if the did manage to commit on their own, then he would just take the credit for it.

I think that’s something that they all do?  I just did a random sample of three top local summer teams.  I went to Perfect Game to see how many of their players committed and where they went.  I found a lot of overlap.  Sometimes all 3 were claiming the same kid.  Often it was more than one of them had the kid listed.  I think what happens is that everyone gets the strong player to play for them at one time of another even if it’s just one or two times.  But, because they were once on their roster, then they get the credit for them when the kid commits somewhere.

two quick hitters:   

First: I don't think all travel coaches only focus on the top 1 or 2 at his position in the state.  My sons last travel team is a program with 100 kids.  The head of the program worked the phones hard for his 2020 and 2021's.  Importantly he talked honestly about his assessment of the players and helped them land in the proper division with what seemed like the best academic fits.  We did our own homework, zero'd in on the top 5 (ultimately it was 5), my son made contact with all of them, most came to see him play (at tourney's and showcases) and lastly the travel coach called the schools he felt were the right fit for us and brought it all over the top!  He was great, the program is great.   

Second my son's commitment will likely be claimed by two different travel teams and I am totally good with that.  His most recent travel coach/team was most relevant in helping him with his offer/commitment however he played for a number of years before for a different team who also helped his development.  So its quite possible for multiple teams to "claim" a player (if I understood you correctly).   My son committed about two months ago but this HA college asks that you wait until official acceptance letters come out before you announce your commitment.  

The phrase that jumped out at me in the OP was “new summer tournament team.”

Every great travel program started at ground zero some time, but with so many strong programs out there with established track records, I would want to know why this coach is starting this team at this time. 

Sometimes great baseball people can up and decide to start a new program, but a lot of programs get started either because someone who coached a group of players from youth baseball wants to keep them together during high school but doesn’t really know how to prepare them for college. Or worse, sometimes someone whose kids didn’t get on one of the elite teams decides to start his own team to take those other snobs down a peg or two.

But sometimes it’s a legitimate spinoff from a strong program or the logical next step for a coach who has paid his dues and learned his trade. So new doesn’t mean bad. It means you should do a little research.

Does the coach’s son play on this team?  This is not an automatic disqualifier—my son’s travel coach had three of his sons play for him—but he was a former pro and his kids all ended up as D1 players. But you want to know the deal.

Sometimes the “why” is money. As an umpire, I’ve had a travel coach come to the plate conference and say, “I have no idea what I’ve got here. I’ve never seen any of these kids play. The only thing I know is that their parents’ checks cleared so we had enough kids to enter another team.”

Then I’d want to know his plans. How many teams do you  intend to field at which age levels? What tournaments do you plan to enter?  

What training facilities and conditioning coaches will you use? Is is okay to continue using the program/coach/gym I’m already using?

Ask open ended questions. Let him talk. Decide how much confidence you want to place in him. 

Best wishes,

I do not have anything to add to this conversation that has not already been said. However I want to emphasize @Swampboy 's comment. Make the questions open ended. This will serve people well through out there life. If the questions are open ended, those who do not have  a clue may talk themselves into a corner. Those who have a plan and Idea can usually come to the point rather quickly with intelligent answers. 

Money?  Playing time (earned or equal)? Facilities?  What do I get for my money?  Expectations?  Practice or just show up and play?  Coaches' resumes?  Previous team accomplishments?  Schedule (specific or general) what types of tournaments/showcases and where?  Does it cover summer and fall or re-tryout?   Do coaches have kids playing?   Player results, where does his former players play? Success in recruiting?   Does he know coaches?

Asking the above questions are important.  A crucial one is, how familiar is he with placing players at different levels (D1, D2, D3, NAIA, Juco, etc.), and will he give you an unbiased assessment of which level your son belongs, and will he explain and be honest about college recruiting?

You didn't say how old your son is.  But, I agree with Gunner Mack.  One thing I noticed through our years of travel/showcase was that, especially at 16U, people got upset when they thought the coach/organization was not promoting their players.  But, they didn't understand that their players did not have the measurables to be of interest to D1 coaches, and the other level schools were not really recruiting at 16U.  Our organization had a lot of players, the program head did promote them appropriately when it was time - after all, it was good for them to have as many committed kids as possible.  But, they never explained to us how it worked, when different types of schools recruited, that's what led to frustration.

It's always the best thing if your player plays against good competition, so you need to ask which tournaments it will play.  But, also be aware that while WWBA and other equivalent tournaments are a lot of fun, at 16U and even 17U it can be a lot of money spent (7 days in Georgia!) for little result if your son (a) is not a D1-level player, or (b) plans to go to school close to home.  It is definitely good competition, but go into it with that in mind, rather than that he will necessarily be exposed to relevant schools there.

My son played in one organization through high school; some teams were better run than others.  Here are some issues that people had at various times; I don't know what questions one can ask to avoid them, but this is the kind of thing that goes on.  A lot of it has to do with poor communication between the coach and players/parents about how things are going to be run:

- player thinks he's the greatest, but is platooned with another at main position, doesn't like it, quit the team mid-summer

- player almost never plays (2 at bats or 1 inning pitched in a weekend) - it's a showcase team, you are paying all that money, for travel and hotels, quit the team mid-summer

- coach's son plays every inning, but other players don't - some of those who play the same position and get very little time quit mid-summer

- main coach is not a parent, but who are the 1st-base and dugout coaches?  yep, parents.  Sometimes they disagreed with main coach and things got messy; sometimes it seemed like daddy-ball without the name

My general feeling about dad-coaches is that if their son is the best player on the team then they will probably be a "good" coach in whatever ways matter at the time (winning, or fairly rotating players, or showcasing players, whatever it is), whereas if their son is not the best player, then they are somehow less good as a coach for everyone.  And that was with 2 sons who played rec ball, as well as the one who played travel!

Scotty Doesn't Know posted:

For my son, he’s looking for exposure.  He’s not going to get that with his HS team.  We’re not a strong team and don’t play in a strong conference.  His last summer team was promising him exposure.  But, it never happened.  And, that coach has a lot of contacts.  My feeling there is that he has so many players that he was only going to knock himself out going to bat for a kid unless the kid was like #1 or #2 at his position in the state.  And, to be honest, in those cases, the kid probably doesn’t even need his help to get recruited.  Everyone else was on their own.  And, if the did manage to commit on their own, then he would just take the credit for it.

If I'm correct your son is a sophomore. I don't know what you're expecting out of all this but very few freshman are committing and the ones who are committing are total studs. Lets say 100 current sophomores are committed. That is nothing in the grand scheme of things. So unless your kid is 100% a superstar stud who throws 85+ or hits bombs of 85+ regularly there is nothing his summer coach could have done. Exposure doesn't equal offers. Exposure means being in the same place the scouts are at. You can go down to the WWBA in Georgia and have zero connections/stud players and the trip is a waste of "exposure". So odds are that a group of freshman ball players does not need exposure yet, they need to just play to get better.

Don't walk away from a good situation just because your son didn't get any college looks at 15. If the coach has a lot of contacts and you're looking for a team that can put him in contact with schools I'm not exactly sure why you'd leave. I would assume the coach did not reach out to schools on your sons behalf because your son is not ready to be seen by said schools or he does not believe your son can play at said schools. Either way he has plenty of time. The majority of recruitment happens the summer after junior year of high school.  

Smitty28 posted:

I never like being in a situation where I have to ask the coach something in order to know the answer.   I would much prefer to talk to other parents who's kid participated in the program and have some specific knowledge.  I'm looking for as unbiased as possible, but I want to hear stories about kids that got "screwed" too to hear that side.  Regardless of how I get the info, I'd want to know things like how does he see my kid ranking talent-wise on his team, where does he see my son getting playing time, how does he allocate playing time in tournaments (i.e., round-robin, earned, etc), what tournaments do they participate in, how many players do they typically take to big/small tournaments, what are the costs.  I'd also like to know practice schedule and logistics (where, when), what kind of development programs they offer (weight training, skill training, hittinIg facilities/programs, throwing programs).

 

CFL USA Elite posted:
Smitty28 posted:

I never like being in a situation where I have to ask the coach something in order to know the answer.   I would much prefer to talk to other parents who's kid participated in the program and have some specific knowledge.  I'm looking for as unbiased as possible, but I want to hear stories about kids that got "screwed" too to hear that side.  Regardless of how I get the info, I'd want to know things like how does he see my kid ranking talent-wise on his team, where does he see my son getting playing time, how does he allocate playing time in tournaments (i.e., round-robin, earned, etc), what tournaments do they participate in, how many players do they typically take to big/small tournaments, what are the costs.  I'd also like to know practice schedule and logistics (where, when), what kind of development programs they offer (weight training, skill training, hittinIg facilities/programs, throwing programs).

 

I have some good advice for parents and players in those types of situation, parents should not listen to other parents especially when their son has had a bad experience everybody’s different that doesn’t mean that your son will have a bad experience your son might really love that coach and that whole atmosphere and situation so parents please know your place also these are high school players now they’re not nine and 10 years old and let them figure out what their role is on the team that benefits the team 

I didn’t read the whole thread, so hopefully I’m not repeating someone else. But, find out how many stud pitchers the team has. If you want exposure, you need at least 10 stud pitchers, maybe more, depending on what events you play. Colleges coaches like to see top pitching face top hitters. From our experience playing big events,  it seemed as tho the teams with known stud pitching played against each other. Whilst the unknowns, with not much pitching, were often in a different pool. Not a hard and fast “rule”. But I have seen it happen often enough. If you are a position  player that has opportunity to show you can hit mid to upper 80’s+, it increases your chances of being recruited. 

Swampboy posted:

Does the coach’s son play on this team?  This is not an automatic disqualifier—my son’s travel coach had three of his sons play for him—but he was a former pro and his kids all ended up as D1 players. But you want to know the deal.

 

I’d like to add to this. What position does the coach’s son play?  If it’s the same as your player, I would think long and hard about that particular team. Also, how many position players does he carry?  And how many at each position?  Even if your player wins his spot, it can make for a long, hot, uncomfortable summer if there’s not enough of dirt to go around. Ideally, the team should be balanced. 

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