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Made the team....but maybe not the one you expected?

So you made the HS baseball team…but are maybe feeling like you didn’t make the team you expected to, or hoped for?  It happens much more often than you think. Some things to consider….


*Especially for the younger grad classes, this could be the first year you’re competing against HS kids of many ages. When playing youth competitive ball, even if playing up a year or age group, it’s just not the same as competing against kids possibly several years older and stronger. No matter how good your competitive travel team was at 14u, know that many of the HS kids did the same thing, but a couple years ago and now they are in HS like you, just a couple years ahead of you.

* Every year, after the 12U year, many kids stop playing baseball. And it’s not typically the best players that stop playing.  After the 12u season, 75% of the kids in the country stop playing.  So 13u is much tougher, and 14u is even more difficult.  So when you get to HS where kids range up to 4+ years difference in age, imagine how tough it is.  And consider that only 10% of ALL HS baseball players ever get the chance to play in college.  So when you consider 80-100 HS players at a HS, and only 10% get to play in college….you can see how tough it is.  


* Sr’s can only play varsity baseball….Jr’s can only play varsity or JV….SO’s can only play varsity, JV or SO.  So when a HS coach is putting the teams together, he/she has to consider this.  They can’t always simply put the very best players on the varsity.  They have to consider the entire school program, all levels.  And if they have a very good SO, that might even be good enough to play JV or even varsity, he cannot always move the player up because he cannot replace the SO on the SO team with a Jr…even if that Jr isn’t as good as the SO.


* Most players honestly don’t know how to self-evaluate.  So they have to depend upon getting real, honest feedback.  The problem with that is that most coaches cannot provide that assessment - especially at the youth levels where it’s where most coaches are very inexperienced (i.e. - resume’s).

* Trophy hunters…many parents want their son on the best team.  Those teams recruit the biggest, strongest, fastest kids and then go beat teams and win tournaments. Nothing wrong with that, but often you will find many of those kids don’t develop their game a lot, because when winning most players/coaches don’t focus on improving. But those bigger, stronger, faster kids are not always going to have that advantage and it really comes into play at the HS level.  So all those trophies often do not translate to being a better player and they certainly don’t matter once you get to HS.

* Kids hear how great they are, often because they have very supportive (albeit not necessarily unbiased) parents.  And those players begin to think they are much better than they actually are.  And while confidence is a tremendous asset, misplaced expectations can be devastating.

* Many parents think that if their son hit 20 HR and batted .650 at 14 years old, it should transfer to the HS levels…almost every time, it does not.  And sadly, often the parents are the ones setting the expectations for the student as to which team they “should” make at the HS level.


* Sadly, this comes into play everywhere…even in HS sports.  It very rarely comes into play with the incoming FR student-athletes.  After that though, it comes into play often.  If you don’t sell enough raffle tickets, or fail to donate enough time/money, it can come into play.  If you opt to play for a club program during the summer seasons (or even fall), rather than play for the HS team, it can come into play.  Part of it can truly be accounted for because of familiarity…although tryouts are supposed to be stand-alone.  If a HS coach sees a player play all summer for him/her, they are much more inclined to provide that player other options that might not be given to the player that played club ball.


* Sometimes you simply aren’t as good as you think and you don’t realize how many better players there are ahead of you.  The coach should provide you with that feedback, so at least you know what his/her assessment is, but that rarely happens. I’d recommend you go and ask the coach, in his/her office instead of at the field, what their assessment was of you and the things you need to improve upon to accomplish your goals.  Do not personalize it and do not tell the coach they were wrong.  Just ask what things you need to improve upon.  And know that improving doesn’t mean you will get the spot…because that other player could also be improving.

Look out for the conclusion and what to do now!



Lightning Baseball Academy
851 N Noble Drive  Parker Colorado 80138

Phone: 303-596-4630
Email: [email protected]

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