Summer is nearly upon us and the age old standard tradition of high school and college players transitioning from their respective seasons right into a local summer league or a higher profile collegiate league is about to begin . Likewise the newer, but becoming routine high school baseball and softball kids partaking in the numerous travel ball tournaments and showcases available is also underway. However, is that the best course of action for your development as a player?
In years past it may very well have been the only option. Now we (speaking in generality) know much more about player development due to more and newer research and have much more technology and player development tools available to us such as Rapsodo pitching and hitting, batting sensors, weighted baseballs, overload and underload bats and more that can really speed and improve the process of player development compared to playing. Likewise, recruiting can be initiated via video with the data provided by said technology.
Check out this very nice and objective flow chart created by our Director of Hitting Development, Bay Liskey.
You can substitute college softball/baseball scholarship opportunity in place of the draft/pro choice and can substitute play/don’t play travel ball for the collegiate summer league choice.
The biggest thing is being honest with your self about your current athletic ability and skills. Just because you hit .400 in high school does not mean your swing or power your show in high school etc..will transfer to college. It’s crucial to know what you need to get better at to reach your goal. Playing games all summer long does not mean your development will improve. That is the truth and should be acknowledged.
In some cases, playing games all summer will set back your development. Certain skills like pitch recognition are able to get better with more game at bats. However, certain skills like pitching velocity, is not likely to get better with more innings.
Think about it and don’t be afraid to take a new path if your old path just isn’t getting the job done in terms of your development.