Fall baseball is an important part of the Gamers program. But, it is not a REQUIRED part of the program. So, why play fall baseball?
Although the 2010 Fall Season in more that halfway through, I wanted to share my thoughts on Fall baseball. This is geared more for high school age Gamers, but is true at lower ages too.
First, if you are going to succeed at something at a high level (like playing college baseball), it requires a lot of commitment and passion. You need to truly love the sport — not many things would stand in the way of you and the baseball field.
So, at the most basic level, Fall baseball is an opportunity to do more of something you love. Why would you not do it?
Second, we live in the Midwest and the Spring/Summer baseball season is TOO SHORT. High school baseball does not start until March and games don’t start until April. In the mid-South (just 4-8 hours away), high school baseball starts 6-8 weeks earlier. And, in those areas they have lights on the fields and play doubleheaders. A 40+ game high school schedule is the norm. In Missouri, 20 games is the norm.
Our high school age players simply do not play enough baseball to effectively compete against players from the mid-South. Stretching the season into September and October is a way to level the playing field. Players can get a lot of reps and improve a lot during September and October. The weather is usually nice, and we can play 20+ games or more.
At 16u and beyond, the competition is on the regional and national stage, not the local stage. You need to close the gap versus Mid-South players — Fall baseball provides that opportunity.
Third, Fall baseball at 16u and 17u is intensely recruited by college baseball. Plus, there are a lot of national and regional showcase events and college camps in the Fall. You can’t just show up at a showcase in October and expect do well if you have not been playing during August and September. If you fill August-November with tournaments, showcases and camps, you can greatly enhance exposure opportunities. Fall baseball is a great fit with the college recruiting calendar.
So, three reasons why high school age players should play Fall baseball:
1. Baseball is something that you are committed to and love.
2. Opportunity to extend the season, and close the gap versus Mid-South players.
3. Recruiting/exposure opportunities in the Fall
We know that some high school age players play football and soccer at the varsity level. We do not want to take that away from them. There is nothing like playing a varsity sport under the lights on Friday night.
But, you need to recognize what you are giving up by skipping Fall baseball. If you skip Fall baseball during your high school years, you will get fewer opportunities to play college baseball. That is a cold reality. I can point to 2-3 2010 Gamers that would have had better college opportunities if they has played Fall baseball instead of football after their junior year.
For some players, that is a tradeoff they are willing to make. For other players, they are making the tradeoff without knowing it.
Also, we know that some families try to save money by skipping Fall baseball. We tailor the Gamers fall programs to be very affordable — a lot of baseball for not much extra cost. For the reasons listed above, trying to save money by not playing Fall baseball is NOT the recipe for success. Penny wise, pound foolish.