Baseball is competitive! It is today just as much as it always has been. But, why are players showcasing at such a young age and so much more than before? Well, I’ll answer that in just a minute.
Let’s first recap what a “showcase” is. A showcase can be a team, a tournament or even a clinic where college scouts go and look for talented players. And often times these showcase teams aren’t spending enough time on fine tuning the talent a player has.
Are college scouts really interested in 8th & 9th graders? Should your child be spending the time going to these showcases? Should you be spending your money on them attending? The answer is simple, if you can say to yourself with 100% certainty that your child is playing with a college level talent, then YES by all means go to a showcase. BUT, remember you only get one chance to make a first impression, if your child isn’t quite there yet then his/her time and your money is better spent on developing your player's skills.
We seem to be living in a “monkey see, monkey do” world. There is no need to feel the pressures of acting too soon! Because this might actually hurt your young player. If you want what’s best for him/her and to have a college scout’s head turn, then please make sure he/she is developing the essential skills, working on bio mechanics and working on mental focus.
And keep in mind that players need to keep their grades up. If a player's academics are not up to the standards of a given university, in most cases, a college coach will not be able to sign that player, regardless of the level of talent.
On a personal note, in my high school career, I attended ONLY one showcase & that was fall of my senior year! At that showcase, I ran the fastest 60yd time, had the strongest throwing arm across the infield and demonstrated the best bat speed/hitting power. And as a result, I gained interest from dozens of Division 1 universities. Ultimately, because I took my academics seriously, was valedictorian of my graduating class and because of the talent I displayed at that ONE showcase, I earned a full academic/athletic scholarship for 4 years to a Division 1 university. Today, that full scholarship at the same university would be worth over a quarter of a million dollars.
So to sum it all up, remind your child how important academics are to getting signed to a top level college. Don’t get caught up in the “monkey see, monkey do” trend. Spend the time and money developing you child’s talent, mental focus and most importantly, remember to keep the process fun. It's a game. This will give a player the best chance to Ace the Showcase!