Not making the Freshman team and College?

May be in the wrong place, if so feel free to move this.

How detrimental in reality is not making the Freshman team, in getting on the radar for College recruiters? Can a coach really ruin your chances?

Little background at 14 Dave was clocked at 75-76 consistently, has a nice variety of pitches. Not a one trick pony, good hitter, smart at the plate (last seasons on base percentage was .710), and a much better than average fielder. A good all around player. Our neck of the woods has a good amount of talent, but not overflowing. I’d say that he was comfortably in the top 10 of talent that tried out, of 29. Apparently that wasn’t good enough as he was cut.

I calmly (that was tough) contacted the coach to ask what brought this decision, and what he would need to do to work on making the Sophomore team. His reply was he had poor arm strength, and poor batting mechanics. When asked why he thought poor arm strength, his reply was his warm up tosses looked weak. Hmm ok. When asked what would he improve on his batting mechanics, the only thing he could say is he is a little tall in his stance, then later admitted he didn’t actually watch him hit, just watched a short video that someone took.

When I take my son to his pitching and hitting coach they can pick out what he needs to improve on right away and tell you in detail. Of course after he didn’t make the team, I took him back to his hitting coach to see if he got broken all of a sudden and he had great form and hit everything a ton, so he’s not broke.

I know things happen, and sometimes talent isn’t always the only reason some get picked and some don’t. We struggled and pulled as many strings as possible to get him back into the local district travel league and did, so he will be playing. Anyone have any ideas on getting him more exposure to get noticed?

I think you did the right thing by finding a way for him to play some travel ball since he won’t be able to play HS ball.

The important thing to remember is that if a player is good enough to play at the next level, as long as he is playing somewhere, scouts will find him. Make sure he is still getting as many at bats as possible and working on that arm strength and hitting stance (although he may well have been a victim of a coach’s apathy). Players will mature and change a lot over the course of the next few years. If your son makes a few good changes, he could be right back in the mix by next year.

Don’t over-worry about finding him thousands of places to play. I have always been a fan of attending the local college camps. Try to attend the camps held by the bigger colleges in your area. They will generally have coaches from many other colleges helping with those camps. That is one way to get easy exposure in addition to travel ball.

He is old enough to play for a summer travel team, thats good exposure.

How detrimental in reality is not making the Freshman team, in getting on the radar for College recruiters? Can a coach really ruin your chances?

I calmly (that was tough) contacted the coach to ask what brought this decision, and what he would need to do to work on making the Sophomore team. [/quote]

My boy is a HS junior. He is being recruited by a dozen D1 schools. The college coaches saw him at a showcase this winter. Several of these schools asked his HS coach to fill out forms about Andy’s skills and baseball potential. The HS coach was extremely critical of his abilities. Suggested that he might develop into a below average HS pitcher. Not a college prospect!

I told my boy he needs to change his HS coach’s opinion. Work hard and earn the guy’s respect.

Why did you contact his HS coach about the cut? Shouldn’t your boy have approached the coach on his own to find out what he could do to improve?


In fact you approaching may have been a not good thing.
Your son is the one who needs to face the coach looking for honest feedback. If the coach thinks he doesn’t have it, it is up to your boy to prove it otherwise.

Understandable that I probably shouldn’t have contacted him. When I ask my son what he said he said the poor arm strength and poor mechanics. My son did ask him and was told that he wasn’t going to discuss this anymore, that this was his decision. So he left with no real answer either.

Parents, who care, understand the natural inclination to be concerned and want to move in to a protective attitude when we feel our kid has been wronged.
We had a coach we had to learn to overcome too;

I hope you can get some strength and perhaps a bit of inspiration from this. I think the thing you and your boy should hang your hats on is the love and integrity of the game. Continue on playing at the very highest levels you can, try out with dignity, be a solid citizen and a great team mate, don’t let him bad mouth the coach away from the park, just do your thing and get better…and realize that this coach and his team are minor speedbumps if the desire is there…
Keep the faith dad…believe and don’t let small people with their little kingdoms make you less the person. This can be a great positive lifes lesson or a lesson on how to become bitter and ate up with actions you and your son cannot contol.

Great read. Only part way through the whole thread but I keep picking further into it as time allows.

Were working on his arm strength doing more resistance band training so he can do more motion specific strengthening. Tough thing is getting it through his head that he doesn’t need to do heavier bench presses and more of the Football style lifting. Also working on some grip and release variations of pitches to get some different movement. Going in for a couple more hitting exercises from his coach.

He’s looking forward to playing, as am I. Last year he was very effective, so this year should be that much better.

As you might guess, this goes in both directions. Sometimes the winds blow for you, sometimes they don’t. High school coaches don’t operate in a vacumm when it comes to this kind of environment, and just perhaps it worked against your son at that point, but worked for him with another club. Who knows?

On the other hand, many high school ball clubs are not endowed with the financial and property resources like other crowd pleasers. So, the allocation of player resources can be subject to opinions by those on the outside, that differ greatly from those involved with the decision process.
For example, the club may have a greater need for exceptional base runners, contact hitters, infielders or some other talent and the field of tryout players just seems to swing in that direction where other players are subordinated.

In any event, you are absolutely right to question “how come?” In fact, every player should receive an evaluation, in writing, itemizing the “how come” regardless. I’ve been part of that process for pithcers, and it supports not only my creditibility, but it also enhances the overall baseball community as well. Player improvement and progress is the basic function of any coach … any coach, and the associations that we belong to have a Code of Ethics that subscribes that totally.

Your son is very, very fortunate to have a dad who is proactive. Soon, as he matures, he’ll take your actions and pattern himself after them. He’ll start looking for his own path, his own fact-finding, his own mark in the world. And if a baseball career, or something close to it, is in his future, he’ll have his dad to thank for the leg-up.

If you have the time and the space in your life to share this gift of helping a youngster better himself, please consider coaching somewhere along the line. Perhaps a youth club 10-12, or 14-15 years old. Your instincts will benefit a lot of young people who can use this amazing sport to groom sportsmanship, fair play, and maturity all rolled up into one neat package.

Coach B.

Now if your son asked with respect, wanting to better himself …
then, taking your statement at face value, knowing nothing else, this man’s creditability has just gone south. Notice I didn’t use the title “coach.”

On the other hand, timing can be everything with matters like this. Perhaps the man could have been approached at a better time, under different circumstances, etc. Like I said, timing can mean the difference one way or the other. You know what it’s like in your job, dealing with people. But, (here it comes) in the youith coaching business a man or woman has to expect a parent’s interest to the point of asking “why, what, how come?” It’s all part of the territory. Breaking that stride in midstream is out right wrong. Why? Well, when it comes time for fund raising and similar events, these people have no problem in putting on the charm - but, ask for a little time to explain and communicate … “ain’t got time for that… I’m busy.” It does’t wash. However, some parents can be unreasonable during the process with the …" me-myself-n-I" approach, not to mention …" pulling strings…"

In any event, a lot of what JD suggested has a ton of worth to it.

Either way, I’m sure you and your family will see to it that your son will find a reasonable program to fit the bill.

Coach B.

I gave him the opportunity to tell me if my son had been disrespectful at any time, that was the one positive thing he said that he has a great attitude and a great kid. I know how it is talking to kids I remember how I was too. But I also know i don’t “push” my son and pressure him to do better than everyone. I support him as much as I can. The Only thing I tell him is after all is said and done Are YOU happy with how you performed. Do you think you could have improved? Did you give it your Best effort? If he can answer yes then I’m fine with it. And he has told me that No he didnt put his best effort on the field at times. He has nothing to fear from me on this.

Anyway he’s just looking forward to playing. He has high hopes and goals he set for himself this year. Not too lofty, but he wants to accomplish a lot. Teaching him more variations of pitches. Giving him a sort of screw ball without the wrist turning. He’s getting it. Teaching him a to throw a slider too. He’s picking this up well since he throws a cut fastball very well. Its working for him, but not getting the dramatic movement I had been hoping for. But he knows to throw sparingly in a game.

Thanks for all your support on this.