Sponsorship
Opportunities

Sponsored Links
NEXTLVL SPORTS INSTITUTE
SmarTense Training
Service Baseball
Hopewell Baseball
Perfect Game
Gwinnett County Baseball
Cherokee Batting Range
East Cobb Twins
Dingers Athletics
Titans Sports Academy
Barrett Baseball
Georgia Stars
Scorpions
The Sandlots
Georgia Octane
The Club
Quick Links
Cooperstown
Tournaments
Georgia Travel Baseball - NWBA Links
To Indexes

Cooperstown
Tournaments
Join NWBA Team Insurance
Georgia Travel Baseball - NWBA
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 NWBA Forums
 General Discussion
 Does young elite talent carry into later years
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Fairball

3 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2014 :  12:32:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone, long time reader, first time poster here.
I want to know from some more experienced parents if having an elite athlete at a young age means they will remain that way.

My son is almost nine. He surprised me as an elite athlete from the age of four.
First year t-ball he went from left to center to right field...into the infield. I was told then he would be an all star the following year, which I shrugged off as butt kissing.
Second year t-ball, all stars
First year pee-wee- thought he would come down to earth against kid pitch and older kids...all-star again.
Was told to put him in travel ball, did that where he has excelled in spring and fall.
He seems to be a natural at anything he tries, and was one of the five best football players on the team from the first time he stepped on the field...with returning players.

My question is, since he is playing sports at an elite level at such a young age, will this carry over and continue his entire playing career? Are the stud 7-9 year old players (not just baseball) be the same ones that excel when they are 15-17?

Trying to plot his course since I was never fortunate to play sports at his age.

What a fun ride it has been so far...

bballman

1423 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2014 :  13:55:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Short answer - It's possible, but you never know. I have seen stud players struggle as they get older. I have seen horrible players flourish as they get older and I have seen horrible players stay horrible and studs stay studs. You just don't know.

My son always did well from the time he started playing baseball at the age of 7. He is a junior in college now still playing baseball. My advice. Two things. One is stay humble. Don't let any of the accolades or great performances get to your head or your son's head. You never know what might happen in the future whether it be injury, lack of interest, other kids getting better and catching up to your son's talent or what ever. Enjoy the time you have and don't walk around thinking he is the next coming of Bryce Harper. Second is continue to develop a strong work ethic in your son. I think my son could use a better work ethic. He does work hard and always wants to improve, but I still don't think he goes that extra mile. Why? I think it's because he could always rely on his talent to be the best. He was always the number one pitcher on any team he was on and didn't think he had to work extra hard to get there. I think it has hurt him in the long run, especially in college since everyone there is the stud prior to getting there.

Hope this makes sense.
Go to Top of Page

baseball_fan

72 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2014 :  14:10:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
dont take anything for granted...if they continue to love the game they will continue to be elite but as they become teenagers anything can change their focus.. Mine was like you stated been good ever since he was 4, he is 14 now and he still loves the game but I just hope it lasts as he starts high school ball next year we shall see.. The big field changes the game a lot and weeds out a lot of kids as does other sports. Dont push them to hard at the younger ages let them enjoy it and main thing let them be a kid also.
Go to Top of Page

turntwo

924 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2014 :  15:02:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bballman

Short answer - It's possible, but you never know. I have seen stud players struggle as they get older. I have seen horrible players flourish as they get older and I have seen horrible players stay horrible and studs stay studs. You just don't know.

My son always did well from the time he started playing baseball at the age of 7. He is a junior in college now still playing baseball. My advice. Two things. One is stay humble. Don't let any of the accolades or great performances get to your head or your son's head. You never know what might happen in the future whether it be injury, lack of interest, other kids getting better and catching up to your son's talent or what ever. Enjoy the time you have and don't walk around thinking he is the next coming of Bryce Harper. Second is continue to develop a strong work ethic in your son. I think my son could use a better work ethic. He does work hard and always wants to improve, but I still don't think he goes that extra mile. Why? I think it's because he could always rely on his talent to be the best. He was always the number one pitcher on any team he was on and didn't think he had to work extra hard to get there. I think it has hurt him in the long run, especially in college since everyone there is the stud prior to getting there.

Hope this makes sense.



Well said. Keep your son grounded, and remind him to thank God every day for his 'gifts' that are his talents. God giveth and God can taketh away. Also, gotta work hard. Just because he's more talented or excels quicker now, doesn't mean there aren't kids out there working 10x's harder to get as good (or better) than your son.

And remember, for every 1 Bryce Harper, there's 100,000 John Smith's that were "elite" out of Anytown's rec ball parks, that were nothing but ordinary come 15 yrs old and the 'elite of the elite' are playing on one team in a PG tourney.
Go to Top of Page

CaCO3Girl

1937 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2014 :  16:28:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One word.."Puberty".

That really is where the divide comes between the men and the boys and even the elite and the wanna-be's. Every year there are hundreds of kids who sadly have their baseball dreams crushed because they aren't the height they need to be, or they haven't developed the muscle tone needed to keep up with the speed of the game.

My son is on a 12u team, he is 5'5, the other position player is 4'7. My son is 130#, the other player is 85#. Both on the same elite team, both worlds apart in who can move faster, throw harder, hit harder...etc.

How you play at 9 is a good judge at 9. It seems that from age 11-15 it is a toss up on what kind of baseball team can actually be fielded.

By the way, if your kid is the best on the team, he's always the best on any team...it's time to change parks. If there is no one better there is no competition for him to BE better than he is. My son became stagnant at age 11 because as he put it "If I am playing with a bunch of 5 out of 10's and I'm showing him 8/10 stuff then coach is happy." The logic of an 11 year old!

But seriously, my kid was starting to think he was untouchable by age 11 so we had to move teams and parks so it wasn't clear who the best fielder/hitter/pitcher/catcher/MIF/OF was on the team. And I had to explain to my 11 year old that this new coach didn't know him and he would have to earn his playing time not just be given it automatically. It was a tough lesson to learn, but thankfully we caught it before high school.
Go to Top of Page

LittleDawg

91 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2014 :  17:31:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
@Fairball - Yes / No.

First off, labeling a 9 yr old Elite would hold weight if everyone he was playing against was also Elite. Are there really athletic kids out there that excel sooner rather than later, Yes. Can they stay at that level for years, absolutely. With hard work and a love of the game.

That said, CaCo3Gil and TurnTwo nailed it. Once hormones kick in, it's a total crap shoot. I've seen kids at ages 9-12 yr olds who can barely hit or throw become absolute studs at 15 and 16. I've also seen the opposite where kids are the best of the best at the lower ages and completely plateau. It's also more than physical. The Elite players at the younger ages can also burn out sooner because they are being pushed all year round. Than puberty hits and oh lord....Attitudes, Girls, wanting to drive, earn money etc and lets not forget Academics.
There are a lot of outside influences on teens and even the best of the best, sometimes just want to be a kid.
Go to Top of Page

Buckner

44 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2014 :  09:15:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think LittleDawg, CaCO3Girl and others have covered it pretty good. But I'll throw one more thing in there. Don't overlook speed. It becomes more and more important in almost every aspect of the game when they get to 60-90. A lot of the big "studs" we've seen for many years are now P.O.s or not playing anymore at the higher levels. The kids with speed and athleticism that keep working hard are getting consistently better every year. At the high levels at higher age groups, there are very few spots filled by kids with no speed.

Some of these little kids that don't quite have the entire game down at age 9, but they hustle and have speed and athleticism, watch out for them when they get to 15. Sometimes it all just clicks one year. To me they are the ones that can get somewhere because they've worked hard to earn it.
Go to Top of Page

bballguy

224 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2014 :  10:18:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
He's 9. It matters zero. Nothing matters until all of the kids have hair downstairs. That's the gamechanger!!!!
Go to Top of Page

BREAMKING

319 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2014 :  11:54:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think most keep the athletic ability. The one thing that I have seen some lose are speed and the arm just not developing like you would think or hope. After puberty you will see kids that you never thought were that good get better and better. Those guys impress me personally. Since they were usually the 85lb. 12u kid. One thing about the athletic kids is some of them will choose other sports. When you get to high school there is hardly nobody watching a baseball game. But students show up for football and basketball. Baseball loses some good players during high school age for sure.
Go to Top of Page

21BS21

28 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2014 :  12:07:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My daughter starting playing softball at 8, was the last pick to make the all-star team and was obviously the smallest and the least talented girl on the team. By 12 she had caught up to everyone size wise and, IMO, was as good as most of them. At 16, she was a dominating pitcher and hitter against the best competition. She is now a senior playing softball at a D1 school. She was the only girl from that 8U team to go onto college and play softball (That team finished 4th in the nation that year with USSSA. Most all of the other girls were ďelitesĒ).
Another girl on her 12U travel ball team was chosen because she was fast and no other reason. She was terrible but is now one of the best hitters in the SoCon. Her and my daughter are the only girls to go on to play college ball from that team and that team was a very good team (Finished 3rd in USSSA with 8 of those girls I would have considered ďelitesĒ at the time).
My son is a little different. He has been a head taller than everybody on the field since he was 4. He has, with a few exceptions, been the strongest physically on every team he has played. He played on all-star teams at 6u and 7u, ďeliteĒ travel teams at 8u and 13u-16u and really good teams at 9-12. He has consistently been one of the better players in his age group so I have been able to watch elite players come and go. For the boys,less than 50% of the elite players at 8-9 are still considered elites or majors at 16 with the boys Iíve been able to watch.
I said all that to say that I agree with the prior posts. Enjoy it while he is the best on the field. Get him to a place where he is not the best on the field so he can challenge himself to become better. Most of all have fun. If I could do it over again, I would focus more on the positives instead of the negatives that I always seemed to bring up. Now, I try to let my daughter or son lead the conversation in what they want to talk about after a game. I think the best advice is from Turntwo, thank God for your kidís talent and for the time you get to spend with him as he grows into a young man.
Go to Top of Page

HITANDRUN

436 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2014 :  14:09:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From what I have seen a good arm early on usually translate to a good arm later unless it gets injured. Speed comes and goes.
Go to Top of Page

Critical Mass

266 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2014 :  10:41:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I will say not necessarily in baseball. My kid was the only one at 4 who could hit a pitched ball in tee ball, the only one who could throw it from any infield position to 1st and also the only one who could catch a thrown ball at that age on his team. He will play major D1 baseball next year as a pitcher. There were MANY struggles along the way and he ended up having a passion for pitching and a drive to be drafted. We'll see how that works out. Support your kid, try NOT to pressure him too much and always ask if he is still having fun, after all, its about that until you're getting paid to do it, ie college scholarship or pros.
Go to Top of Page

Fairball

3 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2018 :  16:27:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone, itís been four years since I posted this. My son is now playing 13u and not a lot has changed from what I can tell. Iíve seen the same travel kids over and over for 5 years now. The ones that were elite at 8-9 for the most part still are. Just noticed my sons voice getting deeper in the last couple of weeks, thinking that puberty is near.
My son excels most at pitching and does what he wants with the ball most of the time. . I know many of mentioned puberty being the GameChanger but I thought it was worth noting that there is almost no difference from what I see between 8/9-12/13. I still see most every kid on my sons t-ball all-star team from way back. They still seem to be the best ones out there!
Go to Top of Page

CaCO3Girl

1937 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2018 :  07:14:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fairball

Hi everyone, itís been four years since I posted this. My son is now playing 13u and not a lot has changed from what I can tell. Iíve seen the same travel kids over and over for 5 years now. The ones that were elite at 8-9 for the most part still are. Just noticed my sons voice getting deeper in the last couple of weeks, thinking that puberty is near.
My son excels most at pitching and does what he wants with the ball most of the time. . I know many of mentioned puberty being the GameChanger but I thought it was worth noting that there is almost no difference from what I see between 8/9-12/13. I still see most every kid on my sons t-ball all-star team from way back. They still seem to be the best ones out there!



I also saw no difference in 9u vs. 13u...the same kids ruled. 14u was the start, getting on the big field, having several kids be the same age but one looks 12 and the other looks 16...that was a huge turning point. 15u things became more clear, and 16u very few of the amazing kids were still amazing.

That kid with the rocket arm from the outfield...lots of kids throw like him now.

That kid that was so fast he amazed you...he's not as fast, and several others are now faster.

That kid that could jack the ball over the fence...he hits pop ups to the outfield now and is a guaranteed out always every time...he is in the bottom of the line up now and will soon be out of it.

That kid who showed such amazing promise that his parents had him in lesson after lesson..he has either quit the sport or he is hobbled by injury from being stressed so much when he was younger.

The best advice I ever received was to not let my son lift weights until he was shaving once a week. He's a junior now in high school. His peers are riddled with back fractures, elbow injuries that never healed right, knees they have to ice daily, strains, hip fractures....and on and on. Can I say without a doubt that he hasn't been afflicted with these things because he didn't lift until he was shaving? No, I can't say it absolutely....but there sure are a lot of kids who didn't lift that are healthy, and a lot who did lift that are now showing severe injuries.

Having said that there is a trade off...he isn't where he needs to be in his pitching speed. However, our hope is that now that his bog boy muscles are really in he will be able to make up the time. It might work, it might not. But I do have a healthy son, and an above average pitcher....just not a great pitcher. But I'd personally prefer a healthy son.
Go to Top of Page

RUSemiPro

71 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2018 :  07:38:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
@Fair -- That is because, size and strength is only one component. You have drive, desire, work ethic, training, skill etc.. Keep in mind that 13 is not the end all (it is for some) but I think it is the midway point. If your player is talented they should play through 18, if they are good through college and great possibly beyond.

Lets say for a talented player they play 5/6 - 18 years old, that makes 12/13U the midpoint for most here on the board.

My son is 13u this season and still has not come anywhere close to hitting puberty, but a strong work ethic, and his drive is keeping him in the game.

I think 13/14 is where the players that are not serious start to drop out, which will make the talent stronger going forward.

13's exciting for me, as now that most of the dads are out of the picture (at least our team - no dads), now how does everything shake out, I've already heard of one kid who's only had his dad coach, play fall for the first time without dad coaching and has hung it up. And for other kids with Positions, Batting Order and PT now earned instead of given, how many more fall off to other sports such as lacrosse and soccer. Don't forget now at 13U pitchers are getting better, throwing harder and mixing in multiple pitches, fielders are better, so hitting will be harder not easier. I'll argue that puberty is not the equalizer, the big field is the equalizer.

But as far as you, yes it appears the same kids we've seen are good, very little changes other than they shuffle to different teams.

quote:
Originally posted by Fairball

Hi everyone, itís been four years since I posted this. My son is now playing 13u and not a lot has changed from what I can tell. Iíve seen the same travel kids over and over for 5 years now. The ones that were elite at 8-9 for the most part still are. Just noticed my sons voice getting deeper in the last couple of weeks, thinking that puberty is near.
My son excels most at pitching and does what he wants with the ball most of the time. . I know many of mentioned puberty being the GameChanger but I thought it was worth noting that there is almost no difference from what I see between 8/9-12/13. I still see most every kid on my sons t-ball all-star team from way back. They still seem to be the best ones out there!

Go to Top of Page

SuperStar

245 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2018 :  15:13:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is no simple answer for this.

In short, some players carry the talent into later years and some don't. All the factors mentioned above do play a role in it. Based on my experience watching these players and knowing what what kind of character they have, drive is a big part of it.

Usually the players that love to compete, work hard to get better, take care of the their bodies, and can't stand to lose are the ones that excel. It's really not that hard to figure out the better players by their work ethic. You can tell pretty quick by being around them and seeing which ones are the laziest. Sounds harsh, but that's the reality of it. Heck, if we are being honest with our selves, we know what kind of people we are by using the same standards.


Edited by - SuperStar on 12/04/2018 15:39:33
Go to Top of Page

Critical Mass

266 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2018 :  10:03:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sometimes the best players are lazy. It cuts both ways. I'd say you have a leg up and if your son continues to get better, you have a good shot to expect opportunities. Been out of travel ball for several years but will tell you that i followed most of the best kids in sons class along the way and lots of them never made it. After high school, college filtered out the ones who couldnt compete and then there's the injuries. Many fell into that category. Mine was super athletic when younger from 4 to 12, as were many of his friends and up until 13-14u was pretty good. Then as he went thru the slower puberty phase vs his peers and "regressed" in his ability, his desire and effort changed. Once in HS he passed most of the ones who were pitchers like him when he bouht in and believed he had something and started working out. On to college, all american, then drafted things have worked out okay. Have fun with your boy and enjoy it, you will look back one day and relish these times and probably if like me, would trade some time to go back and be there again.
Go to Top of Page

BlueDevilBaseball

36 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2018 :  15:10:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My 6 year old (turned six last week) gets anointed as the "next coming" by some, but I've seen it play out a lot before. Puberty is everything. Does he love the game enough to work hard once the playing field levels? One thing that scares me is that everything is easy for him now. Made the 6U all star team as a 5U kid. Scored 8 TDs in his last flag game even though he's playing up an age group. Has scored 20+ points in several YMCA level basketball games, etc... but all of that is easy for him now. Will he continue to be that good when it requires the hard work? Will it be as much fun when he has to work his butt off? Will he be driven? There are so many variable that go into it, the biggest obviously being puberty. However, their attitude and work ethic will be hugely important too.

My older son grinds and loves it. He wasn't the same way when he was a kid. He's built up to wher he is now through working. Last spring he hit .556 and this fall hit .500. Before then he had always been around a .350 type hitter. But he works. I have more confidence that his work ethic will take him further than I do that pure talent will carry my youngest. If he develops that same work ethic as he starts getting older, sky is the limit... but 1) puberty and 2) attitude will dictate.
Go to Top of Page

prestont

197 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2018 :  09:50:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fairball - I'll echo what others have already stated but..... Enjoy the ride!

We've seen kids that are talented/blessed from early ages into college, talented/blessed with an immense work ethic into colleges/pro's, and kids like mine who work their tail off to maximize their talents to compete with the talented/blessed kids

The playing days will end someday for all, and honestly - we would not trade a minute of the times and friendships our son, and us, gained thru baseball.

As the kids get into High School, and start talking with colleges - support your kids journey to the next level, and help guide them, but ultimately its their decision(s). Baseball, Academics, School, etc.

All the best... and Enjoy the ride!

Edited by - prestont on 12/12/2018 10:31:33
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Georgia Travel Baseball - NWBA © 2000-18 NWBA Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000