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Old 01-13-2013, 11:16 AM   #31
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Good luck! We live eat breathe baseball in our house so I'm psyched for you all!
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:28 AM   #32
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Good luck! We live eat breathe baseball in our house so I'm psyched for you all!
Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:31 PM   #33
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His try-out is at 3 this afternoon.

We don't know if he'll find out today whether he makes the team or later this week.
Hope it went well. My nephew's Basketball team is partnering up with a big association and they will for the first time have open tryouts. We really need a couple more posts. We have two (both 6' plus and one of them can actually play at 4 postions if need be cause he's just that good) but they need some relief. We're heavy on point guards and wings. It'll be interesting since this team was made up of a bunch of kids who knew each other, but they really are trying to up the level and some of them just don't have that kind of skills. It'll be our first time in this situation as my nephew has always just been recurited (he's a point guard, nationally ranked, but still you just never know and since he's shorter there could always be a taller kid who's just as good).
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:52 PM   #34
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DH said he thinks the tryout went well. The coach told DS he would call him tonight or tomorrow.

Even if he doesn't make the team, the coach showed him a couple different techniques that will help him improve his pitching/batting.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:38 PM   #35
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My, almost 14 year old, twin DDs play club softball (travel). They started select ball at 10U. I will not kid you, it is TOUGH! But my DH has managed or coached in some capacity every year since they began. If he and I could take turns running to practice or staying home from tourneys (with our DS and dogs) it would not be as bad. But he HAS to be at everything and I want to be at as much as I can (I don't bother with practices, but like to go to tourneys and fundraiser events and parties the team has). Last year, the team they were on was super intense and it nearly broke us (we drove about 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic, to practices which were several days a week and 3-4 hours long...and we did about 24 tourneys, 4 in the fall and then 20 from March through the 1st week in August and several were hotel stays with 2 being week long tourneys for Nationals). It could have cost a ton of $$$$ but we fundraised our bottoms off and only spent about $800/player for the year not including travel expenses or things like bats and cleats...just tourneys, uniforms, indoor practice, helmets, bat bags (would have cost about $2500/player and I have 2). While we did all that, the manager would have no qualms sitting girls for entire games and, frequently, many entire games in a row...and he'd only bat 9 out of 12. Our friend's DD had sat 15 games in a row. He also would add girls if good ones would come along and play them and sit original players...whatever he thought it took to win (which is how it goes with most club teams). He also had a little daddy-ball going on (also how it goes with most club teams). But we did win 2 State championships. Oh, and be prepared for the in-fighting and back-stabbing...it's cut throat in club ball (found that out early on).

My girls switched teams (organizations) for this year. The manager of last year's team only kept his DD and 1 other girl (that he added on 1/2 way through the year). Everyone else left that organization for other orgs (11 girls). He is still posting on the boards (softball organization boards) looking for players for this year and he had another person post and would not say the name of the coach or organization (burned all his bridges I think).

The org we are on this year is one of the only, and is well known for this, orgs that plays everyone and is more about player development than winning. It has it's pluses and minuses. And while this team practices less often and for a 2-3 hours each time (and we took off all of November), the indoor place they use is an hour drive in horrible traffic. And their outdoor field is about 40 minutes and is crappy and unlit. And while last year's org pretty much left our team alone, this org is very....ummmm...involved. That also has it's pluses and minuses. We are also only doing 12 tourneys in the spring/summer (only did 2 in the fall) and it's better than last year's 24, but we'd rather be in the middle with about 18. This team is more about 'it's all about fun and memories for the girls' and that's ok this year (after last year that was pure he--). But, we would prefer something between the he-- and rainbows and bunnies. But I think it's one or the other, sadly. And this year, though, there will be no winning state championships (I am pretty confident of that). But, my girls won't want to quit softball at the end of it (like they were starting to last year) and they'll have some good friends (and memories...LOL).

Good luck OP. I hope I gave you some food for thought. It's a big commitment. And when we make it, we stick it out for the year...may look elsewhere in August. Think it all through or it could be a very long year for you.

Oh, and by the way...we do this to keep our girls involved in stuff so they don't get involved in the wrong stuff. It's also good exercise and helps build confidence (well, on the right team) and teaches team sportsmanship and how to work together. Plus, hopefully, they will build some lasting friendships.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:04 PM   #36
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My son plays on an elite baseball team. It's his fifth year, but first playing high school also. This year the season kicks in after the high school season, and is shorter than the seasons have been before. He has always had two practices during the week and one optional batting night; this year it's one longer practice and still an optional batting night. Private lessons are available for pitching or hitting or any other aspect of the game if needed or desired. Practices are a half an hour away.

The team has been full since September. Almost all of the players came back from last year. They practiced outside as long as they could (till mid-November), then moved indoors. They'll be back outside again as soon as they can be, ie when fields are dry. Part of the success of a team, IME, is that bonding and camaraderie that builds in the off season, which is why it's really important for everyone to attend practices. It's a beautiful thing when they come together as teammates and friends, and as a team they're all pulling for eachother without the petty jealousies that can occur on some teams. That said, DS's coach strives for equal playing time and rotates players through as many positions as possible so most of them can be put in anywhere, or to pitch. That has worked out really well for the team, and for DS.

Like another MA poster above, we've traveled all over New England and NY. Other teams in our organization have gone further if that's what they wanted to do - it's up to each individual team. (Ours was budget minded. ) Generally there are two double headers on each weekend day. We've had weekends where we're in Maine on Sat and Rhode Island on Sunday, lol. (A GPS is a MUST! Especially when playing fields are remote!) We pack lunches and sometimes bring a grill. Only twice per season were hotels required. We've enjoyed it a lot as a family. Even DD. We have a blast and have made lots of different friends from all over. We would do it again, for sure. But DS has been fortunate to have had a great relationship with his coach and has been with him since he started in elite. That's not the case for most people - many change teams every year or two if they're unhappy. (DS also plays on local teams each year so he's had a good variety of other coaches as well.) There is nothing worse than when someone's unhappy on the team - it affects everyone. That's why a good fit with a team is important.

My question would be, how does your son know about this team? Are they looking for players just to fill their roster? If so, that might be a red flag. Is your son as experienced and skilled as the other players? Does he know anyone else on the team, or the coaches? You don't have to answer here, but can he play a variety of positions? Pitch? If he can, that will get him more playing time than say, if he only plays first and doesn't pitch. We've seen this happen when the player is limited and that's when people become unhappy. (Which happened mainly in the early years. Now tryouts are very selective with only one or two spots on the team.) If your son makes the team and decides he wants to play, make sure he goes to all practices and games. If you have to attend a wedding, make sure the coach knows ahead of time. Try to be there for everything else. This will be in your son's favor. And of course, your son should be a good sport and have excellent behavior on the bench, etc. Players are expected to pay attention to what's going on, encourage their teammates, and even help coach eachother. Bad behavior isn't tolerated. (Though you will still see it on some teams - from the coaches, down.) I guess I should say that in our organization, it's not tolerated. And that's one of the things I've liked about it - even when others are behaving badly, our coaches will say, "We aren't going to stoop down to that level. Let it go." etc.

Two hours away seems a little steep. Are you sure there aren't similar teams that are closer to you? Ask around and look on the AAU and other leagues' websites. Also check at local baseball training facilities - you must have them, they are everywhere around here. Another poster mentioned American Legion; many areas have Junior Legion teams and those are good, too. They also kick in after the HS season and many games are played during the week, not weekends. And then there are the tournament/showcase teams, which it sounds like the team you are interested in is.

People have sometimes asked DS if he ever gets tired of playing baseball, and I've had other parents ask me how you know if your kid is cut out for one of these teams. Here's how we know. These boys will play two tough, hot double headers and still gather round for a whiffle ball game in the parking lot or when they get home. Basically they just want to keep playing. They love it that much. DS is always "hitting" or "pitching" something, somewhere. It's almost never a chore to go to practices or games - once in a while when he has to get up super early, like 5am to be at an 8am game two hours away (you always have to be there one hour early for warm up!), but once we're on the road, he's happy.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:12 PM   #37
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I am not a fan of traveling teams. Players in LL and AL get tired of playing and quit......Traveling team players get burned out, and worse with the teams traveling so much, and looser rules, and nobody monitoring pitch counts, kids suffer permanent injuries.
My son was approached about playing on a USSA Traveling Baseball team when he was 13. $7,500 up front per player, practice 4 hours a day, 6 days a week before the season started, then 6 days a week combo of games and practices. One game was in Dallas, 1700 miles away! Paid off, team wo the world series. Those kids are all 24-26 now, all played high school ball, but by college, only 2 were still playing, and none were drafted by MLB, and half of them were amazing players.
Yikes. Just FTR, we don't pay anything near that, and pitch counts and playing time are definitely monitored. This seems extreme, at least from the teams I am familiar with around here.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:41 AM   #38
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DS told us last night he wanted to try out for an elite baseball team, based in a city 2 hours away.

We've never done a traveling league (other than 15-20 mins away) and this team travels all over the midwest during the summer for tournaments (St. Louis, etc) and DH and I have lots of questions.

We will be calling the coach tonight to get answers to all our questions, but for those of you that have BTDT, what was your experience like?

It is *a lot* of money, but I'm more worried about the time commitment (mainly for me, since DH will hopefully be starting Grad School in the Spring).

Am I going to be spending every weekend in a hotel from May through August?

We are leaning towards letting him do it (at least for one summer) if he makes the team. I think it would be a great experience and maybe lead to being seen by colleges, if he keeps it up after this year.

I know if he doesn't make the team, none of the details will matter, but I don't want to have him make it and then be like "ok, what do we do now?" KWIM?
First off, forget about a second life, this will take complete control of your son's and families life for most of the year.

1. You will be expected to make all practices. No exceptions.
2. You will have tournaments every weekend, including Fridays. And you will be expected to make everyone of them. Does not matter if your son is a starter or not.
3. The cost to travel will be extremely expensive.
4. You will have issues with the other parents.
5. The parents will have issues with the coaches.
6. Your vacations will be travel ball.

Besides all of that, we enjoyed our travel ball experiences, and would not change them for anything. TDBIASWS.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:20 AM   #39
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First off, forget about a second life, this will take complete control of your son's and families life for most of the year.

1. You will be expected to make all practices. No exceptions.
2. You will have tournaments every weekend, including Fridays. And you will be expected to make everyone of them. Does not matter if your son is a starter or not.
3. The cost to travel will be extremely expensive.
4. You will have issues with the other parents.
5. The parents will have issues with the coaches.
6. Your vacations will be travel ball.

Besides all of that, we enjoyed our travel ball experiences, and would not change them for anything. TDBIASWS.
Well said!
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:26 AM   #40
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First off, forget about a second life, this will take complete control of your son's and families life for most of the year.

1. You will be expected to make all practices. No exceptions.
2. You will have tournaments every weekend, including Fridays. And you will be expected to make everyone of them. Does not matter if your son is a starter or not.
3. The cost to travel will be extremely expensive.
4. You will have issues with the other parents.
5. The parents will have issues with the coaches.
6. Your vacations will be travel ball.

Besides all of that, we enjoyed our travel ball experiences, and would not change them for anything. TDBIASWS.
We've spoken with the coach and luckily for us 1, 2, 3 and 6 are not true.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:06 PM   #41
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DS just found out he didn't make the team.

Thanks everyone for the advice and info. I really appreciate it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:47 PM   #42
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DS just found out he didn't make the team.

Thanks everyone for the advice and info. I really appreciate it.
Sorry SaraJayne. Hopefully DS knows he can use this as motivation to get better and try out again next year (assuming he wants to).
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:55 PM   #43
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We've spoken with the coach and luckily for us 1, 2, 3 and 6 are not true.
That's interesting as those are kind of the foundation travel sports are built on..
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:00 AM   #44
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That's interesting as those are kind of the foundation travel sports are built on..
Not necessarily. DD played travel softball, DS plays travel soccer. If the family has a vacation, the child isn't expected to be at practice (it's even ok to miss tournaments).

DD played 2, maybe 3 tournaments a month. There'd always be at least one weekend "off", sometimes two.

Most of our travel was driving distance. Yes, there might be an occasional overnight, but nothing really extreme.

We've always been able to take family vacations.

I'm sure there are "extreme" travel teams the above rules apply to, and it's good to find out if the team you're trying out for uses those rules, but I'm guessing <20% of travel teams actually use them.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:23 AM   #45
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DS just found out he didn't make the team.

Thanks everyone for the advice and info. I really appreciate it.
Sorry

Good luck to him -- hopefully he can find another team for the summer.
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