Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Be Real

Is marketing your kid going to give you the desired outcome of a scholarship…My answer is…there is no magic formula. But, if you want to know what the outcome will be…then just be realistic. For a lot of parents that is a very hard thing to do. Personally, I think that showcases and College development programs for an underclassman can only provide a great benchmark for the development of a good, but physically growing player….nothing more. Too many variables to consider to be more than that.

Unfortunately, some parents jump ahead of themselves, panic and push their kids “marketing” way too hard get just because they disagreed with the assessment of their son’s performance and the lack of attention he received from college coaches after the summer showcase circuit was completed.

If there is one tidbit of advice that we would like to share with everyone that has experienced similar feelings, that advice comes from a quote by Norman Vincent Peale: “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”

In other words, listen to what the coaches, instructors and showcase scouts say. Parents…I’ll say this again…at that age it’s just a benchmark…something to build on…Be realistic and react accordingly to the assessments that the evaluators share with you and your son.

There’s no need to be defensive or mad if the evaluation differs from your own assessment of your son. …just be grateful that you know and understand where your child stands in the grand scheme of the baseball world order.

Many of the top Showcase and Player evaluation organizations know exactly what colleges and pro scouts want. (It’s becoming harder and harder to delineate the good from the bad these days) They are going to be honest… brutally honest in some cases. The bottom line…Your son isn’t a part of those 5 year old recreational soccer teams that gives out a trophy to everyone in the league anymore. He’s in the real world now, on his way to being a man.

If your son received a poor report card at school, do you criticize the school, or would you have a plan in place for your son to develop better study habits and seek out tutoring if necessary? Of course, most of us would enforce the latter because school grades are with him for the rest of his life and will dictate his future. Likewise, if your son received a less than stellar player evaluation, you should also develop a plan that will help him improve those weaknesses.

Showcases should be an ongoing process for developing players. If it’s one thing a recruiter or scout loves to see, is that player that falls into the category of most improved. It’s those players that have the attitude, desire and heart that teams fight over. Players that defy their “perceived” abilities have gone on to become fan and clubhouse favorites. Look at David Eckstein or Dustin Pedroia. In fact, pick up the book Have Heart, by David Eckstein and you will understand what we are trying to convey here.

For some players, it works out and for others it doesn’t, but at least for those who may not make it, they (and their parents) should hold their head up high and be proud that they at least tried their best against the best.

For those that have son’s with the “it factor” already, don’t get too caught up in the accolades…there will be others that will eventually catch up to him… he needs to just listen and learn from those invaluable experiences. He needs to continue to work even harder…and if it is his big dream to play baseball at the next level, then help him understand that like school, baseball has homework too and that by hard work and determination their dreams could be a realistic outcome.

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