Since establishing MD&I Baseball Academy in 2011, I have worked young players from 7 years old to players who are playing in college. I’ve also been hired to coach several travel baseball organizations. During indoor training sessions in the winter, I get to see lots of players, but what is alarming is the growing trend of select teams from age 7 – 9 year olds. Some of the players that I witness practicing with these organizations…I can’t see myself calling these teams SELECT caliber.
During the age of 7 – 9 year olds, kids should be having FUN, learning about themselves…the coordination it takes to throw a baseball or softball, to swing a bat, to field, catch and throw using proper techniques. These young innocent kids don’t really KNOW the game! So what’s the hurry for these young players to play select baseball? You can’t tell me that you got that much talent, to form a select baseball team from age 7 – 9. I have witnessed teams that have players that are STILL afraid of the ball…when the ball is thrown to them, they are stepping to the side to try to catch the ball. Majority of these teams should still be playing recreation baseball.
The abandonment of recreation leagues hurts young players, and it hurts the league. What recreation leagues are trying to do to compensate for those losses… they are establishing their own select organizations. That is not the answer for SOME organizations.
Some of the reasons for the lack of quality talent…kids don’t go outside and play enough pickup games: wiffle ball, one-on-one with a ghost man, choose up teams and play at the park…games that you played as a kid. So what happens PARENTS, either you have to develop your son/daughter at home, or spend money for private lessons. Also young kids these days aren’t mentally tough…they CAN’T handle FAILURE!
My last reason, when you make that decision for them to play select baseball…it’s a business decision now! Your little boy has to now put in the work to get better…are they really ready for that? Kids grow at different stages in life mentally and physically. From my experience with my son, typically a good age to choose select would be at age 10 or 11, but 14 is too late!
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