This posting is primarily directed to 15u and 16u Gamers (2013, 2014 players).
We hear a lot of talk, both positive and negative, about high school baseball in the St. Louis/Midwest region. For the Gamers, our perspective on high school baseball is simple:
- Our players play high school baseball from March-May
- Most high school baseball coaches and programs are trying to do a good job
- We have a responsibility to support our players and do whatever we can to support their high school programs & coaches.
In short, we want our players to succeed in high school baseball. And, we want to have positive relationships with high school coaches.
The reality is that, in many high schools in the region, baseball is secondary sport (to football, basketball and in St. Louis even soccer). Every high school program is different and has both negatives and positives. That is true in all sports.
- High school baseball is a complement to summer baseball, not a substitute. Summer/Fall baseball is the biggest exposure opportunity and most challenging competition for college bound players.
- You need to work hard during the Winter to be ready to succeed in high school baseball beginning March 1st.
- Offseason high school workouts are a complement to your Gamers winter workouts, not a substitute. We have clear evidence and experience that players get significantly better during the Gamers Winter program. The same is not true for many offseason workouts at high school programs.
- You need to take advantage of the practice and rep time available during high school baseball. It is your choice on whether or not to use that time to get better. Make the right choice.
- Similarly, each player has the choice of being a leader or a follower in their high school program. We encourage our players to play and practice like Gamers, even in their high school program. This style of play requires courage and leadership if it is not the “culture” of your high school program.
- You need to take responsibility for staying healthy during the high school baseball season — especially pitchers. Do not pitch past your pitch count limit. Make sure that you are properly warmed up and ready to pitch before taking the mound. If you are not throwing enough during team practices, take care of it during your own time. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOU OWN ARM HEALTH.
In short, we advise our Gamers players to take personal accountability and responsibility for their time in high school baseball — for all aspects of their game.
In our experience, for most players, their high school baseball results (batting average, Wins/losses, etc…) has little bearing on how they perform in 15-17u summer baseball. And, frankly high school baseball has minimal bearing on college baseball opportunities. High school baseball is not a target of college baseball recruiting in the Midwest.
- Players that dominated during high school baseball, but struggled during summer baseball and failed to win the attention of college recruiters.
- Players that were not even in the starting lineup in high school as juniors, but then went on to have great summers and land D1 college roster spots before the senior year.