Monday, November 23, 2009

Banking On Your Sons Future

Let's say you are in the market for a home. The present state of the real estate industry aside, do you buy a home just for the lowest price or do you research everything about a neighborhood before buying a new home, such as residents, nearby schools, environmental statistics and information about recently sold properties in your neighborhood? If you want a return on your investment, you will do your homework and research...because you will reap the benefits if you follow the age old mantra of real estate 101 and buy for location, location, location.

Finding a College Development Program for your athlete follows the same principals. It's all about where you locate your son in front of the right scouts that can see him play. If your son has the right tools and may project to play at the next level, then how will he be seen? Does your sons present team adequately do that? If not, then maybe it is time to sit down with the present coaches and see what their plans are.

About 90% of all signed, college bound senior players in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and California played on college development programs or some higher level travel team. The numbers are proof that the travel teams produce results and a BIG return for your athlete. The good teams that is. As we recap our 2009 NLI's, we have found out that their are about a dozen teams that help place nearly 100% of their rosters. Those teams have managers that have influential contacts and know all or most of the key recruiters in all NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA schools in all divisions. Others may have the same influence with recruiters but will place only 25-50% of their players due to lack of recruitable players but even that's still good. At least they are trying.

The teams to stay away from, if there is any cost involved, are the teams that have little or no track record of success. If you are unsure of the integrity of a travel team, ask for references. Most good organizations like the teams we highlighted in our Top 5 will provide you with dozens of references from past players and parents, to college and pro scout references. If a College Development Program that is recruiting your son can't provide that, then it may not provide you the "return" you are looking for.

And a lot of the emphasis on College Development Programs depends on where you live. In the big baseball states of the West, South and Mid South CDP's are imperative if your son wants to play D-I in many instances. But in the north and rural states, a player may be OK playing for his Legion or Connie Mack club if that is the traditional resource for talent by the local colleges.

And that brings up the next point...the most important point...Where do the college recruiters in your area look to seek out talent? When sending out college letters, have your son ask them where they think he should play and where they go to find players. That will determine where he should play...But remember, most teams that play in competitive leagues will want your son to play baseball at the highest level, so that they can get a realistic look at his talents and the physical and mental reactions he projects against that level of competition.

Because the realities are...those same recruiters and coaches need to get a return on their investment as well. Especially in todays competitive, TV contract version of Collegiate baseball. So, the more confident they are that the player they recruited can transition to the next level, the better chance that player has. And, the best places a recruiter can be to ensure that a recruit can handle the rigors of college competition, is where the competition is at its best...and it won't be at the local Babe Ruth or Legion leagues in many cases...unless that is the preferred resource for that college or will be at the big national or regional showcases and tournaments...but ask college coaches definitely don't want to pay more than you have to. And, in these tough financial times, paying more than you need to is a big deal.


Anonymous said...

Parents searching for the best travel team should be very careful about relying on statistics regarding the number of kids a program has "placed." It is very common for kids to play for multiple travel teams during their HS years. What's going to happen when a kid signs an NLI? You guessed it, all of the teams he played for are going to list him on their website as a former player who went on to bigger and better things.

I is also common for travel teams to recruit kids who have ALREADY commited to colleges. And guess what, they are going to list those kids among their success stories even though they had nothing to do with their commitments.

When it became obvious that my son was a college prospect he started getting phone calls from all of the top travel teams in the area. The calls continued after he commited to a D1 school. When he tentatively agreed to play for one of them they immediately listed him on their college commitment list on their website.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with the above comment. We have players in our program that participated on a couple local showcase events and they are posted as on their sites as one of their team members event though they were there for two days. I received a mass email from the group saying how they helped these players move along. I just chuckled. Both guys had played with us for four years of HS. Another program lists some of our players who played with the other program when they were 11, 12 or 13 and list them as guys that moved on to college. I believe programs need to be careful of how they state the success of their players. We have been fortunate to have almost all our players since their freshman/sophomore. This is something we are proud of. We have had players that have traveled with us to Jupiter but will not list them on our site as one of our guys. We do not feel it would be just. There should almost be a requirement to list a player.

Rounding Third Staff said...

Thanks SGV.
We recommend that a player stick with a good, solid program from the age of 13 and up. Some CDP's specialize in thw 13-15 yr. old age group...and that's fine. If that is the best program that will help a player develop into a good high school prospect, then go with that. Others like SGV Arsenal, specialize in the sophomore and up age group and develop the player even further and expose him by entering the right showcase tourney's.

Listen, recruiters are smart. They know which clubs to follow. They know which clubs will have the best prospects. It's always the usual suspects. Norcal, SGV, ABD, San Diego Show, South Florida Elite program, East Cobb program, Mac And Seitz, Richmond Braves, DBAT, Orlando Scorpions, Jack Custs program, All American prospects, EDH Vipers and so on.

I can't reiterate enough that parents need to be careful when choosing a program. It's more than just getting a group of studs together. It's about having a developmental plan and developing relationships with recruiters that gives a CDP its value.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! We do start at the freshman level. It is the greatest feeling to have a player as a freshman and see him develop in to a D1 player. When I first saw Dylan Covey as a freshman I told his dad he would be a full scholarship guy and draft pick. He thought I was crazy. He was 87-91 as a freshman so it was easy to see. He worked so hard to get where he is today. Not all players will be D1 or draftable guys. We try to direct players to the level that would fit them best. We tell players/parents to consider the program a support system for them. Programs should provide guidance and direction to all of their players. Money spent will not mean success either. Yes, you have to spend money to cover travel costs, camps and showcases but do it within reason. I have seen parents spend so much money chasing the dream but the reality of it the player was not at that level. Exposure helps but the reality is either you have it or you don't.

We try to help the parent balance the cost of everything. Programs do not have to be expensive either. I have head of teams charging players $200 to $250 month plus other expenses. I even heard of a 9U team charging that to get "professional" coaching. I am in the wronf business. Our entire staff volunteers all of their time.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add we tell players find a program and stick with it. Don't jump from team to team. Be loyal and you will be rewarded.