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  1. #1
    basil is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default Little League - update in #36

    DS is 9 and loves baseball. Was in Little League in 2019 and LOVED it. He's not the most naturally talented player but he is the biggest cheerleader!

    Obviously, he didn't play in spring 2020 as they did not hold it for his age group. But he did some baseball camps last summer and fall. We weren't super serious about it and didn't get him private hitting lessons or whatnot though. He just likes to play. This spring he chose to do soccer instead because that's what his friends were doing, but signed up for Little League this summer.

    They had the tryouts last week and was assigned to be an alternate on the "B" team...which means that he can go to practices but not play in games unless someone else isn't there. So obviously he won't improve if he only goes to practices, and DS is not going to want to do that. He loves the games. I'm not quite sure i understand why they can't rotate players on and off the bench like they did when he was younger.

    After a pandemic year where he didn't get to play, they are effectively ending his baseball career. At age 9. I just bought him a new bat and batting gloves and helmet and he was so psyched. My heart just hurts.
    Last edited by basil; 07-25-2021 at 08:56 AM.
    DS- 8/11
    DD- 5/14

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    That stinks.
    I hate that youth sports has become so all or nothing for kids. Why should a 9 year old need a private coach, clinics,...why can't they just go out and play? It's really making youth sports super elitist too. Where does a family without means get to fit in? Even for families that can afford it, it really just might not be a priority either. Are there other possible teams around? My ds2 loves to play soccer, is good/not great, and has 0 interest in being on a highly competitive team. We found a wonderful rec team and he's been so happy on it for 5 years. The kids practice 2 times/ week, 1 game/week and nothing more. Everyone shows up rusty at the start of the season because they didn't play all summer. I wonder if there's some comparable baseball option? I think the parents who want to change the youth sport culture to be more well rounded and less high pressure should band together and create new leagues.
    If your ds is willing to practice- where he'll definitely improve probably even more than at games- I'd let him chart the course for you. But I understand your hurt for him. It's so hard when they don't make the team, play, club...

  3. #3
    basil is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    The problem is that his friends are more talented athletes and/or have parents who are more committed to their kids' athletics, so he won't want to join a different team.

    He also has soccer try outs for the fall coming up. I had to bribe him to go to the soccer try outs because he's convinced he won't make the same team as these two friends. I bribed him with a popsicle and then the try out got canceled due to weather, so now it's this coming up weekend. I worry his confidence is going to be shot. He thought he did pretty well in the baseball try out. I don't know if I can convince him to do the soccer try out (if he doesn't, I don't think he can play in the fall?) and I am not sure what he will choose about baseball.

    We didn't even know that being an "alternate" was a consequence of this try out. I am dreading telling him this. I figured he would get on a "B" team, which would be fine, but geez. When I was a kid, you didn't get truly cut from a team until at least late MS or HS! I played outfield (poorly!) in softball through 7th grade and never did a try out.
    DS- 8/11
    DD- 5/14

  4. #4
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Our rec and school teams have no try outs. Ds1 played several sports he had no business playing in high school- aka hadnít picked up a tennis racket in 8 years but played on the tennis team. I always forget it just isnít like that everywhere.
    Hugs to you and ds.


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains

  5. #5
    bisous is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Oh I'm so sorry. That totally stinks. That is SO young to already start differentiating and what's tricky is that by placing him in a lower position it only exacerbates the division between the top and bottom players! Do you think he'll be ok being the alternate on the B team? In middle school, I was selected as the "team spotter" for the cheerleading team. This meant that I was essentially the 11th best on the team. I had to wear a skirt with a different pattern and sometimes I got teased for it. But I actually really liked cheering and I stuck with it. I made the cheer team for high school! Obviously this is so personal and I don't want to do anything to overshadow your rant which I completely understand but I just thought I'd share because you mention that your DS loves baseball and that he loves being with his friends!

  6. #6
    infocrazy is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    These sound like travel/select teams. In our are there are still plenty of recreational programs with no cut but it sounds like he just wants to play with his friends and they might be a different program.

    My recommendation is to find a recreational program to sign up for but still do the alternate practices. While game situations are important and fun, practices are really where the development and improvement occurs. In games, kids may only touch the ball a few times based on where it is hit and how the outs are made. Practice is where they get the reps. While it doesn't feel like it, practicing with the team and subbing will help him for tryouts next year if he wants.

    Trust me, I get it. No fun and telling my kids bad news is worse than getting it for myself. But I would try to get him to look at the alternate option as a positive. I'm sure they are still rotating but every roster needs a limit since only 9 players play at a time. My guess is the roster is around 11 or 12.
    Jen

    DS in X-Small 7/12, Medium 5/07, and Large 7/05, one DD 3/10, and our DS 4/09 watching over us.

  7. #7
    basil is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    If there is a rec league in our town, I can't find it. What he's in is "[Town] Little League". There are a couple commercial organizations that run camps, practices, programs, but not a true league where you play actual games. The town rec organization only does T-ball and coach pitch for younger kids, pre-LL age. It's not that big of a town. I could look at neighboring towns but again, the friend issue.

    It just seems too young to decide who is good or not at some sport. We all have stories of things where we weren't talented at first and then ended up being better later on. When I was his age, the school music teacher wanted to have a play. You had to try out for not only the speaking parts, but the chorus. I didn't get in. I never developed much of a singing voice, but did make the all-state orchestra for 4 years in HS and play my instrument through college. I think I was good enough for a 4th grade play. It STILL makes me mad! Thanks, Mrs. Shepherd. None of these kids are going to be in MLB.

    I don't know what he will want to do. I do hope I can convince him to practice and play his portion of games when kids are on vacation or whatnot. But I am not sure. It's another issue, but he has a tendency to give up easily.
    DS- 8/11
    DD- 5/14

  8. #8
    basil is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Double post
    Last edited by basil; 06-08-2021 at 01:05 PM.

  9. #9
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    I'm sorry for your DS. That sounds crazy - is he playing on a rec team or club? We have a parks and rec system of sports around here where "tryouts" are to more evenly place kids, not make cuts. Kids who excel in the rec league often move to club/travel but at 9, the rec program provides a hearty opportunity for all kids wanting to play. Is that an option?

    If being with his friends is important to him, practice and being an alternate at games may be okay in his mind. Plus, you may see a lot of improvement from the practice. My kids didn't gravitate to baseball, but it seems private training started young in that sport for those playing anything other than town parks and rec ball. I do know a good deal about youth soccer and kicking the ball around your yard or local park each day goes a long way to developing confidence. Maybe spending some low pressure, fun time in the evening this week with a ball will make him feel better about tryouts. Good luck to your DS!
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

  10. #10
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    I am so sorry!!! That is bat $&@! Crazy to have try outs for 9 year olds!!!!!
    Mom to:
    DS '02
    DD '05
    Simon--the King Charles cutie
    RIP Andy, the furry first child, 1996-2012

    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

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