Watched Another Week December 16

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Hey, Jim. Happy to be back on the show again this week. I appreciate you letting me talk a little bit on the show and sending over the question of the week. One of the questions of the week, or the question of the week, that I got today was, “How do I know if my son’s baseball team or organization is just a money grab?” Yeah, as you know, I’ve been in select baseball for quite some time, almost to college development baseball, and just to give you a little bit of background on it. We did it many years ago [inaudible 00:00:33] my kid being involved, and it wasn’t designed to make money at all.

It was basically to cover costs and to pay the coach for the one team that we had, pay for my time to do that, as things, we started to have a little bit success over years, more and more kids started to come to us. Once you start to do that, you understand that when you’re not getting the top 12 kids in the area, that there’s going to be some development that has to happen in that. The cost to play is development, not necessarily to be on the field. And so I’ve seen a lot of different changes that are happened over the years, and you can kind of read between the lines, and kind of make a decision on this. But, one of the things, the first things I would say about the money grab situation.

It depends on what the age of the person that’s calling me. In our organization, I’ve kind of foregone, and you and I know about this, because you’ve kind of advised me and I’ve kind of [inaudible 00:01:23] it, on the money side of having 11, 12, 13, 14 year old team. There were 14 year old teams we have, but eight, nine, 10, 11 year old teams, so you see a lot of organizations that have that. And I’m not being critical of it, but I think a lot of parents follow that lead and want to be involved in that process, and it’s just simply not my philosophy. I just don’t believe that 10, eight, nine, 10 year old kids should be paying thousands of dollars to play baseball. I just don’t.

I mean, there’s too many things that are going to go, and it has to change between eight and 16, at that point, so baseball, unlike gymnastics, or swimming, or some of the other sports, it’s such a late-developing game, so kids have an opportunity to be multi-sport athletes. It is important that kids get the skill component of it down and be able to do that, but that involves practicing and maybe some specialized training, and stuff like that, but with this whole era of people trying to get scholarships to pay for college, and things of that nature, it’s become more competitive.

When it happens, a lot more people jump into the business cycle of it, because the market says you can do it, so you really got to be careful in screening who you’re looking at. So I would basically go back and look at the history of the organization. The people that are involved in the organization, what their track record is, and ask the tough questions. Ask the tough questions, and do your own legwork on a [inaudible 00:02:51] that’s going to be no money grab, and there should be some benefit from it. That’s really kind of the model that we follow. That is, we believe that the majority of the money that people should pay into these programs should go directly back into your kids.

If you’re paying thousands of dollars to be on a tournament team, and that money’s not going back into your kid, it’s really going into the peoples’ pockets who are actually running the tournaments. I mean, with a program that is actually really invested. And I’m saying invested in the training and development of your player, that’s really one thing. What I mean by that is, how many hours are you getting to train? I say train, I’m not talking about team practice. I’m talking about actual training, where it’s small group stuff, or individualized stuff, or you’re working extremely hard on just individual skill development, or in the small group stuff where you’re working on being more athletic, and more explosive, and powerful, and things like that.

When you, what age should you do that? That’s I would say probably later than earlier. I think you can get some of those same things out of playing football, or lacrosse, or some other sports like that, but here, we really kind of look at 14, 15, 16, [inaudible 00:04:01] foot places, at that point before we really kind of get involved. Because what we don’t want to happen is people spending thousands of dollars to do thins and they come to find out the player doesn’t want to do this. Then, it leaves people with a salty taste in their mouth, because they feel like we haven’t been honest to them at this point, so yes. Play, practice, do as much as you can at an early age, and then start to ask the tough questions of the organizations and programs as you get, as you identify that your kid really wants to do this.

That’s an important thing I also stress. Make sure the kid wants to do it. I know a lot of parents, that they have visions of grandeur of the kids being, batting [inaudible 00:04:41] for the Cardinals, and that’s fine. But, the kid has to want to do that. That kid asked you to come home from work. That kid’s going to tap you on the shoulder, “To get outside and let’s play catch.” Because this is what they want to do. If they don’t want to do it, everything’s a money grab. I can tell you that right now. It’s not the organization’s responsibility to make your kid into a player if he doesn’t want to be a player. It is that kid’s responsibility to want to do that.

So, those are my two cents. I can talk all day on that. It’s probably a little bit longer session than I’m actually used to, but I think it’s an important thing that parents need to hear. Thanks, Jim. Look forward to speaking to you next week, and if I don’t talk to you before Christmas, have a blessed holiday and I’ll talk to you guys soon. Thank you.

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