Last week, I went over 3 key things to remember when transitioning to a new team or trying out for multiple prospective teams for the upcoming season. Click here to read last week’s post. Here are 3 more things to consider to supplement the 3 points that were talked about last week.
1) “Wherever you go, you are taking yourself.”
-Many families try to run away from a team situation, unaware (or unwilling to admit) that THEY are the main culprits to their unhappy situation. Many feel they aren’t getting the playing time they deserve, that the coach is an imbecile, or that they don’t play enough tournaments. All of those complaints could (and many times are) just a figment of their own imagination and perspective. Be sure that before you leave one team to join another, that all complaints are first weighed with a logical and as unbiased opinion as possible.
2.) Dad Coaches vs. Paid Coaches
-Nowadays, travel teams are exploring the option of paid coaches to run organizations as opposed to the traditional dad coaches who volunteer. There are pros and cons to each option.
Pro- the most notable and most important pro that some parents will acknowledge about having a dad coach the team is that it tends to be significantly cheaper since they traditionally volunteer their coaching time. (Unless a team decides to use the money saved towards playing in more tournaments)
Con- There is always the chance of a dad coach practicing nepotism or what we all know as “daddy ball”
Pro-A great pro to having a paid coach is that they have usually played the game at a high level and are usually younger, so they tend to relate a little more to players. They can share personal stories of their time playing college or professional ball. Most importantly, they more than likely will not have a child on the team, which leaves room for a more fair competition amongst those fighting for playing time, etc.
Con-The most obvious con is the fact that playing for a paid coach will require a higher cost, but for many families who go this route, it’s well worth it. The instruction the players will receive coupled with the relief from the dreaded “daddy ball” life is enough for most parents to pay the extra cost.
(Editor’s Note: Overall this is true, but you really have to take it on a case by case basis.)
3.) Playing more games isn’t always better.
-It’s a myth that simply playing more games will make players better. Although it does contribute to more in-game experience (which never hurts), becoming a better player requires much more than simply standing on a baseball diamond for more innings than the next guy. Training and quality instruction, at all ages, is just as important (and sometimes more important) than just playing a ton of games. Of course game time allows for players to display what they’ve developed in training or practice, but many families make the mistake of choosing a team because they play more games, neglecting how much quality practice and instruction the team will get.
Check back next week for more essential tryout tips from guest blogger, Michael McCree. His book GameChanger: The Baseball Parent’s Ultimate Guide, can be found on Amazon.com.
Michael McCree, a former collegiate baseball player, has coached hundreds of youth baseball players through private and team training and continues to have a widespread impact on players and parents alike. He currently coaches in Atlanta, Georgia and other surrounding areas. With a Master’s of Science degree in Sports Administration, his main focus in athletics is geared toward the development and achievement of youth athletes. His work is attributed to his strong belief that youth athletic involvement is an essential tool in the refinement of character.