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 11U General Discussion
 The difference in the top level teams and others
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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  12:30:00  Show Profile
I've become a huge fan of all of the top teams in Georgia after being around them more this entire year than ever before. Their coachnig is something to be admired, their parents and the kids overall as compared also.

Someone asked me what was the difference in my honest opinion from the teams in questions and other teams out of Ga. in the major divisions. (Primarily comparing the northside to the southside in relation to their question)

I responded that it had to do with the coaching overall. They're all 11 year old kids and apt to make some bonehead mistakes (as some would call them) just like any other 11 year old will.

I'm not talking about the head trainers out of different organizations in Georgia I'm talking about the coaching I see at practice, the head coaches and the way the teams are ran from the inside / out and game time decisions.

Parents on these teams are more supportive of the LEVEL OF BASEBALL, THE TOUGH TRAVEL AND PRACTICE SCHEDULES as well. Trust me.

I've mentioned the coaches and the parents and now the kids. The kids as I mentioned are all 11 years old. The big difference I see is the mentality of the kids. Their desire to put in the extra work, to get better, to be more prepared, to hustle non stop throughout the game and their desire to win regardless of the outcome of the game.

Of course this doesn't apply to all the teams on the northside and I'm not discounting all the other teams in Georgia either. Georgia Sting and Savannah teams have great programs in my opinion and they "get it". There are others that do as well. Don't get upset if I didn't mention your team because I'm not familiar with all of them.

I haven't bought into all the rivalries between the top teams yet though. LOL, maybe time will tell. Everytime a game is played in my opinion there is a rivalry between the lines from the start of the game till the end and if it's a close game then "wait till we meet again" LOL

All the politics and bashing this team or organization etc. is a waste of time. Yes if you're number #1, #2 or #3 etc. I get it, just slightly but let the coaches and kids handle it on the field.

Okay, okay, unless it's provoked on the field by someone completely going nutso out there and leaving themselves open for the "go ahead and take a shot at me, it's tomorrow and after thinking about it over night, I deserve it".

baseballnutz

427 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  12:54:46  Show Profile
So what is the point of your post? That there is better coaching on the north side of town there for better teams? I don't get it.

I agree coaching plays a part as well as preparation. A coach I respect once told me that he was a "great" coach a couple of seasons when he had great players other seasons he was ok as he walked away with a smile on his face.
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throwitaround

36 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  14:04:09  Show Profile
You lost me
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wareagle

324 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  14:13:42  Show Profile
The biggest difference is the ability to recruit and retain players. This ability is sometimes based on an organizations reputation, and sometimes because of a coach's reputation or previous record and sometimes just the right locale. The top kids will gravitate toward the top teams.

You could have the best coach in the state but if he is not in the right location and with a winning record, the top kids(parents) will not play there.

Absolutely the coaching must be great after the right kids are assembled. But without the right kids, the coach will struggle.
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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  15:23:24  Show Profile
There are actually several points to the post.

I've coached for several years and never coached a first place team. EVER! I've headcoached 2nd - 10th place out of the top twenty or let's say down to about the halfway point depending on how many teams were in the "league" or in the ranking and throughout youth baseball years for several of my kids.

No none of our kids were perfect, the parents weren't perfect and assistant coaches weren't perfect but we all had a goal and came into agreement as to what our overall gameplan was for the year and we all stuck with that to the end. Parents, coaches and kids included.

I see a lot of the same with the top teams in Georgia and once again not discredting anyone or any team because I am not around them all.

I was merely saying that various teams I've been a part of as a parent or know of very well outside this group do not fall into this group. Whether it's kids that don't come to practice on a regular basis or when they would rather be playing at home with their gadgets, parents that will find anything to do other than take their kids to practice on a regular schedule or miss out on tournaments for whatever the reason and even coaches that aren't aggressive in their approach to teach the kids and involve their major level teams in quality tournaments and quality practices.

Has nothing to do with the northside over east, west or south. I was replying to a friend's question and he referred to the difference between the northside as I mentioned as compared. Obviously that means he is from a team in south georgia etc.

I'm not even sure what the records of the top teams in Georgia are. I'd assume that most are winning, thus making them a top team though. I was noting the behavior of the kids, coaches and parents of some of these teams without naming them all other than the two that I named below and they're not from the northside. (Sting and Bulldogs).

Maybe it does boil down to winning. Maybe it's winning that keeps all those kids upbeat about being at the park or practice, the parents in general from moaning and missing practices and the coaches working harder at practice and games.

I think it really boils down to everyone being on the same page from the start to the finish of the season. Maybe it boils down to the parents knowing what a sacrifice it is to have their children playing at a high level of baseball, as well as the kids understanding. Maybe it boils down to the coaches also knowing what sacrifices must be given in order for them to have a smoothly run team regardless of the bumps in the road along the way.

Has to do with the mindset / gameplan that all come into agreement on at the start of a season IMHO and not about winning all the time.


quote:
Originally posted by baseballnutz

So what is the point of your post? That there is better coaching on the north side of town there for better teams? I don't get it.

I agree coaching plays a part as well as preparation. A coach I respect once told me that he was a "great" coach a couple of seasons when he had great players other seasons he was ok as he walked away with a smile on his face.

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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  15:27:29  Show Profile
Wareagle, very much in agreement there. It used to be that the kids would wait till their teen years to make the moves to these locales though but now it seems to be at a younger age.

I was just noting although possibly going overboard that the mindset of all involved seems totally different from the top teams to others. Some of the others may have better records because of playing in more open tournaments or lower level tournaments so it's not about actually winning more.


quote:
Originally posted by wareagle

The biggest difference is the ability to recruit and retain players. This ability is sometimes based on an organizations reputation, and sometimes because of a coach's reputation or previous record and sometimes just the right locale. The top kids will gravitate toward the top teams.

You could have the best coach in the state but if he is not in the right location and with a winning record, the top kids(parents) will not play there.

Absolutely the coaching must be great after the right kids are assembled. But without the right kids, the coach will struggle.

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COBB BASEBALL MOM

11 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  18:19:25  Show Profile
I disagree with you i have watch alot of coaches around the cobb area get out coached but still win the game because of the players they were able to recruit. And there are some that call there self coaches and they are recruiters they couldnt teach kids if they had to so they just recruit a better player and when they find a better player then him they get rid of him and bring on the new. example go to usssa baseball and pull up rosters you can find out who is a good coach and who just out there finding the best player. That is how we found the team we are own any more than 2 changes beware.
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baseballnutz

427 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  21:10:19  Show Profile
Trust and chemistry are two big ones that most succussful teams have a lot of. We have been lucky to apart of a couple of successful teams and all may not have been the most talented but they played hard for each other, enjoyed being around each other and trusted the guy to left and to the right and didn't want to let their teammates down.

When they start playing for their teammates vs themselves then you have something special.

Edited by - baseballnutz on 06/06/2012 23:13:58
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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2012 :  21:33:04  Show Profile
Point well taken there as well but part of coaching at a higher level is recruiting. Now, recruiting during the year to replace a player that may not be quite as good in youth baseball I disagree with but for the next year as long as fair notice is given, it's part of it. I've seen it and been a part of it on both ends.

What if the parents of the one kid are causing problems on the team by contantly talking to other parents trying to rally against the coach or coaches etc. for whatever reason. Just one of many examples.

I've seen more than my share of good players have to leave a team beause of their parents behavior during games and off the field as well. I do think that a coach should give such a parent the chance to get it together prior to being "ran off" for lack of better terms.


quote:
Originally posted by COBB BASEBALL MOM

I disagree with you i have watch alot of coaches around the cobb area get out coached but still win the game because of the players they were able to recruit. And there are some that call there self coaches and they are recruiters they couldnt teach kids if they had to so they just recruit a better player and when they find a better player then him they get rid of him and bring on the new. example go to usssa baseball and pull up rosters you can find out who is a good coach and who just out there finding the best player. That is how we found the team we are own any more than 2 changes beware.

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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2012 :  08:34:28  Show Profile
Nutz that is very well put and a much appreciated way to start the board off this morning.

quote:
Originally posted by baseballnutz

Trust and chemistry are two big ones that most succussful teams have a lot of. We have been lucky to apart of a couple of successful teams and all may not have been the most talented but they played hard for each other, enjoyed being around each other and trusted the guy to left and to the right and didn't want to let their teammates down.

When they start playing for their teammates vs themselves then you have something special.

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Bigwhitevan

67 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2012 :  11:13:44  Show Profile
IMO high level, low level, most coaches are recruiting. As well as parents. The teams want to be successful. Kids and parents want to be on successful teams. as players get better in a lower level they look to find a higher level team to join. When a parent thinks their kid could play a position that is not open on a current team, they will look to find another team where that position is open. That is the way of ever expanding travel. That point aside. The difference I see is defense. Either they are taught techniques by this coaching staff, been taught by a previous staff, have natural ability, dad has taught them, or private lessons. These top kids make mistakes but limit them. I have seen some coaching staffs that put a limit on errors before you are replaced. There is an emphasis on defense constantly. Lots of lower level teams focus on hitting. While offense is needed defense seems to be king with top teams. I could include pitching here too, in the aspect of no free bases. When you limit another teams offense it creates an atmosphere of pressure,to not get too far behind. When kids are not relaxed they tend to make more mistakes. Teams with the least mistakes usually win.

Edited by - Bigwhitevan on 06/07/2012 11:25:18
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ramman999

241 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2012 :  13:51:00  Show Profile
To those that think simply recruiting talent is the difference, I respectfully disagree, tempered that my opinion is that of 12u on down - 13u/big field is a different animal for which I am not as familiar, but I still would feel the overall manager qualities still make a big impact.

Top Major teams have 10+ major level players. At that point, it comes back to right piece in right spot, developing,evaluating and ultimately recruiting to fill needs/holes after you've exhausted the talent your talent pool. Part of being a Manager is recruiting, no doubt. But once you assemble the talent, you need to continue to develop the talent to keep the talent. Otherwise, complacency, laziness and resentment creep in - how many strong major teams have you seen blow up by the next fall?
You have to:
1.Be a teacher - teach and develop
2.Be a good communicator
3.Be good at what you do
4.Have buy in to the team mission - sacrifice personal goals for team goals

Sure the managers do recruit, but if they have the qualities I mentioned, the parents and kids will do a lot of the recruiting for them.

Good managers bring teams together. The best managers keep those teams together...
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Canton Chargers

885 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2012 :  15:22:02  Show Profile
I currently coach a major team (as per USSSA's opinion). As a coach that is totally committed to the kids and progressing them, we practice a lot, we talk a lot!!! While we move up our game and our opponents, some kids can keep up, some cannot. If you are a AA team one year and a Major team the next (by other's opinions, not mine), you quickly realize that recruiting is not only a benefit, but an absolute necessity. If you continue to lose games, you will lose parents quickly. Any parent that tells you different is not being all together truthful. I've gotten a lot of players over the last few years simply because the parents were not happy with their past coaches for numberous reasons. I always ask the kid why he left his past team in private and his answer is usually totally different than what the parent normally tells me. I think that if you work hard as a coach to progress your kids and committ to the ones that committ to you, then you stick with them unless the kid or parent becomes a mess. We are not a major team in my opinion, but am forced to be one, so next season kids will be chosen accordingly. It's not like we can keep 11 players every year and stay in AA rankings. Problem is that you get moved up naturally based on your record and find that you cannot compete with current kids at next level. We are a decent team this year, but we cannot hang on Sunday's with the big dogs. If we are to play Major next year and hang with them, then recruiting hard will be a necessity for us to be competitive. I feel that any coach that puts in the time voluntarily to hang with some kids and try to teach them something other than beating "level infinity on Black Ops", is cool with me:) Parents all have the options to move around as they do and coaches have the option to do what they want with their teams. Both parents and or coaches will always have options to move up, down or across town:)

Bottom line: Major teams have to do what is necessary to substantiate the amount of money it costs to play in the big tourneys to their parents or they will fall apart quickly. 99.9% of the time, the golden answer is always winning or being highly competitive with the winning teams. It is sports and everyone wants to get better and win. No different in any other high level sports unless it is school affiliated. They are stuck with whatever talent they have in district and parents have no options other than to cheer and hope for the best or move to another residence..LOL

There's no dreamy thoughts of college scholarships or the bigs in my mind for any of my boys. Just trying to give the boys a good time and give them something to talk about when they are old like me while hanging and sipping a cold one with their adult buddies.

So basically in my opinion, you can be a great coach, but great coaches always look better with great talent. We can progress kids all we want with working at home, private lessons, etc..., but some kids are just plain born with athletic size/ ability and winning attitudes and some not as much. You get 11 kids with the goods and throw in a good coach and you most likely have a recipe for success. I coach defense 10x more than offense, but some days they will just be 11 year old boys and look like we haven't practiced a day and other days, the heavens open and the light seems to shine brighter on the boys and everything seems to fall into place:)

Best of luck to all of you in your end of season tourneys!!

Go Georgia Teams!!!
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TeamMiamiDJ

21 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2012 :  08:58:22  Show Profile
I'm with Ramman999 100% on this one. I'd rather have a loyal team of developed talent and follows our system than a mix of recruited talent that has already been molded by others. At these lower ages, the successful major teams are usually the teams that work the hardest. There is direct correlation between how hard the kids are pushed in practice as well as how efficiently the practices are run, and winning. I'm a believer that games are won in practice, not on the field. And to agree with another poster, defense is far more important than offense at the elite levels. You should only need to play for 1 run each time it's your turn on offense.
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YardBall463

35 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2012 :  14:35:33  Show Profile
Canton i will have to agree with you 100% winning is the cure all for every solution. If your not winning in Major ball you are moving, prime example look at Southside they have two or three kids that travel up to EC to play ball, why? Not winning? Fact? When you choice to play major ball you are chosing to win and if you were more concerened about teaching you would put your players in the classification they can feel more comfortable at. Major Baseball is all about winning, maybe not on all teams but lets be real most of them. Best of wishes to all the teams and finish up the season strong.
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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2012 :  21:25:43  Show Profile
I agree also but it's not only about winning all the time. There are teams that you may only beat once out of ten and so on.

You can take the top five or even eight or ten teams and put them against each other 10 times. #1 is going to win more than they lose against others, #2 of course next and so on and so forth.

Being on the #5 team is all fine as long as the goal is to better each player by busting your proverbial rear ends at practice and coaching to win in the games. Win, lose or draw give it your absolute best and I see so many teams to include team(s) left by players that were mentioned who I'm familiar with, not go in it to win it.

I've heard this from two coaches earlier this year and in years past. "If we do nothing else we're going to have fun" and that is fine but they approach practice and games that way. No motivation to win whatsoever. ZERO!

The other is "hey look, this guy has been with me for ????? seasons and he's my second baseman or catcher or shortstop" Meaning no matter who may be better suited for the positions the other kid is going to be there. They don't coach to win. They like to win but don't or won't coach to win.

quote:
Originally posted by YardBall463

Canton i will have to agree with you 100% winning is the cure all for every solution. If your not winning in Major ball you are moving, prime example look at Southside they have two or three kids that travel up to EC to play ball, why? Not winning? Fact? When you choice to play major ball you are chosing to win and if you were more concerened about teaching you would put your players in the classification they can feel more comfortable at. Major Baseball is all about winning, maybe not on all teams but lets be real most of them. Best of wishes to all the teams and finish up the season strong.

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SavannahBulldog

50 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2012 :  06:30:37  Show Profile
One big difference in the top level teams is maturity. Teams that are your elite major teams are loaded with kids that have been blessed with great baseball talent at an earlier age. Some of these kids have shot up at younger ages and the result is an 11 year old that could easily compete with 12 and even 13 year old kids. This is why you can't legitimately measure anything at this age....nothing they do now really matters. Just a bunch of great memories. The real cream rises to the top around 14 and 15....we can just hope all this hard work pays off. A kid named Byron Buxton played on a local AA team here in my hometown when he was twelve and that team was not very good and didn't travel very much at all. I believe he was drafted #2 in the MLB draft just a few days ago! Just some food for thought.
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Bigwhitevan

67 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2012 :  07:13:01  Show Profile
I will say this and may get hammered for it. This game is unique compared to most sports. This game can be taught to everyone. It is technique driven. You can turn almost every child in rec ball into a top notch player. BUT do you know how?? Have you done any research on fielding, hitting, pitching, batting, running? Most coaches are results driven. Make the out and it was a good play. Get on base and it was a good swing. Nevermind the kid has terrible techniques. There are ways to improve fielding skills by positioning the feet and body. This is not just natural ability. Same with throwing. How many times I watch kids pitch with only their arms and while they are throwing strikes the coach is happy as can be. But they tire very quickly and become erratic and somehow they "have lost it". Or watch a kid pound the ball into the ground time after time and if the ball finds a hole it is a great hit. If it goes right to a player, gotta drive that ball son. Watch a kid stomp all the way to first and get thrown out and hear "well he wasn't blessed with speed". REALLY?? There are techniques to improve speed of a child. And these things seem to go on all over. Hitting kids a baseball 50 times is not going to improve the results on game day if they are not taught proper technique. Making kids run in practice will not make them run faster in games if they use bad techniques. On and on. Lots of coaches always assume that one day that kid will someday just get it. Like it is some magic ability that some get and some don't. That is why I say the kids at the upper levels have better technique that was learned somewhere. That is the difference.
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Canton Chargers

885 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2012 :  07:45:02  Show Profile
Like I said, every parent and every coach can do what they want to with their kids and or their teams. Different strokes for different folks. If you coach a team, then you have free reign on how you coach and what level you coach. If a parent doesn't like it, they do what they do to better their kid either by staying or bailing to a team that they like more for their kid. It's all good to me!! I understand both positions, but coaches that put the time in to coach kids (in most cases), should get the benefit to do what they want with their team. Winning is usually a top priority in the upper level teams and in the minds of the parents with upper level ability kids. That is why we have A - Majors and upper level teams usually have better coaching or at least more committed coaching to more practices and more tourneys and training. Like I said, it's all good to me with whatever a team does and should not be judged based on this or that unless the coach is not in it to have fun for the kids in some manner. To me winning is always more fun than losing and is easily visible after the game by looking at the kids faces when shaking hands with the opponents that either beat them or they beat..
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SavannahBulldog

50 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2012 :  20:33:11  Show Profile
BWV....technique is very important, especially in baseball, but the kids that are born with athletic ability will eventually be found by someone that will teach them the correct "technique" and the result is a Byron Buxton. A lot of kids at 11, 12, and 13 go unnoticed because they don't have the money, resources, or parental support that we offer to our kids, but eventually those kids get noticed and someone teaches them the correct technique. Oh, and you can't teach speed...you either got it or you don't.
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aboutthekids

213 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2012 :  01:05:12  Show Profile
You're right but I'll have to argue with the speed issue.

My youngest son of many, used to pound the ground running like he had bricks on feet and I'm not a speed demon although was always known for quickness combined with better than average speed.

I started him pulling tires (auto tires) a few years back, got him in the running club at his elementary school for three years straight and then introduced him to a bit of technique through a friend and still working the tires and resistance bands.

He's bigger than most at 11 (of course many will likely surpass him in the height dept. in the next few years) but he can move for a big kid who everyone but him, his mom and I thought was going to be slow.

I'm no speed coach but do well in the explosive strength department but I've seen some of the speed coaches work wonders with other kids as well. Some it takes a bit longer than others but all out of a group of six that stuck with it have made tremendous strides in speed and some of them beforehand you would never think could beat out a single unless they banged it off the left field fence. Now they're getting their share of doubles and the occasional triple.

Just going out and running a little every other day won't do it for sure though and most of the kids who are slow don't have anyone working technique with them at all or anything else related to running for that matter. It gets taken for granted for the most part I believe.

p.s. I know what you're saying though. In some cases though the saying "You can't turn a mule into a race horse" does come into play I suppose.

quote:
Originally posted by SavannahBulldog

BWV....technique is very important, especially in baseball, but the kids that are born with athletic ability will eventually be found by someone that will teach them the correct "technique" and the result is a Byron Buxton. A lot of kids at 11, 12, and 13 go unnoticed because they don't have the money, resources, or parental support that we offer to our kids, but eventually those kids get noticed and someone teaches them the correct technique. Oh, and you can't teach speed...you either got it or you don't.

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TeamMiamiDJ

21 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2012 :  07:21:30  Show Profile
BWV I agree with a great deal of your post. BMV & Savannah, the quote I've best seen to describe it is "Hard work beats talent, whenever talent doesn't work hard", and at these young ages, the teams that end up at the top are the hardest working. Since defense is so important at these ages, the kids with 5k hours execute with more efficiency and less errors in my opinion than the kids with "talent" that have never played a pressure game... but that's just my opinion... Every time I look at Facebook I see at least 3 of the top teams in the Nation posting up pix and msg's of the hard work they're putting in and to me there's no secret why they are where they are =). Agree at 15U most of these kids won't even be playing ball, so who knows...
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Bigwhitevan

67 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2012 :  08:45:51  Show Profile
SB, while I will agree that natural ability is an advantage that some have. It is not THE difference in major ball to me. We can also agree that some talent goes undiscovered because of structure in their life. Some do not ever get discovered for baseball because of desire in others sports as well. I am saying that there is untapped talent in kids that play ball now. These kids have potential that is not being utilized. As far as speed goes. You can improve speed of a child. Same way you can improve a swing or a throw. Can you teach 4.3 40 speed, no. Bodies are built different, but it can be improved. Most slow runners are inefficient and don't know it. Running with all muscles contracting throughout their whole body as they run, stomping into the ground to push themselves forward, flailing their arms forward and backward to gain momentum. All these things are slowing them down. Teach them proper technique and they will amaze themselves and run faster than you ever thought they could.
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Canton Chargers

885 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2012 :  13:09:45  Show Profile
I think we can all agree that if you have natural talent, work hard and get shown proper techniques, you will rise to the top of your peers eventually. If you lack any of the 3 above mentioned, you may fall to the wayside on top teams (especially as you get older). As 11 year olds, I feel teaching them now and often is all you can do. Throw in making it fun for the kids and winning and you keep kids interested and more apt to get at least 2 of the 3 above mentioned. Natural God given talent and size is hard to teach :)

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SavannahBulldog

50 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2012 :  07:08:36  Show Profile
Miami, MVP has four kids that throw like 13 year olds. Hard work is important, but to think the top teams are working the hardest is crazy. If you think the top teams are winning because they work harder than everyone else you are wrong. MVP wins because they have kids that are well beyond their years talent wise. All of us are working hard, but some of the teams have recruited better than others. All of the top major teams put in hours and hours of time on the field and in the cage....not just the top three.
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Thedudesdad

86 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2012 :  10:30:51  Show Profile
To be a top team you must have the talent, you must then develop that talent. Not all "studs" at this age are good baseball players though some are just already hitting puberty and can overpower kids either at the plate or on the mound. We see it all the time. Also on the top teams that last the parents/players must check their ego at the door, most kids on a top team can go to any other team and play a middle position and bat top of the order but on the best teams someone has to be at the bottom and play corners or be a sub.
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