Can anyone share your own personal experience in helping a player through the college recruitment process when the players age did not correspond to the average age of those in his grad year because academic acceleration (skipping grades in school or for some other reason finishing high school early). 

Original Post

 

Welcome to the site.

Son was quite a bit younger.  If you think about it, half of the kids trying to be recruited are younger than the average .  Once you are shooting for college ball, you must be a very good player, regardless of whether younger or older than others in your class.  He would be best advised to completely ignore that issue.  The college recruiters don't care and neither should he.  He is either a player or he isn't.  He will either continue to work as hard as he can toward maximizing his abilities or he won't.   

You found a great resource... best to him!

My kid is a very young 2022. He uses his age as fuel to work harder.  The college coaches he interacted with did not care about his age. There was a microsecond consideration to repeat 8th grade on his part, but once he was accepted to his preferred HS, that was a dead issue (mom would not have allowed him to repeat 8th grade).  From a purely selfish perspective, my wife is annoyed he won't be able to drive himself to HS school, so she is his morning uber as it is on the way to her work.

Thinking about age is a waste of time. It can only become an excuse. My son has a May birthday. He was also a physical late bloomer. Through high school he competed against some athletes in his class who were more than a year older. 

The summer after 7th grade he started playing travel ball grade appropriate rather than his age group. Starting with post freshman summer he played up another year. 

If a kid is young and you want to change the situation 8th grade should be repeated before high school eligibility starts. Another option is a PG year after high school. But it’s a waste of time and money for an academically talented kid. 

So I took my son to a new pitching coach a few years ago, a D1 pitching coach.   Great guy, motivator etc.   He's talking to both of us on our first visit and I mention my son is young for his grade (September b-day - most 2020's on his travel team are a full year + older).   The guy gently ripped me apart (i was paying so I didn't get it full force).   He said he only cares about whether a kid can compete and that fathers of kids who are young for their grade almost always tell him that fact.   So I totally get why you are asking this question.

The biggest obvious and POTENTIAL issue facing the younger kids is just physical maturity.  If you son turns out to be a late bloomer and you are told he would be a D1 recruit if he took a PG year its an option (just like repeating 8th grade).   As you know kids develop at different times.  We have a monster sophomore on our HS team who is a clear D1 prospect, he's young for the grade but physically big and quite talented.  My point is there will be options down the line if your son doesn't get big and strong by this summer or fall.  If he competes and is skilled age doesn't matter one bit.

My son is in the same boat.  Late Sept bday.  My wife and I moved him up a year entering grade school as we see that he can handle it academically and emotionally (and he is doing well as a freshman right now).  We didn't even think about sports at that time, nor were we aware that people are doing the opposite (repeating a grade).  So he has classmates that are 2 years older than he is right now.  He is playing travel with his age group (not with his grade).  I do find myself letting people know he is young for his grade when it comes to sports.  This thread is a reminder for me to quit doing that.

I'm going to go against the grain here and say it can absolutely make a difference.  My oldest son, non baseball, ended up in D1 athletics but got a bite from just one school.  If he had taken a year, there is little doubt he would have been a state placer or champion given the year progression he made in skill level, physical maturity, and mental maturity.  That would have given him more suitors, and provided him with more choices. Not only was he a year younger, but he was a late bloomer physically.  So a double whammy.  Not saying it's a route one should take, and it all worked out for us, but if I had to do it again with him, I would have given a year between middle school and high school. 

My son had a early Sept birthday. Most kids in the class behind him were a year older. You guessed it they all started a year later. 

One year we had him play with his age instead of his grade in the Fall. And while it was fun for him, it really did not help that much. I would have rather he played with his grade, looking back and face tougher competition. Played with his grade or up the rest of his HS/Travel Career. 

So much can happen from 8th grade to graduation. Plus I cannot imagine making a kid repeat 8th grade. If you are concerned about his age, then do it before he starts school or a Post Grad. 

Wechson posted:

I'm going to go against the grain here and say it can absolutely make a difference.  My oldest son, non baseball, ended up in D1 athletics but got a bite from just one school.  If he had taken a year, there is little doubt he would have been a state placer or champion given the year progression he made in skill level, physical maturity, and mental maturity.  That would have given him more suitors, and provided him with more choices. Not only was he a year younger, but he was a late bloomer physically.  So a double whammy.  Not saying it's a route one should take, and it all worked out for us, but if I had to do it again with him, I would have given a year between middle school and high school. 

Wech, no one is saying it can't make a difference.  Most could argue that it would.  But I don't think that was the OP's question and he doesn't say anything about possibly holding back a year.  The points being made are..

1.  Once you are in the recruiting process, don't allow it to be an excuse.  Every player will face many hurdles to jump.  Will the player attack and fly over them or hesitate and get hung up?

2.  Recruiters don't care.  You either have the skill set they are looking for when they need it or you don't.  So, again, it doesn't do any good to dwell or get hung up on it.  Do the best with what you have at any given time and keep working hard and smart at getting better.

Aslo, is it worth it in the big scheme of things to even think about ways to hold a kid back?  For a few, maybe, but for most probably not.  One of the scenario's OP describes is a great example.  A kid is moved up due to academic acceleration.  Well, if that has worked out, it sure wouldn't make sense to reverse that for athletics... far too many benefits otherwise in the big picture.  I know this is a separate topic and one that has been discussed at length here on this site so I hope I am not starting thread drift.    

cabbagedad posted:
Wechson posted:

I'm going to go against the grain here and say it can absolutely make a difference.  My oldest son, non baseball, ended up in D1 athletics but got a bite from just one school.  If he had taken a year, there is little doubt he would have been a state placer or champion given the year progression he made in skill level, physical maturity, and mental maturity.  That would have given him more suitors, and provided him with more choices. Not only was he a year younger, but he was a late bloomer physically.  So a double whammy.  Not saying it's a route one should take, and it all worked out for us, but if I had to do it again with him, I would have given a year between middle school and high school. 

Wech, no one is saying it can't make a difference.  Most could argue that it would.  But I don't think that was the OP's question and he doesn't say anything about possibly holding back a year.  The points being made are..

1.  Once you are in the recruiting process, don't allow it to be an excuse.  Every player will face many hurdles to jump.  Will the player attack and fly over them or hesitate and get hung up?

2.  Recruiters don't care.  You either have the skill set they are looking for when they need it or you don't.  So, again, it doesn't do any good to dwell or get hung up on it.  Do the best with what you have at any given time and keep working hard and smart at getting better.

Aslo, is it worth it in the big scheme of things to even think about ways to hold a kid back?  For a few, maybe, but for most probably not.  One of the scenario's OP describes is a great example.  A kid is moved up due to academic acceleration.  Well, if that has worked out, it sure wouldn't make sense to reverse that for athletics... far too many benefits otherwise in the big picture.  I know this is a separate topic and one that has been discussed at length here on this site so I hope I am not starting thread drift.    

TOTALLY agree on point 1.  No excuses ever, in sport or life.  Would never bring that up at any point if I were an athlete or parent.  For point 2, it only matters to recruiters in that they are seeing most likely a more physically mature athlete, which only helps them project.  Walking my initial point back a bit, if I were to really have the chance to so it again I would have done it when he started school, not between middle school and HS.  We debated it for a millisecond but elected against it not even considering either of our kids would be potential college athletes .  Funny how that goes.  You never know.  And as many have said, which I can't argue against, perhaps the smaller size helped develop grit, tenacity etc.  All in all, not something to get too caught up over.  

Wechson posted:

TOTALLY agree on point 1.  No excuses ever, in sport or life.  Would never bring that up at any point if I were an athlete or parent.  For point 2, it only matters to recruiters in that they are seeing most likely a more physically mature athlete, which only helps them project.  Walking my initial point back a bit, if I were to really have the chance to so it again I would have done it when he started school, not between middle school and HS.  We debated it for a millisecond but elected against it not even considering either of our kids would be potential college athletes .  Funny how that goes.  You never know.  And as many have said, which I can't argue against, perhaps the smaller size helped develop grit, tenacity etc.  All in all, not something to get too caught up over.  

  Yup, and agree I over-generalized on #2... that can be a factor.

To OP's original question though, do recruiters take the possibility that the kid is not physically as mature as other kids in his grade into consideration?  For example, in looking at PG grades, they compare your metrics with other people in your grade, some of which could be 2 years older.

atlnon posted:

To OP's original question though, do recruiters take the possibility that the kid is not physically as mature as other kids in his grade into consideration?  For example, in looking at PG grades, they compare your metrics with other people in your grade, some of which could be 2 years older.

It's individual to the recruiter/prospect.

Here's another answer.

Scout "Son, how tall are you?"

Player "5'11"

Scout "Nobody is 5'11".  If I like you, you are 6'0".  If I don't like you, you are 5'10"."

Go44dad posted:
atlnon posted:

To OP's original question though, do recruiters take the possibility that the kid is not physically as mature as other kids in his grade into consideration?  For example, in looking at PG grades, they compare your metrics with other people in your grade, some of which could be 2 years older.

It's individual to the recruiter/prospect.

Here's another answer.

Scout "Son, how tall are you?"

Player "5'11"

Scout "Nobody is 5'11".  If I like you, you are 6'0".  If I don't like you, you are 5'10"."

Bingo, exactly!  It's all in the eye of the beholder.  If you are skinny, and the RC doesn't like you, then you are deemed "undersized".  If you are skinny and the RC takes a shine to you, then you are "projectable, with plenty of room to fill out". 

Wechson posted:
Go44dad posted:
atlnon posted:

To OP's original question though, do recruiters take the possibility that the kid is not physically as mature as other kids in his grade into consideration?  For example, in looking at PG grades, they compare your metrics with other people in your grade, some of which could be 2 years older.

It's individual to the recruiter/prospect.

Here's another answer.

Scout "Son, how tall are you?"

Player "5'11"

Scout "Nobody is 5'11".  If I like you, you are 6'0".  If I don't like you, you are 5'10"."

Bingo, exactly!  It's all in the eye of the beholder.  If you are skinny, and the RC doesn't like you, then you are deemed "undersized".  If you are skinny and the RC takes a shine to you, then you are "projectable, with plenty of room to fill out". 

Thanks!  That's exactly the insight I'm looking for.  And yes, my son is not only studying up a grade, but he is undersized even compared to people his age.

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