7U Travel Baseball – This will be great….right? – Baseball Notes

7U Travel Baseball – This will be great….right?

So, it’s February.

In the past this has just been “The birthday month” for my family.

My youngest baby Lucy had her first birthday on the 14th. My middle child Molly turned 6 on the 17th, and my wife actually has her birthday on the 17th also – I won’t tell you how old she is 🙂

So normally we just spend February celebrating these beautiful ladies:

And while we’ve still been partying even more than usual this year with the addition of the baby, Can you guess what our main focus this month has been?

BASEBALL!

Yep, February is no longer reserved for just major league pitchers and catchers but also for loose-toothed 7 year olds like my boy Mason.

We have done the rec league thing for several years and that has been great. So back in November we found out the league was having tryouts for the 7U “Elite” team.

I was surprised they had a league for 7 year olds. I mean, they don’t even face live pitchers around here (Texas) until age 9.

We were a little unsure whether we should take a step up at this point. I’ve heard travel baseball is…a lot.
Having played in the minors I always knew we’d try baseball but I never wanted to push the game on him.

If he went at it a few years and decided he didn’t want to play anymore I’d be okay with that (ok, this probably isn’t true. I most definitely would not be ok, but I like to think I’d pretend like I’m ok).

So we asked Mason what he wanted to do.

Not surprisingly, he said yes he wanted to try out. He then asked questions like “So will Beltre be on my team?” and we realized he was totally unqualified to make this call.

But we had some good friends who were going to try out and we’re like, “Alright then, lets do it.”
Anyway, he went out for the team and boom, he got picked! Seeing how proud he was of himself validated that we made the right choice.

…and then…

…the practice schedule was released.

Here’s the conversation between me and my wife:

Me: Did you see the email about the practice schedule?

Amy: Yeah I did. Monday’s and Wednesday’s at 6.

Me: Sunday too. 2:30.

Amy: What? Three practices a week? When are the games?

Me: Well, probably on days we don’t practice I guess.

Amy: What are they, the Rangers?

Me: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

…and then we wrote a check for $400 for uniforms and gear (I’m helping coach so part of that was stuff for me. But still!).
Suddenly we were like, wait, we signed up for what?

 

So we’re in the middle of our second week of practice and it has been fun so far. A 7 year old can accumulate a LOT of rust when being away from baseball for a few months, so we’re working out some kinks right now.

Mason isn’t the most natural athlete, so seeing him up against some of the kids on his team – who you’d swear were 9-10 years old – makes the insecure Dad in me want to get REAL impatient with him.

(For instance a couple days ago at practice he wouldn’t turn his glove over for backhand ground balls. He would just try the awkward scoop across his body. I got on to him – “What are you doing?? Turn your glove over, come on!” Wanna know how many times I’ve worked on backhands with him in his life? Zero.)

So, I *really* need to be aware of my attitude towards him this year. We’ll put in the work to get better but I need to remember that there is no scholarship or contract awarded at the end of the season. Be patient, have fun, get better.

Be patient, have fun, get better.

Be patient, have fun, get better. (I may need to write this on my wall somewhere!)

So I need your help.  I’m not sure exactly what’s ahead of us so I’d like to hear from you.  Any advice for a parent or player just starting out?

Please share, I REALLY want to hear from you. Email me at [email protected]

We have four practice games this weekend…so here we go!

 

p.s. Fun note: I sold my building material business so I will now be back to coaching and teaching baseball full time. I’ll be sharing the wisdom’s from baseball books, current and former players/coaches, parents, you name it here on this site and on other social media platforms – not sure which ones you guys enjoy most so we’ve created a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page, so I’d appreciate a follow! I’m planning on sharing my journey with my son this coming season as well, hopefully you can find some value there!

 

-Clint

About the Author Clint McGill

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6 comments
Rob says February 24, 2017

My son has been playing travel baseball for a couple of years now and loves it and has great coaches with lots of experience my son is now 12 years old all in all it’s a great experience go for it

Reply
    Clint McGill says February 24, 2017

    Good to hear Rob. Any do’s or don’ts you can give me a heads up on?

    Reply
Jeffery says February 24, 2017

I think it’s a great idea to play showcase when you get older and more serious about the sport. But if he knows he wants to play in college already I think you could start him now.

Reply
Bobby says February 24, 2017

I disagree with travel so young. As a coach of a 12u team this coming summer, we will have 14 kids tryout for travel ball. At 9u we had 28 kids and 2 teams. The parents put way too much pressure on the boarder line kids, it’s crazy. Most parents think that playing the outfield is punishment, we can’t have 9 shortstops. I would bat my child last, because others kids THINK the last batter is the worst. I could maybe agree with 2 close to home tournaments for some experience, but 4+ tournaments i believe is too much. If kids are not successful they quit way too young.

Reply
    Clint McGill says February 24, 2017

    So you guys started at 9U?

    Reply
Duane says February 24, 2017

Duane
My son began travel ball at 7 on a team I coached. We are now an 11u team and I am still the coach. Is 7 too young? Each kid is different and responds differently. So it is a hard question to answer correctly. If the kid enjoys it than no he or she is not to young for travel ball. What I learned throughout these years of coaching is that at the end of the day it is just a game and it is my job to keep it fun. I ask everyday if they are having fun. We are a very competitive team but we have fun. If a kid tells me he is not having fun than I am not doing my job. I leave baseball on the field, meaning once practice or a game is over we do not discuss any of the game or practice unless my son brings it up. Practices are kept fun but productive. Tournaments are chosen based on what that city or town has to offer outside of baseball. Keep the game of baseball just that, a game and 7 will not be too young!

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