Thursday, March 25, 2010

Should Kids Concentrate on One Sport? Advice from a MLB Player

Should your son or daughter concentrate on one sport?

My son's baseball U12 team will play 75 games from March to July. We played 55 last year and I thought that was crazy. The team, however, does not play year round like some elite travel teams. I think that this is very important. Young arms need a rest. And training in other sports builds other muscles and builds stamina that will only help the young baseball player.

Read this letter from an over zealous parent. Her son made our team accepted the offer then they reneged because our team was not serious enough. For perspective, our team came in second in the CABA World Series the year before.

Coach P

I am sorry but I am very disappointed, this is supposed to be a National level AABC and we are only going to have 2 practices in february – even my 7 yr old has been practicing 2-3 times a week since dec. 1st and now we are stepping up to 3-4 starting Feb 1st.

No batting practice, no pitchers and catchers workouts. I have been part of travel teams for 10 years at various levels. We are supposed to be one of the best teams based solely on the talent accumulated but I do not see how these boys are expected to go out and play 55 games at this high level of competition without proper preparation.

If what you wrote below is the final word on your plan – I am so sorry but we are going to need to move on – I turned down several teams just to be with you because of what I heard was a fantastic opportunity and organization for my son – but first impressions mean everything – and unfortunately your first impression is not up to the standard we are looking for.


From Morgan Ensberg's Baseball IQ Blog - Morgan Ensberg, former MLB player,  has some good advice for baseball parents in his blog. He concludes with this:

What is cool is that the parents of these kids really love their children.  They want their kids to have every opportunity to succeed.  But I am afraid that they are setting them up to fail.  Maybe their children will be better at baseball at an earlier age, but they won’t get a much needed mental break that comes at the end of a traditional season.  Nor will they get the benefits that other sports bring.  Playing more than one sport at an early age is vital to understanding team environments, comprehending the need for hard work in areas you may not be good at, and finally learning game theory.

Your child does not need to be scouted by a bureau.  Your child does not need to go to a showcase.  Your child needs to know that you love them and that being great is about desire and never giving up.

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