Skip to comments.Little League All Star Tryouts/Politics/Suggestions
Posted on 06/20/2014 7:20:48 AM PDT by Phillyred
Hi Al. I was hoping anyone involved with little league baseball might have some thoughts or suggestions. My 12 year old just loves baseball and he's a really good player. Unfortunately He just finished up his last year of little league with no chance throughout the years to make the summer team. It is the all-buddies team. They pick only 11 kids every year. Does anyone find that ridiculous? The tryouts are a joke, and really just a showcase for the coach's sons. The same core 10 have been on it since t-ball.
The really frustrating thing is that two of the kids on the team are playing up! But they are good friends with the other kids. Why can't they just play at their own age level? My guy struck out 3 times this year (early in the year). His batting average and OBP was very high...but like others here, he was not a HR ("elite") hitter (like most of the all star team). Just got base hits and the occasional double. Very good fielder, very fast and athletic, but smallish for his age. His coach had him at infield/short stop most of the year but he plays any position well- even played catcher well. He was also the team's 4th/5th pitcher and often closed tight games.He had a streak of 4 or 5 games straight where he had a perfect OBP. He was hitting the very best pitchers in the league with ease all year. He put in a lot of hard work this year and it just kills me that he never got to experience the high level summer play. He loves the game so much and plays it well.
Anyway, just venting here, but I was really hoping someone might have a suggestion or think of a way he can still play baseball this summer. It is frustrating that so many towns around us he would be playing on, but we are stuck in this "elite" league. Anyone else going through this?
I can relate. In my area it takes money as well. We do have the fortune to have other leagues to play in, but not of the quality of my son’s current league.
Find teams that are coached by paid coaches (former college and pro players). Any town of size will have them. No daddy ball. Premier league is one that holds these type teams. Another website is the Perfect Game. You can find teams listed there that might be in your area.
See if there is a PONY League in your area.
We’ve had nothing but good experiences with it (Pittsburgh area).
Also, check for church sponsored leagues, which do Fall Baseball.
Legal suggestions or, ahem, ‘Nancy Kerrigan’ solutions?
Look up Super Series AAA website and find team names there. Research the teams and only try out for teams that have paid coaches.
In daddy ball leagues, best thing you can do is be a coach or assistant coach. If there are three or four coaches, their kids are playing, regardless of how bad of a player they are. So there are probably 4 spots off the team right from the start. Daddy ball sucks, you can avoid it but it will cost some $.
I feel for you. And understand. I lucked out and got to coach most of the years for my 13 yo. He and I are in our second year in Babe Ruth - he is youngest in his class, and played up with his classmates on Babe Ruth last year. (and got the batting title by virtue of good contact even though no power)
THE way to make a change in operating rules is to join the board. Second way is to create another team. Third is to help coach. All of which, as an outsider parent, is much easier than fighting a biased system run for and by a few for their kids. One of my pet peeves has always be the coach whose kid(s) always play the premium positions, regardless of work habits and ability. Just a fact of life with volunteer coaches. (my kid has to earn EVERYTHING with twice as much work! Poor kid has to do field prep with his old man as well)
It takes a lot of work to put together a baseball team, choosing how you select (and not) your players is all part of the process. There are good ways and bad ways. Your particular coaching staff seems more than a little selfish, making up their team by virtue of a buddy rule. But that is so common as to not merit a lot of comment. If your community is large enough to support it, create another team and join a league.
Im in a small enough town that we usually dont have enough players for more than one team at the Babe Ruth level. We have 4-6 teams at Little League level, which tells me we need to do a better job of selling baseball. The only reason we have Little League tryouts is to make the teams evenly talented. Strangely, basketball camps and football camps during baseball season seem to attract much more of the attention. Which is too bad as I am seriously a baseball addict.
You must find a way for your kid to play summer ball. Find out what it takes to join the local league, whether it be Little League or Cal Ripkin ball, and go for it. It is only fair.
Good luck! If you need help finding league information, ask away.
you have to be a coach or an assistant coach... it is very political...
You should be able to find other teams in your area that would love to have your son. There are plenty of travel teams - you’ll have to ask around, make some phone calls, search the net. Try getting hold of local pitching/hitting instructors - they will know what teams are looking for kids.
This is one of the great things about kids sports - it teaches life lessons - sometimes things are just not fair.
Hopefully this will motivate him to work harder.
Imagine his joy when the new team beats the team that cut him!
Your focus should be on a High School w/ an exceptional baseball program where your kid will be recognized by college scouts.
I played HS Baseball in the most competitive district in Houston, really large schools. ..same time the Knoblauchs played for their father/coach at Bellaire High School.
My HS coach was a joke, didn't help any player with scholarships.
My experience many years ago was that Little League pretty much ends for the elite players after their 1st year at ‘Majors’, which is a double age-group (12 & 13 yos). The better 13 year old players are already at the next level (Senior League) playing on full-size fields.
If your son is that talented then he should be “thinking up” and looking for the next league. My area had really good Legion Ball teams.
Also, the “Coaches Kids” may begin gravitating toward other sports. Scholastic sports like football, basketball & soccer begin coming to the fore. I know that I began playing football at age 12 and pretty much lost interest in baseball.
If your son has a passion for the game it will be recognized at the next level.
fyi - my experience is that college scouts rarely go to high school games. They go see the elite travel teams.
Yep. Went through it to include coaching. My recommendation is to take your kid out of team sports. The purpose of youth sports right now is to get your kid’s name in the newspaper that nobody reads or to get a scholarship. Look at most of the young men in college on an athletic scholarship. They have year-round training and supervision. They remind me of the young guys that worked in mines at a Company Town.
The coaches are coaching to get hired at the next level. The kids are just tools for them to achieve their goals. There are exceptions like Hurley and Ladaceur, but those are exceptions.
Essentially a travel team is what you are looking for. All stars in outlr small town was like your description 35 years ago. I was selected then dumped because another kid wanted to play and daddy fixed it. I batted 475 and led league with 20 doubles that year.
The next year my two brothers were selected and then another parent wanted his daughter to be the first girl on our towns all star team and the powers that be said fine. This girl’s daddy came to my father and said you need to tell one of your sons they are off the team. My father said that is not happening again. He went and pulled stats, my brother batted .380 and the girl was not even batting .200. He told the powers that be you kick him you will hear from my attorney, you screwed my other son over last year after he legitimately made the team, you are not pilling this BS again. My brother played.
No where near like that anymore, they pull the best players and try to win.
Based on watching how one of our younger relatives was treated by a so called elite travel team, I would not recommend going to one.
The so called elite travel teams still have Daddy management bias, and they can wear out a good player.
A couple of years ago we did limo driving for this young relative when his parents went on a vacation. We were notified that on his first day, a Saturday, he had 3 games. Then 3 more games on Sunday. The team had regular practices on off days and irregular practices on game days.
He went from batting over 350 to about 200 during the summer. His batting average with runners on base was about 500.
His new travel team coach/manager was terrible. He watched his two sons and a nephew, and the rest of the team was ignored or yelled at.
The parents of our younger relative, stopped letting him be in Summer Travel Ball after we discussed our observations.
Tryouts due to parental complaints are now very standard. Each guy gets 4 balls hit to him in left field and in right field. If he is trying to be an infielder he has to field 4 hard hit balls on the ground or as pop ups, and make the throws to first or third as set up.
Batting tryouts were short and brutal. They got 4 balls delivered by a pitching machine. He got 3 good hits and made a long fly out.
After the tryouts, one of the coaches/managers, asked him what positions, he liked to play, and he was drafted.
He made a good team this year, did well and his team got into the semi finals
However, Daddy ball came into play during the second play off game. The head coach’s son never got a hit, made pitching errors and in field errors and was not pulled. The kid took out his frustrations by yelling at his team mates. He struck out for the final out with the bases loaded, and his team lost by one run. Then, he blamed his team members for the lost inspite of his bad play. Our young relative told the brat to grow up and shut up in front of his dad, the coach.
The winning coach/manager saw and heard our young relative’s comments to the loser on his team. Afterwards, on a one to one, he told our relative, if he wanted to go out next spring, he could be on his team.
Call the high school coach. Your kid is one or two years away from being under his jurisdiction, and he sure as heck doesn’t want his best talents being deprived of development opportunities. He will know exactly what alternatives you have, and may also be able to intercede with the summer league if the situation is unfair enough based on the stats.
That said, you describe your son as quick, high in OBP and low in hitting power, which is a concern. Your son might actually spend his summer better in the batting cage and weight room than riding to games with the t-ball buddies. The kind of offensive player he is now gets on base hugely more often in Little League than on a bigger field against better players. He draws walks on weaker pitching. A lot of hits that are just over the glove of a close-in LL 2B or SS become easily fielded on the bigger field. A shorter base path, weaker fielders, and light or no error scoring enables him to convert easy force-outs or base-on-errors into singles.
Thanks for the tips...I definitely wouldn’t say he is low in hitting power...just not a HR bomb hitter. He has hit a few off the fence this year and a few near home runs, so the potential is there. I think it probably is better off he didn’t make the team, but I just wish there was another team to play for this summer just to keep in it. I definitely want to keep him in the cages and he does play fall ball (along with football). Thanks again!
True. He didn’t join the travel team for th eleague. We can’t afford the $800. Plus i thought he would not enjoy it riding the bench.
Yes, my son plays on one. Be prepared, depending on the team it may not be cheap. Plus you have to pay for travel. We try to stay with a couple of hours but we do go as far as Missouri and Georgia.
We know how you feel... In our local Little League, if you are not a son of a coach or a coach's favorite, you doesn't make the All-Star team. And if you are a coach that vocally sticks up for your team against biased officiating, your son will not make All-Stars as well. There is no rhyme or reason to how the All-Star team is selected... If you question how the determinations are made, you will be told "stats". But no one will actually show you the stats because they know that real stats would prove the bias.
My son, batted a .522 this past season, with OBP% of .686, and SLG% of .783. He averaged better than 1 stolen base per game, and his STB% was 100.00. His fielding (CF) was great, and he had no issues in accurately getting the ball to the infield without using a cutoff man. For 3 years in a row he has been passed over, and I am left trying to comfort him from the front seat as we go home... He doesn't understand how someone with a sub-.200 average can make All-Stars when he doesn't. Children know when they are being wronged... They are not stupid. And they don't forget. I just keep telling him that favoritism shown others now will turn into a great disservice to them later, as they were never as good as they thought they were and the truth really hurts.
He gets professional private batting instruction weekly, and has a form that rivals anyone in the MLB. He is young and working to perfect it, but knows that it will be worth it in the end. (He still gets a little "rotational" sometimes on low and away pitches... He knows the answer is to keep his hands up and to rotate the barrel of the bat downward as it comes across the toe-line.) He has a head for fielding and was setting up double plays from the mound at age eight when everyone else was still stuck in "the easy play is at first" mode. He is his own worst critic, so I have to be sure to reinforce his positive actions and let him figure out how to reverse the negatives by asking him questions. I believe he is truly focused on the long-term aspect of playing, so he understands that the real rewards will come later. While it is a true in life that favoritism exists and happens often, it hurts me to see him have to deal with it at this young age involving a game he loves - but he will be a stronger teen and a better adult for knowing the realities of life. Until then, we practice, we play, we seek out opportunities that allow us to improve and we look toward the future.
Start a new team in competition with the coaches’ team.
“Start a new team in competition with the coaches team.”
Best idea yet. Then recruit his best players - I’ll bet some of them would love to leave.
BUT - don’t make the same mistakes he makes:)
A few travel teams recruited my youngest son and he and my wife and I said no thanks. He plays little league and middle school baseball and middle school basketball. He said I want time to rest and not get burned out, we agreed and you are right travel ball is expensive and time consuming.
I don't know what 'elite travel teams' are?
College scouts most definitely come see Houston big 20-6A & 20-5A football, basketball, track & baseball/softball boys and girls.
Play a meritrocratic sport instead? (Like football, lacrosse, or rugby? Sometimes soccer too.)