11U – 14U Travel Baseball in Des Plaines, IL

Youth Travel Baseball Team Comparison

Community Organizations

House league

    • Typically non-competitive for better players
    • Coaching is usually by Dads, many with little or no baseball or coaching knowledge
    • Runs gamut from inconsistent playing time to overuse at given positions
    • As batters, often see mediocre to poor pitching; no challenge to improve hitting
    • Little pre-game prep/warm-up exposing player to injury
    • Often no instruction or wrong instruction on:
      Situational Baseball
      Baserunning
      Biomechanics
      Fundamentals
    • Recreational benefit of playing with friends and school classmates

 

Community Travel

  • More competitive, but can still marginal for better players
  • How big a role does “politics” play in selection and playing time
  • Some organizations have a strong tradition of travel teams
  • Most have minimum “community player” requirements
  • What opportunities will continue to exist as you progress in system?
  • Some speak of “chemistry” developed by playing together
    • NTHS
    • 2009 champs: just over 50% of starters played community teams
    • 2010: just over 40% of starters played community teams
    • 2011: only 1 in 3 starters played community teams
    • GBS averages over 50% of team playing full-time travel pre-HS
    • NDHS averages over 50% of team playing full-time travel pre-HS
    • Loyola averages over 50% of team playing full-time travel pre-HS

Coaching may be by:

Dads

  • A mix from knowledgeable, somewhat skilled coaches to not.

High school or college-age kids

  • may or may not have played baseball
  • no training in coaching skills
  • little to no technical skills
  • availability restrictions of playing (HS) or away at school (college)

Academy instructors

  • Perhaps more knowledgeable in baseball
  • Primary focus: team or Academy business?
  • As a paid coach may be too aware of need for team to “win at all costs” to preserve tenure.
  • “Position pigeon-holing” becomes pervasive
    • Limits understanding of responsibilities of various positions
    • Today’s shortstop may be tomorrow’s catcher (Greg Maddux was drafted as an outfielder! Buster Posey was converted to catcher as a senior in college!)
    • Risk of arm injury rises exponentially from overuse as a “pigeon-holed” pitcher.
  • Some speak of “chemistry” developed by playing together
    • NTHS
    • 2009 champs: just over 50% of starters played community teams
    • 2010: just over 40% of starters played community teams
    • 2011: only 1 in 3 starters played community teams
    • GBS averages over 50% of team playing full-time travel pre-HS
    • NDHS averages over 50% of team playing full-time travel pre-HS
    • Loyola averages over 50% of team playing full-time travel pre-HS

Full time “sort of” travel teams

Ticked-off Dads

  • Don’t like the players selected or the coaching available
  • These teams form, pull some good players
  • No real teaching, just athletic players
  • Focus is on winning – a recreational concept
  • “My son’s a stud”
    • I want him on a “good” team, so I’ll form my own.
    • Probably 2 or 3 other Dads from area think same way and form a team

“Supplemental Income” Team

  • I know some baseball
  • I can put a tourney team together and make some side cash.

Full time travel programs

Academy Teams

    • Mixed loyalties
    • Natural conflict for coaches of players being “paying students” versus not.
    • Focus MUST solely be on team record to continue bringing in paying students
    • Need to win versus desire to develop your player
    • Potential for oversized influence of “lessons-paying” parents
    • Potential for player abuse to “get the win”
    • Position “pigeon-holing” is probable
    • Academy must have focus on growing future business
    • Paid coaches have natural conflict of time spent with team versus additional lessons revenue

“Rental Program” organizations

    • Provide “packages” for “sort of” teams
    • Facilitates formation for Dads starting their own travel team
    • Typically look for a player or 2 or 3 to “round out” the roster
    • Program performance varies year-to-year; level-to-level depending on who put a decent team together

Top Flight Programs

  • Continuity of organization, administration and coaches
  • Excellent teaching program
  • Structured learning environment
  • Primary focus is on developing players for their future

Leave a Reply

Calendar

October 25, 2017
  • Pitcher/Catcher Workouts
    Starts: 6:00 pm
    Ends: October 25, 2017 - 8:00 pm

Address and Directions

Renegades Home Field
Maryville - 1150 North River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016
Strike Zone Baseball Academy
2025 Johns Dr, Glenview, IL