My two cents…choose the right baseball program for you

With spring ball tryouts going on I’ve heard a lot of discussion and have talked with parents about what they should do for their son’s baseball career.  The feeling I’m getting from most people is that there is a dissatisfaction with their current program but are worried that if they leave they might affect their son’s future playing career (ie high school) or they don’t know what other options are out there.

Myth: This program is a “feeder” program for the high school and if my son doesn’t play in it he won’t get to play in high school.
Truth: I have been saying this for a few years but confirmed recently by a parent when asking the High School coach directly; players are chosen in high school by their talent and not because of certain program affiliation.
Coaches are coaches because they can access and develop talent rapidly.  When you go to a tryout the coach will be able to gage your son’s ability in a matter of a couple hours and stack it against the rest of the people trying out.
What parents/players should be looking for is a program/coach that will do the best at enhancing the player’s abilities on a baseball field.  If your son is a part of a team that travels and is successful but he doesn’t get the playing time or isn’t able to increase his mental or physical abilities then it won’t make a difference when it matters.  This isn’t a plug for Southpaw Baseball but two of the three reasons I started the program was to address above issues: no affiliations and no parent coaching which allows me to have the best of all worlds with the fewest conflicts.
Whatever program you do choose make sure to ask questions and receive appropriate answers before signing up.  The biggest question for me would be, “Who would be my child’s coach and how much experience do they have?”.  Sometimes coaches aren’t available or assigned until right before the season and then you are committed to that coach/program when in the end it wasn’t the right fit.  When you get a coach, stay and watch a practice or two and then ask yourself, “Do all the kids seem to be involved?”, “Is he learning skills advanced from his current abilities?”, “What is the coaches demeanor or attitude with the boys and can my child work with him/her successfully?”  Finally, talk to the coach and ask them what their “philosophy” is.  How are they going to help your child become more successful as a ball player and eventually be ready to play high school baseball?
I believe there is an athlete in every kid and the great thing about baseball is that there is a position on the field for every type of physical ability; it just takes a good coach to bring out their baseball ability.
This spring Southpaw will host tournament teams from ages 9-14.  All coaches will not be parents but experienced players/coaches with great attitudes and love for the game.  You will find that our program costs are cheaper, not only because of tournament/league totals but because we allow for fundraising/donations/sponsorships to the individual.  Finally, as shown last year, with hard work and dedication the Southpaw teams can be very successful and have a lot of fun.
Any comments or questions feel free to write me back or give me a call.  I have non biased opinions (seriously) and will help you make a decision based on my program or any other that is best for your player.  Feel free to pass this email along to others that might be struggling to make a decision as well.
Regards
Mike
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