What If I Don't Make the Team this Fall?

What If I Don't Make the Team this Fall?

Around this time every year, more and more try-outs are posted by teams looking to fill out a fall roster, and more and more parents are looking for these try-outs in hopes of a new team.  All the way down to 6U, there are travel teams for all ages and skill levels.  And every fall, more and more parents are posting (often anonymously) asking about new teams and tryouts.  We all want better.  Coaches want better teams, parents/players want to be on better teams.

But what do you do this fall if you don't make the team you want? Well, obviously the answer is to crawl back to your old team begging, and then complain about favoritism and Daddy Ball! Obviously I am just kidding there.  But really, what is your best option if you don't make the team you want?

Well, lets start out by saying that taking the fall off of playing games is NOT the worst thing and can actually provide several benefits and opportunities.  Opportunities like playing other sports, opportunities to let the arm "rest," and opportunities to train your skills.  It can help prevent player burn-out, and help players improve for the future.

Lets take a step back and look at the current state of Major League Baseball.  In 2023, foreign born players accounted for 28.5% of the opening day rosters.  The three highest years of this have been 2020, 2022, and 2023.  Obviously, this number of international players is continuing to grow.  Why is that?  Well, lets look a little closer.  Here is a breakdown of the internationally born players in MLB this season:

1. Dominican Republic: 104
2. Venezuela: 62
3. Cuba: 21
4. Puerto Rico: 19
5. Mexico: 15

If we look at the youth programs in the Dominican Republic, they are not always playing weekend long tournaments with multiple games every day, all year long.  They take time to train.  Most of their time, especially early on, is spent training.  They have training academies set up to develop a players skill and athleticism. Contrast that with the system we have here in the United States that provides you with (maybe) two team practices a week followed by five games on the weekend. Now we see a difference. Playing is important to help learn the game, but playing isn't the best way to develop your skills and athleticism.  Continuing to look into the future and we will likely see international players becoming a larger and larger part MLB roster simply because of their skills.

So, what does all this mean for you?  It means it is ok, and even GOOD, to take time off of playing and focus solely on developing and improving your skills.  If you don't make the team you want, use this fall to practice.  Take lessons, correct swing flaws, work infield drills, work on improving velocity, get more athletics, etc.  Don't give up, don't get angry, get better!

Use this fall to your advantage.  Get healthy, get stronger, get better.  Come back in the spring more skilled and athletic than you have ever been.

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