The first time we flat pissed someone off in youth ball (that I know of) was when we put our older son in little league.  Dante was happy to talk baseball and that was and has continued to be the death of us.  At the time I didn't see that simply by being a very available and willing resource to HELP, we were disrupting some pretty deeply rooted beliefs held by a community.  As years passed I  realized the chaos we caused by having perspectives that challenged or even defied the status quo.  Town "gurus" who had supplemented their incomes and strengthened their egos with years of being the "guy who knew baseball" were facing an unseeding by the big bad ex Major Leaguer who was willing to be involved in youth baseball for freeWe don't want to unseed anyone; everyone can serve a purpose.  We've never made a penny off anyone in baseball.  In any case, I've lost count of the pissed off people and so now I just want to get to get this right.

Florida is full of ex MLB Players.  But its more full of ex MiLB players and even more full of ex college players, and it seems like everyone who ever played the game is now coaching.  But most of these people have no idea how the youth baseball landscape has changed- you have to have a child go through it to see the change if you came through youth baseball more than a decade ago.  The weird thing is that most of the "gurus" aren't even the baseball people now.  They are business people who are fully taking advantage of parents with dreams for their kids.  They've become some sort of version of baseball people because they run businesses well enough to field and organize teams and to convince everyone that there is no chance to "be seen" without them.  But most are not making baseball better. Most are ruining it.  And while I have plenty of friends on plenty of those teams, and I suppose that's what we have to deal with at the moment,  I plan to at least shed light on the system so that parents can understand baseball a little more like someone who's lived it from so many different perspectives. 

If you give me half a chance to talk to you are at least not going to be intimidated by this system anymore. I'm gonna tell you what you need to know about giving your kid the best chance you can, and challenge you to challenge the people you are paying. I don't mind them making a living off you if you are aware of that fact and if they are truly helping you but you supporting them so you can find out after its too late that you wasted as much money as you still need to spend on a college education is ridiculous. 

So there you are.  Send a question via twitter or email and I will use the questions to jump start future blogs, and I will get to them as quickly as I can.



03/15/2013 9:31am

Hi Mariana, I found your blog through a friend of yours who let me know I should check it out. We're just starting to navigate this crazy travel baseball world. Our son is playing 9U USSSA in North Florida. Up here we have more coaches who are volunteer, including ours who has a son on the team. I think we're lucky in that. But many of those same issues are present regardless. I'll be following along and hope to learn a lot from you! Here are a few questions:

- Do you see more advantage in staying on a struggling team and working through it, learning more about teamwork and overcoming, or by going to another team where the skill is higher and your player may be pushed more and see more team success?

- What are the differences in philosophy/strategy of parenting a potential elite player as they get older?

- What are the most important/effective that are not related to baseball that you see have an impact on the player? (I'm thinking of character building, experiences, etc. that may help on the field or in recruiting eventually)

- how do you balance baseball with the rest of life for a kid, so that one day when baseball ends, they don't feel as their life has ended?


~ Anita

03/28/2013 6:25pm

Hi Anita, Your questions are great, and pretty in depth:) Sorry I am just getting to you! Most of my feedback is the form section and its taken me a bit to get to your comment. I wrote on coaching throughout a players life but you are a good mom, looking at the off the field stuff. I will elaborate on this soon, it'll be under the evaluation process/ makeup tab. Thanks for your interest!


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