What is select baseball? In the late 80’s early 90’s was about the time it all started or at least started becoming popular and at that time it meant simply putting together teams of a greater talent level than your standard city league recreational baseball teams. This was usually achieved through tryouts that were posted in the newspaper or someone knew your kid was good and the word got around. These teams would then play in their own league made up of several select teams from different cities.
Select baseball was introduced as a way to provide better competition for the kids that were if you would, bigger, better, faster, stronger. The talent level between players in recreational ball could be anywhere from someone that has never played to someone that has played ever since tee ball. Parents wanted their kids to play for these select teams so that their kids would have an opportunity to improve their skills at a quicker pace. The idea was that the player would have to improve quickly to be able to stay competitive and grow as a player.
Evolution of Select
Select baseball has quickly evolved into a business where the focus is more on money than about the player. These days there are tournaments every weekend of the year in addition to league play. Baseball has become a year round sport due to this fact. There are pros and cons to year round baseball depending on the team your kid is playing for.
These days’ youth baseball clubs are complete businesses. In order for them to operate they need to have several teams and charge a pretty penny per player to cover the cost of operating such an organization. These costs usually go to having a facility to practice at and paying for quality coaches and paying for the tournaments to play in. Not all clubs are created equal. Some offer additional services such as instruction, sporting equipment and apparel. Other clubs don’t offer any of that and don’t even have their own facility in some cases. Cost can vary greatly from club to club. Cost to play select can be anywhere from $600 to $4000 that I have seen. This can be because of the number of tournaments they play to how much they pay the coaches to a number of different things.
How do I choose?
First you should know that there is always parents or players or both that are unhappy with something in every organization. There will be several things to consider here. Likely you will want one that is close to your home if possible. Next you will want one that is reasonably cost. Even before you consider those, you need to do some research about the organization and the coaching staff. If your kid is a pitcher you need to know that they will not overuse him or her. Ask questions about that when interviewing that club as a potential fit for your family. You also will want to know who the coaches will be but unfortunately you may not be able to because clubs usually have multiple teams and sometimes they don’t assign coaches until teams are formed. Try to find other parents that have been with the team and ask how their experience has been. So you have location, cost, and coaching to consider. Getting all three of those may be easier said than done. One last thing to consider is if you have a pretty good team already and want to forego playing for an organization you could hire a quality coach to coach your team.