What would you do or have done?

Got the summer schedule and out of all the weekends there is only 1 school that 2021 is interested in going to right now. No they are not on the "A" team nor do I think they should be. Just trying to decide if it is worth spending the money to play weekends places they are not really interested in going to or to focus on targeting camps at the schools they are interested in. We really like the organization but at the end of the day is it worth playing in front of coaches hoping that they talk to other coaches at the schools they want to attend. 

Original Post

I would suggest finding a team that fits the level of teams your son is interested in.  I will ask the tough question.  Is your 2021 real in the schools he is interested in?  Meaning is his list of schools equal to his playing ability.  I ask that because normally teams play at the schools that they believe their players would fit at.  If the answer is yes, then find a team that is going to those schools.  I have found that coaches really do want to see players play games not just showcases and camps unless they are the best.

I can't speak from experience.  But, several told me a long time ago that it's a waste of time to showcase or attend camps for schools that you can't make or have no interest in attending.  Sort of seems like common sense.

Tough call when you like the organization, team, kids, coaches, etc.  WWYD?  Me?  I think I would have to have a sit down with my son and suggest using that money towards something more beneficial to where he wanted to go.

Related, we thought my son's team was going to the 15U PG thing in GA this summer.  Team decided against it.  (Probably the right idea, given their talent and depth.)  Son was bummed.  But, I told him, better to bank that money and do something good with it, when ready and needed, than to spend it going to GA just to say you went to GA (and got pounded for a week).

Camps are often financial boons for schools to pay volunteer assistants etc but could, with the right coach and kid make a connection and prove to be an asset. I put my son in front of a few schools, one was private and the PC was consumed with what i did/did i make enough money and the other school like son and it showed out interest and willingness to attend (quite far from home). He probably got hundred of invites and i think that is more about email/spamming/fund raising that his abilities early on.

Best of luck to you, i'm sure more advice is following from the folks on the board.

Find a new team. No sense in paying the money if you're not going to get much out of it. Travel team has to work for you, if they're not getting you where you need to be/want to go there is no point in sticking around. Either find a new team that caters to what you're looking for or hit some of the showcases and camps on your own. Can't be seen by them if you're never in front of them. If your kids want to be seen, they have to be willing to make tough decisions and move on from good friends/coaches to put themselves in a better position. The 2019 did it and it was the best decision he ever made. Feel free to PM with specifics.

Francis7 posted:

I can't speak from experience.  But, several told me a long time ago that it's a waste of time to showcase or attend camps for schools that you can't make or have no interest in attending.  Sort of seems like common sense.

Tough call when you like the organization, team, kids, coaches, etc.  WWYD?  Me?  I think I would have to have a sit down with my son and suggest using that money towards something more beneficial to where he wanted to go.

Related, we thought my son's team was going to the 15U PG thing in GA this summer.  Team decided against it.  (Probably the right idea, given their talent and depth.)  Son was bummed.  But, I told him, better to bank that money and do something good with it, when ready and needed, than to spend it going to GA just to say you went to GA (and got pounded for a week).

Catching is a valuable commodity. Your son may be able to hook up with a team for a week headed for PG as an extra catcher. 

RJM posted:
Francis7 posted:

I can't speak from experience.  But, several told me a long time ago that it's a waste of time to showcase or attend camps for schools that you can't make or have no interest in attending.  Sort of seems like common sense.

Tough call when you like the organization, team, kids, coaches, etc.  WWYD?  Me?  I think I would have to have a sit down with my son and suggest using that money towards something more beneficial to where he wanted to go.

Related, we thought my son's team was going to the 15U PG thing in GA this summer.  Team decided against it.  (Probably the right idea, given their talent and depth.)  Son was bummed.  But, I told him, better to bank that money and do something good with it, when ready and needed, than to spend it going to GA just to say you went to GA (and got pounded for a week).

Catching is a valuable commodity. Your son may be able to hook up with a team for a week headed for PG as an extra catcher. 

We thought about that for a bit.  It's very possible.  But, for now, we just took GA off the radar.  (He's already been asked, unofficially, about going to Ft. Myers in the fall by another team.  So, that may just take the place of it.  But, I can't think about the fall when the spring hasn't happened yet.  Too far away.)

RJM posted:

A travel team is part of a business plan to get to college ball. What is the value of a business plan than doesn’t get the product in front of potential customers? 

100% agree with RJM and others.   You and your son have to have an end in mind...a goal.  If that travel team is not part of the plan then you are wasting your time and money.   The clock is ticking and if you are like most parents there is no money tree in the backyard.  

I would strongly encourage you to sit down with your 2021 son to review what schools he is interested in, and discuss skill set.  If you aren't capable of evaluating him, get an objective third party who is qualified.   It is essential that you and your son understand where his skill set is wanted by a college coach.   There is a much greater supply than demand which is why only 6% of high school baseball players make it to college baseball.   Begin researching appropriate level travel teams that will give your son the necessary exposure, and dive into this topic.  Like most 15-16 year olds they don't have a realistic idea what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.   Enter Mom and Dad to help navigate recruiting and assist in making his first big life decision. 

Good luck!  As always, JMO.

Get bigger, faster, stronger and play the best competition you can in the area that your kid wants to go to school in.  Put showcases and camps aside in favor of playing and developing.  Most of offers still happen Junior HS season and rising Senior summer.

Are the schools where he will be playing anywhere near colleges that he is interested in?  INVITE the coaches of the schools he is interested in to come watch him play. Give them details of times and field information.  This may take several emails, including the introductory email.  You may not hear back from the coaches, but they still may come.

Be sure to drive through other college campuses on the way/way back or during down times.  

Son had to cut bait on a travel team at age 14 and again a year later for the reason you state (and other reasons.)  

My son is a 2020 and uncommitted, so take this for what it's worth, but:  I view travel ball as being more about practicing / playing / improving than it is about getting in front of coaches.  My kid is looking mainly at high-academic schools in the northeast.  We live in NC.  His travel team has great coaching, but plays weekend tournaments mostly in the Carolinas at schools my son has no interest in (plus a couple of PG events that do attract coaches from all over).  Once in a while a coach from a school in the southeast that my son is targeting will show up at one of his games, but that's unusual.

Maybe there are some teams that target HA schools (?), but there are none in our area (and finances and family considerations wouldn't permit traveling to the northeast regularly anyhow).  Competing in travel ball makes my son a better player.  It's up to him (with an assist from his coaches and parents) to identify opportunities to get in front of schools he cares about (e.g., showcases, specific schools' camps).  His travel coaches understand his goals, and they get that he may miss some weekends to attend other events. 

There are at least a couple of other kids on my son's travel team that are in the same boat--I didn't think this was all that unusual. 

I guess I'm a little confused.  Are you thinking that when a travel team plays, only the coaches from the school where the game is being played will attend?  That's not the case at all....heck, there's also a good chance that the HC/RC from that school may not even be there.   During my son's 15U/16U season, we played in good tourneys, but only a couple were at D1's.  We played in a big tourney, with a lot of coaches in attendance that used mostly HS fields....and another used a park with 8 fields.  The biggest tourneys in the Midwest are the Cincy Flames tourney and the tourneys at Grand Park in Indy.  The Flames use 3 or 4 D1's and 20-30 HS fields within a 90 mile radius.  We played at the Univ of Cincinnati but there was no guarantee that UC coaches would be there.  With 120+ teams in the area, they could just as easily have been out at Podunk HS watching a kid they were really interested in.  The Grand Park events had more D1 coaches than I've ever seen at any place other than the WWBA....and it's not affiliated with any college.   To think that you need to schedule your tourneys at schools that you have interest in isn't realistic.  There are 15 kids on a team, do you expect them to take a vote and majority rules?    Your son needs to be in contact with coaches of schools he's interested in and let them know WHERE he is playing and get them to come see him. If he's in a good travel org, coaches will be there to see the team...regardless of where they are playing

My son is a 2019 and committed to high academic D3 program.  Just went through the same process, and I think you are on the right track.  Your travel team can get some exposure through tourneys, but we found the targeted showcases to be the best exposure to HA programs.  Our travel team had a mix of ball players who committed to everything from elite D1 programs, Ivy league, HA D3s and JuCos.  It's hard for a travel club to support a schedule with exposure aligned to all players goals.  I'd suggest checking out HA showcases like Headfirst and PTW.   Once you find some matches and talk to coaches, your travel club can support with recommendations/follow ups.

Delayed Steal posted:

My son is a 2019 and committed to high academic D3 program.  Just went through the same process, and I think you are on the right track.  Your travel team can get some exposure through tourneys, but we found the targeted showcases to be the best exposure to HA programs.  Our travel team had a mix of ball players who committed to everything from elite D1 programs, Ivy league, HA D3s and JuCos.  It's hard for a travel club to support a schedule with exposure aligned to all players goals.  I'd suggest checking out HA showcases like Headfirst and PTW.   Once you find some matches and talk to coaches, your travel club can support with recommendations/follow ups.

Agree....but also think it depends on the school.  If you are hoping to play at a D1 or D2, your "hoping to play at school" and where you eventually end up will very likely be two different places...unless you're the kid that gets multiple offers and can essentially pick your school.  It's much easier to do that with a HA or a D3.  For one, they usually have a larger roster and due to costs and no scholarships, may have a more limited number of kids hoping to play there.  The OP doesn't mention what level his son is looking at....I think that may help a little in trying to answer his question on whether tourneys or showcases is best for his son to get noticed.

Also...  I think there is a lot to be said for being on a team and playing games for its own sake.  Granted, you want a level of competition that offers a meaningful challenge, and some travel teams don't practice together.  But my son's holds regular practices and offseason training.  If your kid is disciplined enough to train by himself all summer and just go to showcases, then he has a level of maturity and commitment that will serve him well (in baseball and in life).  But that's not my son--he will work hard at any team practice, any time; but he's not great at getting to the gym or field on his own.  Maybe more importantly, if you aren't playing on a team you miss out on a whole lot of what makes baseball worthwhile--camaraderie, life lessons, competition.  Everyone has to examine their own situation (and budget), but I think it would be pretty dull to spend a summer just training and attending showcases and camps.  Most kids who want to play in college love the game and want to play.

Agreed on all points, Chico.  You are going to see a lot of the same schools at the showcases, especially if you go for HA target.  Pick one that works well for your schedule/budget and hustle to meet the coaches at target schools.  The rest will take care of itself.   Best of luck. 

This may not be the norm....my son attended approximately 6 different College Camps throughout his high school years. We are in So Cal and attended camps here in California and also made 2 airplane trips (one to the Pacific Northwest and one to the east coast). Out of the 6, there were 3 or 4 that continued to follow and showed serious interest. One of them had an offer ready to go right after the camp. In the end however, he committed to a school whose camp(s) he never attended. The coaching staff saw him at a showcase and then at an Area Code tryout.

Out of the camps my son attended, only one was with his travel ball team. He hit very well that day, however the school showed no interest when my son followed up with them a few days later. 

If you and your son are comfortable with the organization, i would stay.  There are not going to be coaches at every game that your son plays, regardless of the organization or where you play.   Finding a team where he will play, fit in, feel comfortable, and develop is important.   Target schools with the help of your son's coach or outside help if needed, pick a few camps, follow the script.  Best of luck.  

It's different for everyone.  My son went to one camp at a local, mid level D1 before freshman baseball season.  Just wanted to check it out.  Lot's of standing around with big guys with facial hair.  Got a written evaluation and a few metrics.  Nothing special on the actual write ups, but the format was very good.  Cost $99.  What he got most out of it is that it's serious if you want to play after high school.

After that, no camps, no showcases.  Just looked for the best competition he can handle.  Committed March of Sophomore year.

Also, at this camp there were a few Juco's there coached by alumni of the D1.  And if you look at the roster, several players transferred in from these Juco's.  Relationships matter.  Coaches move around a lot.

My advice -- your boys should start reaching out this spring to coaches at schools they are interested in (as has been said many times here, cast a wide net -- my son ended up emailing about 35 or 40 schools). Send video with something interesting in it -- a home run, a wipeout slider, a high radar gun reading, etc., whatever shows them hitting the ball far or throwing it hard. Try to get in front of those schools this summer. A summer where your boys get in front of one school would be a waste from an exposure perspective.

dad2twins posted:

Got the summer schedule and out of all the weekends there is only 1 school that 2021 is interested in going to right now. No they are not on the "A" team nor do I think they should be. Just trying to decide if it is worth spending the money to play weekends places they are not really interested in going to or to focus on targeting camps at the schools they are interested in. We really like the organization but at the end of the day is it worth playing in front of coaches hoping that they talk to other coaches at the schools they want to attend. 

Dad, can you clarify what events/types of events the summer schedule consists of and what type of organization the travel team is?  ...and, as others have asked, what level your son is targeting?

I assume a travel org would not target regular college camp days... perhaps a series of pre-arranged multi-school events or camps scheduled specifically for your travel org or multiple travel orgs to attend?  Or are you describing showcase events/tourneys that already have schools listed?  

I think your wording is causing some confusion... or at least for me anyway.

I think that there is a more basic question here.  If there are realistic targets that your son is interested in, does the current team/coach have any history of getting players into any of the schools?  Because there is probably a team/coach out there that does.

Also, when you say "schools he is interested in".  How many are there?   As others have said, if the goal is to play college baseball....you need to have a fairly good sized list of possible schools....at least at the start.    What he needs to realizeis  that in most cases,  wanting to play college baseball.....and wanting go to school at "Favorite U" are probably two different things....especially when you mentioned that he isn't on the "A team".  This summer will likely be his first taste of the "recruiting" part of the equation.  He'll find out real quick whether his schools he is "interested" in are in line with the schools where he likely could/will end up. 

The biggest takeaway from this is that the players are not on the A team. Which is fine, but unless they're part of a power program (Canes, Scorpions, EC, 643) it tells me that they will be targeting D2, D3, JUCOs. The recruiting for that pool will take place during the summer heading into their senior year all the way into the fall months. If that is the case I wouldn't worry too much about the showcasing and camps. I would focus more on getting reps in and finding a team that will be a good fit a year and a half from now. 

PABaseball posted:

The biggest takeaway from this is that the players are not on the A team. Which is fine, but unless they're part of a power program (Canes, Scorpions, EC, 643) it tells me that they will be targeting D2, D3, JUCOs. The recruiting for that pool will take place during the summer heading into their senior year all the way into the fall months. If that is the case I wouldn't worry too much about the showcasing and camps. I would focus more on getting reps in and finding a team that will be a good fit a year and a half from now. 

That's not necessarily true.  My son was on what would be considered the "B team" of a very good organization here in Ohio his 17U summer.  Almost every kid on his team ended up at a D1,  though obviously with fewer options than some of the guys on the "A" team.  I guess my point was that my son went into that year knowing that he would be limited...and that his "favorites" were probably not going to be an option.   When I say "favorites" I mean with regard to baseball.  He knew he was going to be a business major, likely in marketing, and he had no interest in high academics, so for him, if he liked the baseball program, and got a decent offer, almost any school would have at least been in the conversation with regard to where he would end up.

GloFisher posted:

If you and your son are comfortable with the organization, i would stay.  There are not going to be coaches at every game that your son plays, regardless of the organization or where you play.   Finding a team where he will play, fit in, feel comfortable, and develop is important.   Target schools with the help of your son's coach or outside help if needed, pick a few camps, follow the script.  Best of luck.  

Comfort, fitting in, and friendship don't get you to the next level. At a certain point you have to tell your kids that if they want to advance, they need to do what is best for their baseball future. Truth is if my kids want to play at small schools in the Midwest and the coach has tournaments scheduled at big D1 schools in the South (even if small southern schools will be there) it's not a team they need to play for. I'm sure the kids have an idea of where they would like to go and if the schedule doesn't match their interests, there is no point of paying the team, paying for hotels, and airfare when it can be done better elsewhere. 

Buckeye 2015 posted:
PABaseball posted:

The biggest takeaway from this is that the players are not on the A team. Which is fine, but unless they're part of a power program (Canes, Scorpions, EC, 643) it tells me that they will be targeting D2, D3, JUCOs. The recruiting for that pool will take place during the summer heading into their senior year all the way into the fall months. If that is the case I wouldn't worry too much about the showcasing and camps. I would focus more on getting reps in and finding a team that will be a good fit a year and a half from now. 

That's not necessarily true.  My son was on what would be considered the "B team" of a very good organization here in Ohio his 17U summer.  Almost every kid on his team ended up at a D1,  though obviously with fewer options than some of the guys on the "A" team.  I guess my point was that my son went into that year knowing that he would be limited...and that his "favorites" were probably not going to be an option.   When I say "favorites" I mean with regard to baseball.  He knew he was going to be a business major, likely in marketing, and he had no interest in high academics, so for him, if he liked the baseball program, and got a decent offer, almost any school would have at least been in the conversation with regard to where he would end up.

It can happen. But like you said, a very good organization out of Ohio. There are plenty of loaded organizations (Ohio has a few), but if you're not part of one the odds are that they won't really be targeting D1 schools. Even so, the recruiting will still most likely take place post junior year. 

Sorry about the confusing post. 

The goal is a Big 12 school. Do I think it is realistic, maybe. I have been told by former pro players, assistant college coaches and a couple of D2 coaches that have seen them play. The showcases at P5 schools they have attended at least one of them have been talked to by the HC. No offers but was told to keep in touch and let them know how they are doing. 

Last year they played at the same schools that are scheduled for this summer and never seen a coach at any of the games. I'm not complaining about that but my question is, if you are getting some attention from a couple of Big 12 school is it feasible to play at Sunbelt or Conference USA during the summer?  

If they played at schools in the Sunbelt or Conference USA and you never saw a coach, I'm not sure if it's the wrong team....or the wrong tournament?   Typically tourneys at schools that size are big enough and promoted well enough that they draw coaches.  My son played at least a dozen different D1's at 15u-17u in tourneys run by 3 or 4 different tourney organizations and there were always coaches at the games, whether they were at the host team's stadium or surrounding fields, (either HS or smaller colleges).   If the tourneys they are at schools in those two conferences aren't getting coaches, that just seems strange to me.  

Buckeye 2015 posted:

If they played at schools in the Sunbelt or Conference USA and you never saw a coach, I'm not sure if it's the wrong team....or the wrong tournament?   Typically tourneys at schools that size are big enough and promoted well enough that they draw coaches.  My son played at least a dozen different D1's at 15u-17u in tourneys run by 3 or 4 different tourney organizations and there were always coaches at the games, whether they were at the host team's stadium or surrounding fields, (either HS or smaller colleges).   If the tourneys they are at schools in those two conferences aren't getting coaches, that just seems strange to me.  

Well, they didn't see any, but that doesn't mean they were not there. There were multiple fields being played on at the same time. I know that the camps they have went to that the HC has always been there for most if not all of it. Attended one that HC was not there and then toward the end he showed up and pulled one son aside and told him that he was sent video of him while he was on the plane on way back to school from a PG event. So I understand that they do not even have to be there to get seen.

keewart posted:

Are the schools where he will be playing anywhere near colleges that he is interested in?  INVITE the coaches of the schools he is interested in to come watch him play. Give them details of times and field information.  This may take several emails, including the introductory email.  You may not hear back from the coaches, but they still may come.

Be sure to drive through other college campuses on the way/way back or during down times.  

Son had to cut bait on a travel team at age 14 and again a year later for the reason you state (and other reasons.)  

These were my thoughts as well.  If the coaches at the school he is interested at are interested in him, they will most likely want his schedule.  Also, most every coach that recruited Ryan, wanted to see him in person.

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