I had a great discussion today with another coach and we talked about travel ball and travel sports based on pay for play and how it has changed the landscape of sports. Playing with the best use to mean you had to be one of the best in the area in which you play. Now are the days where you can pay to play on any team for any sport for pay. I remember a time when you traveled because you won a your league, area, section, regional and then went on to pay nationally against other states. I do understand that you must be asked to pay for certain teams which is ok, but then the question goes onto what kinds character traits are being built upon such as work ethic, courage, discipline, sportsmanships and what are travel coaches teaching?, where does teamwork come into play and developing skills that take time. From my discussion on playing ability and being told that in order to go to the next level the kids must just play one sport and there is no off season. It seems that things are run slightly backwards now days with a full industry built around teaching kids how get to the next level by playing in showcases and going to try-outs that mean nothing. If you go to a try out it’s because you are wanting to make a team professional or college and their is a direct result from a try-out or a mini camp and that means you make a team not get on a list of a couple hundred players. Every time a kid steps onto the field it’s a showcase of a players ability at that very moment and only time and work ethic will tell weather a player is for real or just passing through the game and learning about life and characteristics that you can only earn by giving your best effort on and off the field or court.
One thing to look for in a baseball player is how much time is he putting into developing his skills and does he enjoy the work that needs to be done in order to maximize athletic ability, God given gifts. Can a player take positive criticism and use it to become better. Does the player need to watched constantly to get in any quality work. Great players become great by getting in lots of repetitions usually by themselves or supervised by someone completely dedicated to helping that young man into a professional baseball player. I say professional baseball player because it will take a tremendous amount of swings off the tee and tons and tons of fly balls and ground balls to master the skill set of a baseball player and if you lucky to have great coaches in the area that can guide them in becoming students of the game. Learning and knowing how to play the game helps you become one of the best. This short blog post is just the tip of the iceberg in sharing some details into what it takes to become a quality baseball player. Developing yourself means you take on full responsibility for your career as a player THAT hard work over a long period of time builds in CONFIDENCE. If you work hard enough and long enough there will be a coach out there that knows you can help his program win.