What's more important, investing in showcases or your player development?
This blog isn't about whether showcases, individual trainers or player development programs are good or not. It's about you as a player, parent or coach understanding the reality of what is and can happen in all scenarios.
We get asked daily by parents and coaches about what showcases or player development programs they should be attending or be involved with to get their son/daughter or players looked at by college recruiters and scouts.
This sounds like a simple and innocent enough question in the baseball or softball world we presently live in. The reality is, that unless you, your child or your players actually have the athletic talent and character to play at the collegiate or pro level, attending a showcase is a waste of time, money and can even directly impact their future potential. The exact same thing goes for player development programs. Don't let the showcase or player development companies take advantage of you just because they know that the majority of players and parents have no experience or understanding of what it actually takes to be able to play at that level. They can all promise you that you, your child or your players will get the exposure to college recruiters or scouts because that's what they do. But, that alone is not what's going to get you to college or the pros, so stop throwing good money after bad and start building a real plan with people who will be completely in the journey with you.
We hear all the time, that this player got recruited when they attended this showcase or that showcase. While it seems like the showcase was what got them an offer from a college recruiter, the reality was that it was their athletic ability and human characteristics that got them the offer. No college recruiter or scout is going to talk to them just because they attended a particular showcase. They are going to talk to them because they saw that they had the ability to play at their school or for their organization and then from their conversation with that player and their parents they can decide whether or not it's worth their time to invest further in that player. Yes, certain showcase companies have built up a reputation for supposedly only having qualified players at their events which in turn brings out college recruiters and scouts, but it's also true that not all of those college recruiters and scouts actually like those showcase companies. They show up at their events because they trust that there will be a larger talent pool of qualified players attending vs. an unknown or unrecognized showcase company. At the end of the day, they are looking for players that have the ability and character to help their program.
Most parents and coaches don't understand that it's the player's overall and ongoing development first and foremost that will allow them to be ready to perform to their best ability while at a showcase or any other event the participate in. Your son/daughter or players must truly be ready physically, mentally and emotionally to perform at all showcases, tournaments or events that college recruiters and scouts are present at. Be ready first and then you can take advantage of the showcase or event instead of the showcase taking advantage of you. Like I mentioned earlier, you can throw good money after bad trying to find trust worthy player development programs, just like attending every showcase because you think that's what will get you seen. It's vital that you are direct when talking with potential coaches, trainers or programs and that they are direct in their responses to you. If you get a response that leaves you with a Yellow Flag to any questions you have for them, then you need to hammer down on it with them until they convince you and show you that they are trust worthy. We also suggest that you attend and watch and also participate in one of their lessons or practices to see if what they tell you is real or not. If they leave you with a Red Flag, then thank them for their time and continue looking because at the end of the day, they must prove they are completely in the baseball or softball journey with your son/daughter or players. Build your trust network of coaches or trainers who have the knowledge of how the system works and have the knowledge to be able to prepare them and yourself physically, mentally and emotionally for all of the situations that will happen along the way.
We can't stress enough how important it is that you build your Trust Network of coaches, trainers, etc. that are not afraid to tell you what you need to hear and not always what you want to hear. To us and for us, this is how we train, develop and interact with players, parents and coaches that we work with because we know it's the only way for you to have any chance at really reaching your full potential and your goals. Another thing to know is that the game is just scratching the surface at the amateur level in how data and data collection is going to be used in player development and showcases alike. There's exciting and drastic changes coming for you, your son/daughter or your players in regards to the use of data.
We know how stressful navigating your baseball or softball journey can be, so let us help by booking a free consultation with us. You can also contact Kirk at 226-821-2402.
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