The Baseball Process Way Part 1 with Walter Beede

Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development.

Guest Bio:

Walter Beede is the founder of The Baseball Process. A company that is sole focus on help players and parents understand what it take to go through the development process, the recruiting process, the draft process, and anything else that parents and player often are left confused with baseball development.

Summary:

On this episode, Host Geoff Rottmayersits down with Walter Beede of The Baseball Process, where we talk about the many different understand that parents need to understand when it comes to their son development.

Show Notes:

In Part 1 of this Conversation Walter talks about:

  • His background and up bringing in the game of baseball.
  • Talk about his experience as a college coach and how it helps him with his Baseball Process business.
  • The lack of understanding on parents part when it comes to the recruiting process.
  • How important development of skill set are.
  • When is the perfect time to get evaluate and start working on game.
  • The culture of travel baseball and when a parent should be concerned with such.
  • What to look for when you are looking for the best travel baseball team.
  • The idea of showcases and his thoughts on them.
  • and much more.

Website:www.baseballawakening.com

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Email Address:geoff@baseballawakening.com

Transcribe:

Geoff: On today’s show, we talk with Walter Beede and we talk about college recruiting, travel, baseball, academic, and passion.
Intro:   Welcome to another episode of The Baseball Awakening Podcast where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development. Get ready for some knowledge bombs with your host, Geoff Rottmayer. Welcome to the baseball.
Geoff: Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, I’m Geoff Rottmayer. Today we sit down with Walter Beede who runs the company called Baseball Process on baseballprocess.com, and he uses his experience to educate parents, an employer on the different processes of working up the baseball ladder. Walter, how are you, sir?
Walter: Geoff I am Fantastic. I little bit on the chilly side here Greater Boston but other than that things are great.
Geoff: Yeah, I get it, man. So, so Walter, you know, listen, you, you have a business called baseball process and what I would like to do is talk about that today, but first let’s talk about your baseball background and then talk a little bit about how you got into the Baseball Process Business.
Walter:   Well, uh, back in the late seventies is when dinosaurs roamed the earth, played American Legion baseball in high school baseball. I’m the old time scouts would come to some of your games and that’s all the college coaches would find out about, you know, the kids from the northeast or the mid-Atlantic areas. Um, you know, the the the big schools at the time where the PAC 10 at the time, the PAC 10 schools, uh, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, USC, etc. Well, uh, you know, I played my American legion schedule and you know, I’ve played against guys like Ronnie Darling, uh, you know, he played in west Boylston legion and st john’s high school in Shrewsbury, Mass. There Were scouts at the games and, you know, very competitive environment and uh, fortunate enough to get drafted. Um, in 1981 my senior year in high school by the chicago cubs. I’m in the 13th round and I had the scholarship to go to Arizona state. Um, uh, jim brock, brock at the time a, lenny marillo was a major league scouting bureau scout with brock and uh, you know, I went out there, visited, was really enamored with a the weather be the baseball. Um, but I had a, you know, I had gone through that as a single, uh, my parents had passed away when I was very young and I lived on my own, believe it or not, not embellishing anything. I just lived on my own And have my own apartment. And so when the cubs came in and uh, you know, they came in and sat down and said, you know, do you want to be a dentist? Do you want to be a lawyer? You know, you want to be a baseball player, what? We’re the school of baseball and, you know, here’s a 25,000, you know, at the time, which when the first round is back, then we’re getting 250,000 Like Joe Carter and vance lovelace. I figured, you know, this was an opportunity for me to kind of get on my career, get my career going and see where it would take me. Well, you know, that was my first foray into, okay, I’ve been, uh, recruited student athlete. I was a minor leaguer for about a heartbeat. And I understood that and about the business side of baseball. Um, and what had happened is the day that I signed, literally the wrigley family sold, uh, the team, uh, and to the tribune. And so what happened there was everybody in that organization basically, uh, when lee elior and a dallas green came in and basically just literally everybody from the previous drafts back then they had january drafts, um, and they just kinda cleared house. And I think I, I think I may have gotten 50 at bats, um, you know, once a week I played in sarasota, um, the managers who, you know, were good people, but they just had no interest. And what was funny about that is my first minor league experience, I think we had ultimately six future major leaguers that played on the team, uh, from vance lovelace who was a pitcher, um, you know, and I would catch bull pens for guys like that. We had a guy named rolando rose, a dj johnson. I mean, there are a lot of guys that ended up having some pretty good major league careers. But it was enough for me to learn that once I was on the outside looking back in a, you know, I never finished college. That was something that always stuck with me. Um, and I just made my way around coaching ranks of high school baseball, american legion baseball, babe ruth baseball ultimately became a head coach at a ncaa division three program, spent a lot of time doing, you know, recruiting, and when you’re a head coach at the division three level, you’re a, a psychologist, you’re a nutritionist, you know, you’re dealing a year negotiating with landlords, you’re negotiating with administrators and financial aid, etc. So I’ve been through, um, you know, kind of that process at an extreme level, learning the ins and outs of college admissions, college financial aid, a recruiting housing off campus housing, you know, there’s a lot of things that you have to do as a coach. So, um, I ultimately stopped or gave up college coaching, uh, after I received a call from like my youngest son, tyler, we’re in a conference tournament and he said, I just hit my first home, run over an over a fence. And at the time he was 11 years old and I had an 11 and a 13-year-old, my oldest son, kyle, and, you know, I just didn’t want to miss my son’s growing up. I, I purposely never coached them in baseball during their younger days. Um, but I certainly didn’t want to miss their games. I felt that that was too big of a sacrifice to make. So I stepped aside, uh, and then started to not only watch their games, the parents would ask me questions about how to get noticed by a college coach, what things would they were looking for. So that’s really Where baseball process really began with my final year of college coaching and my kind of my first year away from coaching on any level, uh, to kind of sit Back and watch my boys play.
Geoff: Yeah, you know, the whole recruiting process, the draft and how that whole things works is very few people really understand that stuff. And that’s why a service like where you do it very valuable because they’re the perception of what it shouLd be like. And it’s not like that at all. So when I first pulled up your website, baseballprocess.com, you have something on there that I really liked and instead instead of this I want you warm up, I watch who cut corners, who stretches halfheartedly. I watched body language and right there iS enough information for me to know how committed a player is. I love that. You know, can you turn to talk a little bit about that and what that means.
Walter:   You know, a lot of parents, a lot of student athletes to lead to believe know they get lost in a sea of statistics, you know, and they, they want to rattle off statistics that, that they feel a kind of a sign in a positive light. And I used to always say to not only my sons but two people that would ask or people that I would go watch maJor league scouts and college coaches. They basically formulate their opinions on players. You know, before the game even starts. Whether that’s turned in and out, you know, infield or in a cage or in a bullpen session, you know, they see who shows up to the ballpark, how they dress. You know, his mom or dad carrying your equipment bag, you know, they notice these little tiny things and they also noticed interaction with teammates before the game, during the game obviously, and then obviously after the game. And So what parents failed to understand is your moment may be so fleeting where a coach or scout shows up at the ballpark and the body language or the way they’re wearing the uniform made the signal, not our kind of guy and you may never get that opportunity again. And so while obviously talent and skill sets are a prerequisite for a student athlete to get recruited and slash or scouted. There are some other underlying things that go into the recruitment of a college student athlete. And I think that more parents were aware of, more importantly, if more student athletes were aware how keenly we are watching, uh, when they get off the bus, you know exactly what they do from a pregame routine. Um, their eating habits. Um, you know, I had a young man that I went to go see one time, as silly as this may sound. And they showed up and Got off the bus shirt was untucked, untucked flip flops, shorts, eating a candy bar through the wrapper, the candy bar on the ground had headphones on. I’ve never had a dialogue with his teammates and just went to go sit in the dug out. And that was a red flare. So coaches and scouts sometimes they see there, they find themselves seeing the negative more than they are allowed to see the positive meaning. Okay, you’ve given me no foundation and no excitement to want to stick around and see what it looks like. Or you know what? This just isn’t our kind of guy. This is me guy versus we guy and you know, from a very, very young age, I always tried to implement in stress to my sons and obviously the those that played with me, uh, for me. Listen, this being it has a beginning and it has an end. And in between that journey, no one wants to be around me guy and we use these acronyms. We throw them around and these cliches. But for me, it was always winters. Execute, we versus making excuses me and so those guys that are me guys, they tend to be the ones I was sore that day and you can see it in the very beginning. So when I first show up and I started to look at and evaluate players, which is a strength that I, that I trust, I can tell almost immediately this is a guy I want to watch or this is a guy just don’t think we can help. Um, so I, that’s one thing I try to get across to parents and student athletes from the very, very beginning when I began to work with them.
Geoff: Yeah I agree. They just don’t understand that. And that’s super important. The let’s, let’s kind of talk about the process, the recruiting process because it seems like we are so focused on the recruiting firms and the websites, you know, which, which had the pros and con, but it seemed like even the college showcases that are kind of becoming a big thing, know almost like a fundraiser for them. You know, they send out mass emails so everyone’s invited to everything. So can you talk a little bit about what that process is like? You know, how do I know I’m being recruited by someone first and then just sending me stuff because they want to see me and show off, you know, what I have been in a tryout or something.
Walter: Well, this is really where the rubber hits the road for me and this is something that’s very near and dear to my heart. We’ve become the sport within the United States, for the most part, has become so homogenized that we think there’s a straight line between a student athlete college, high school coaches, college coaches to pro ball. And really it couldn’t be further from the truth. So the first thing is the vast majority, anytime a student athlete or a parent registers a student athlete for any camp anywhere in the country. And I used the perfect game as an example. Pbr. Um, you know, all of the other big, a showcase type events. Those emails are essentially sold or you have access to them. Coaches and clinics and camps have access to that information. And so they can create a mailing list and that mailing list, they don’t care if you’re in North Dakota and you’re an auburn, Massachusetts, if you’ve attended an event, you’ve paid money to go to play at any event around the country, they assume you have discretionary income and you’re going to be looking to do these showcases and camps and clinics. And so that’s the biggest red flag I tell parents. If you’re getting these, showcase notices, you’ve obviously registered or you’ve played in an event. So that should be a signal there, generic formatted emails and letters. And so as a parent you really need to understand that getting an invite via email or you know, a regular us postal, a letter that comes in the mail that is not signifying that we are recruiting your son or we have people that want to recruit your son. In fact, it’s just generic hope you come and spend some money. And oh, by the way, we will have some college coaches that’ll be drinking coffee and eating donuts and, and we’ll be watching your son and if there’s anybody that stands out. But by and large, the vast majority of any Camps or showcases a, I always use the 90 10 rule. There are 100 student athletes that are on the field 90, don’t even pass the eye test, 10 passes the eye test. And out of those 10, maybe two are going to be above average to elite student athletes. Um, and that, and so I set out criteria for parents. So if you’re interested in a showcase at the camp clinic, etc, you need to meet three of the following, you know, pieces of criteria. One, there needs to be a skill set that is above average or he needs. So if there is not a hit tool, a power tool, an above average arm above average speed above average athleticism, something that’s gonna stick out to make you rise above the hundred other 99 other participants at that event. You don’t go number two, If the student athlete is not a student, meaning there is not a true game plan academically, you know, you can tell me, you know, and I use vanderbilt as an example. I also use North Carolina. You, when you ask parents, where would, where would you like your son to go to school? Oh, well, you know vanderbilt, uh, or North Carolina. Okay. Well, any college is going to be looking at the act, sat and they missed some have minimum requirements and then they’re going to look at the real gpa. And so parents instinctively want to say, oh, well jimmy is a three point. Oh student, okay. Is that aq score? is that a core curriculum? Is there, what is our real gpa? Because they don’t count. They don’t count, you know, they need to know english, math, language and science. Give me a gpa. And if your gpa isn’t above a two, five, we can’t even go to the ballpark because we were not going to be in anybody’s, you know, a sweet spot as far as, okay, I can get this guy to admIssion. And the last thing is I look a parent in the eye and I say, I need five minutes alone with your son. I need to know if he has the passion for the game and I’ll know within those five minutes. And I’ve had parent after parent laughs at me and say, okay, well here’s jimmy and I’ll go and they’ll go in another role and I can’t tell you. Many times a young man will say to me, you know, I really don’t want to do all these showcases my dad or my mom that my parents really want me to go. Or, you know, what? I love playing football, or I love playing hockey, but I don’t hear that, you know, here’s my routine. here’s what I enjoy about the sport. Here’s what I love about game day. Here’s what I enjoy about when I am my practice habits. The things that I’m working on. You know, very, very few parents understand. There’s a. Everybody can say, my son has an enjoyment or a passion or a desire to play at the next level until they get to the next level. And they get there and they say, geez, I really don’t like these 4:00 AM. Wake up calls for strength and conditioning. This isn’t for me. I’m going to go out. But if you know that ahead of time, then we can save you thousands and thousands of dollars in miles traveled, etc. So if they meet those three things, then we can start to say, okay, we don’t want to go to these showcases, but what we want to do is we want to find a college program where we know the college coaches that will give us honest feedback, independent feedback where you go to that camp. It’s a one day of that and that coach says, I see something or you know what wall he’s not, he’s not, he doesn’t have this tool. We didn’t need to go here because that in itself can be used as a foundation if we need to participate in more showcases or, or cancer clinic. But you know, the thing is, unless it college is reaching out to a student athlete directly, then you’re not being recruited. You know. And sometimes it can come early in the form of a form letter that says you do this rule the ncaa. We cannot start our active recruiting, but we can, you know, we’d like you to participate in one of our camps. There are generic letters and then there’s letters where you can say, okay, this was a handwritten letter by a college coach, a this wasn’t a form letter, so there’s a lot of things that really go into. Again, is it real or is it memorex before a student athlete is what I consider to be active, being actively recruited by division one, two, or three programs,
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Geoff: Yeah, I agree. You know, thanks. Thanks for sharing, man. You know, and, and so I want to kind of get into each of those three things. So the skillset above average and elite, I’ve got a couple questions on that. You know, how can they, you know, for our listeners, how can they figure out if they are above average tothe elite? And then two, I think a lot of people don’t realize how early they need to start the process of maybe developing those skillsets. So what’s your advice on the age range on when they need to start really focusing in on, especially if it’s what they really want to do, you know, and there’s a lot of work involved. So what, what’s your advice there?
Walter: Well, before the age of 14, for the most part, is a waste of time at the age of 14, getting to the age of 14 here in new engLand and that’s nine to 12-year-old boys. You want them to have fun with their friends of enjoyment and a passion for the game of baseball. And as this skillsets develop, the cream always begins to rise to the top and everybody wants to be the shortstop. Everybody wants to be the starting pitcher, you know, but we’re starting to take away the enjoyment of the game at a very young level and we’re making everything that I call a caged animal. Everything’s in a cage. We take batting practice in a cake. We drove both patents in a cage. Everything has a cage and we don’t allow the boys to just the green grass, smell the grass, smell the leather, smell the baseball, see their buddies, get the uniform’s dirty and fail. You know, the boys from nine to 12 are going to fail. There’s a lot of failure and statistics. I don’t think any college coach, any major league scout has ever called a parent and said, can you tell me what jimmy hit when he was 10 years old and little league all stars or 12 years old? And so that’s the first thing that you have to see how they do. They have a passion. And the minute said that the boys begin to exhibit, okay, there’s a desire to play at 13 is kind of the fork in the road. 13 is when most boys say, okay, I played baseball, but maybe I like this sport better. Maybe I just don’t like sports at all. Maybe I’m going to focus on, you know, being a student and academic. Maybe I want to be in the uh, uh, volunteer their various things that happen at 13 and you know, awfully saturday sounds a lot of Boys just want to play video games and hang with their buddies, which I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t like boys standing inside. But with regard to baseball, 90 percent of the boys, there are 2 million boys that play little league baseball in the United States. Out of those 2 million boys, only $400,000. I’m going to make their way to a high school baseball field. Out of that 400,000, only $35,000 going to ultimately play at any level of college baseball. Next junior college and ai a or ncaa one, two and three. So at 14 years old is really where, okay, now I want to make sure my, my son is exhibiting some skill sets, 13 years old. I want to start to get, um, some, some coachIng, meaning the nuances of the game. Knowing situational baseball, you know, at 13 and 14 is when the intellect begins to take over. The field suddenly gets bigger for the last time. There’s a lot of different things that go on, a 60, 90 field that is happening at 45 and 60 or 50 and 70 feet for fields and so we need to learn what is my role within the game, what am I good at and where does my game need work that needs to be addressed at 13 and 14 years old. In other words, if I have a young man and he’s as an extremely strong arm and he says, I love to catch. Okay, well have you ever explored pitching, you know, anything about catching and pitching? He loved being a catcher and don’t want any part of being a picture. Are you open to being a pitcher? so there’s a lot of things that I have to take off of a skill set that is flashing at 13 and 14 on the bigger diamond. you know, just because I had a good fastball and literally or a cal ripken at 50 feet or 45 feet doesn’t mean I’m going to have an explosive basketball as a 13 or 14-year-old. You know, the other thing that’s kind of a lost art is we have all these flyers that teach me a curveball, teach me a cutter, a, teach me how to be a to hit home runs and exit speed and all these things that I can attach to my bat that tells you what my swing speed is and my exit speed and all of those sorts of things. Well, hold on. We. We have to learn how to handle the barrel of the bat. You know the the the greatest quote I ever saw a when I was a kid was with ted williams and he used to say it’s not the arrow, it’s the indian. And so I explained to parents all these new gidgets and gadgets and latest baseball bats and the ax handle bats and the $400 aluminum bat. They don’t work Unless the indian knows how to handle the bow and arrow. And so you’d say to parents, let’s develop these skill sets. Let’s make sure he can handle the barrel, make sure he. He knows how to put a barrel on a back consistently and then we’ll work on exit speed. Let’s make sure we can locate a fastball and then we’ll work on secondary pitches and let’s make sure he has the necessary what speed to play the middle of the of the infield and oh, by the way, if your son is an outfielder and he doesn’t have the foot speed, chances of him being a center fielder at the next level is slim to none. Let’s make him a right fielder. Which immediately, well, he’s better than a right field and oh, by the way, there are some of the best athletes In the game that are paid tens of millions of dollars. I eat bryce. Harper is right fielders and so you know, you have to learn to play these positions based on your skill sets and that happens at 13 and 14 and I always try to get parents to understand that more. Your son can see the field of each, position it later on in the game. The better he’ll be because you’ll have opportunities. When a coach says, who can play third base? I can. When it goes, says who can catch, I can you want to be that guy that gives the coach versatility and we see it in today’s game at the major league level, you know, and uh, you know, you listened to general managers or presidents of these major league teams. The first thing they say is we like players that give us versatility on the diamond that can not only play the infield but can play. They can catch it in an emergency. They can play the outfield. That makes our roster very, very. It’s a very valuable piece to make our roster extremely flexible and versatile throughout the course of a season. That same thing can be said at the collegiate level. Um, and parents I think are led to believe just because jimmy is the starting shortstop, you know, at the local high school, that means it’s going to be stopped in college or beyond possibly. and I always give them, you know, coach o’connor at uva and coach mcmellon, all they knew Is include shortstops. And guess what they just said, all the shortstops. Okay. Wherever the best shortstop is gonna win. But ultimately one of you guys got to play second, third, first catch, play centerfield, etc. Because you’re my best athlete. So I would tell parents at 13 and 14, that’s the age that you really need a true evaluatIon, an independent evaluation, somebody that has no dog in the fight, whether that’s a local college coach, a local major league scout, somebody that can say, these are the presidents skillsets, these projectable skillsets, and these are the things that I would work on over the next few years. Get yourself balanced and athletic and prepared to play at the collegiate level.
Geoff: What about, what about travel ball that’s kinda gotten watered out? So how does the parents say? Because the culture says this is what you need to do to be able to get exposure. So how does a parent go about saying, okay, now I think this is the time to play competitive ball. we need to see where he fits against against his peers. How do they go about finding now you know what the process they need to take to stay. Okay, maybe this is the team that I need versus this one who has all the big name and they went all the trophies and all that stuff.
Walter: This is a sensitive subject to me. My grandfather used to be a dad, but pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered and I think that’s where we’ve gotten to with regard to travel ball. We have a multitude of bigger programs that basically allow other programs across the country to use their name and that sometimes sends a signal to a parent, oh, this must be a great program because it’s, you know, an individual named but it’s a member of that organization. Nothing can be further from the truth. The number one thing with regard to travel ball is a, not all travel ball organizations a and their schedules are the right fit for your sons to not all events that are run by the bigger name programs like pbr and perfect game or worth the time and money that it takes for your son to go and play. The number one thing that a parent has to do with regard to choosing a travel ball organization is for the coaches. It starts with the coaches. The coaches I do. They have a coaching background. Do they have a coaching acumen? I do. They do. They have. Are they, what’s their temperament? Meaning I don’t care if you tell my son that he’s not good enough shortstop and he has to play second, but are you going to teach him a to become a better shortstop and b, how to play second base. We don’t really take into account in travel, at least here in new england and the northeast, mid atlantic areas. Raleigh travel ball practices are held between january and march and the weather is not conducive to get outside too. We’re inside a and you know, we’re running these practices and we’re doing these drills, but we only have one coach trying to coach 15 to 25 all players. Um, and so, you know, when you started to look at travel ball organizations, I had a parent last year, ended up being on a team paying north of $5,000 just to be on the team that didn’t include any travel or food excetera and there were 23 players on the team. So you don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out, okay, I have 23 guys, let’s say three or four of those guys aren’t paying anything because it’s elite. well, 20 guys are paying $5,000. that’s $100,000 for six weeks in baseball. It’s a big business. And so is that helping jimmy get better? And so what I tried to explain to parents is we have to really research and you have to find a program, one that’s, that’s competitive. Nobody wants to be on a team that he is either going to beat teams, tends enough in every game or lose 10 up in every game and get mercy to. I need to know that the events that might travel ball team is participating in, are going to have several college coaches have significance at my son’s games. In other words, if you live in Louisiana and I lived in Louisiana for five years while my boys went to college, you live in Louisiana and you have no desire to play anywhere outside of the southeast area. Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and the adventure going through are all in the mid atlantic or midwest or out west in Arizona. It, it’s not doing you any good to play in that travel ball organization. The other thing is you have to know your role. You know, somebody has to know, okay, my son is a catcher and he’s a really good catcher. Okay. If my son is a good catcher, I want him catching elite or above average pitching. I want him to be challenged, and so does that team allow your son at 14 to possibly be a 16 new player as opposed to a 14, you then 15 you and then getting to the 16 new levels. It’s a waste of time for a 13-year-old young man that has the ability to play 13. You travel baseball, that boys should be playing at worse, that minimum 14 years and when that boys 14 and 15, you should be playing 16 years, but the business side of travel ball will always push back and say, no, if we make the exception for jimmy that we’ll have to let everybody else. You have to go through 13, you 14 years, 15 years, et cetera. Well, that’s because it’s $5,000 times four years in some cases, five years and they want to make sure that getting players and be able to feel a team on every single age group when in reality if your son is a college level caliber player, when he shows up on the campuses freshman year, he’s playing with men. You’re 18, 17, 18 or 19 while the guys on your team, well that’s 21, 22 in some cases, even 23 at the higher level programs that, you know, they’re men. So at what point, and you know in high school you’re a freshman and you’re talented and you think you’re ready to play at varsity guys, you’re 14 or 15, it was varsity guys are 18 or 19, so at the end of the day travel ball has to be a program that’s going to work independently with a player. If he exhibits skillsets and it’s got to constantly challenge as well as a coach your son. If it’s just the old you enter our program, you go through our program our way. You don’t deviate from our plan. Sorry, that doesn’t work for me. Or if it’s a good coaching staff that’s going to allow your son to participate and be challenged. That’s the type of program and playing a challenging competitive schedule. You want to be competing. You want to make sure that if it’s just an independent travel ball program that’s playing locally when I say a 60 to nine, 90-mile radius out of all of those teams that your son’s going to participate against. How many of those student athletes that are competing against are going to be playing at the college level? So if you don’t know those answers, do you need to find somebody that does and that’s where, you know, baseball process. What I do is I know where you’re living, I know what your high school program is, I know, and you are recommended to various teams across the country that I know have great coaching. It does take and I’m going to make sure that parents don’t always understand. When I worked with sharon, I know as a dad I paid up with the 10 to 15 to $20,000 per season for, for my boys to participate in the various program. But I also know on the back end that both of my boys now have college educations and no student debt, no student loans, and they’re educated and that they traded their athletic ability for academic excellence and that money that I invested in their baseball and they’re studying, uh, you know, the act prep, sat prep, it paid dividends, but they were always challenged and played up or were coach. I didn’t coach my boys at all. And youth baseball, um, in fact, I didn’t coach my boys. And so my youngest one was a senior in high school and I made sure that they were with coaches that were at structure routine, good coaching skills. We’re able to disseminate their teaching in a positive manner and that they were challenged, that they didn’t allow boys to kind of get complacent and so that I knew that by the time that they were 18 that they were ready and this is the key. They were ready to compete. They’re freshman fall at the college level to be a contributor there freshman year in college and that is the key from 14 to 18. We’re not preparing to be a great high school student athlete were preparing to be ready for a competitive environment during the freshman fall of your whatever school that you choose, that when you enter into that fall in august or september, you hit the ground running and you’re, you’re, you’re able to jump into the water, so to speak and compete right away.
Geoff: Let me ask you this, johnny boy who a. And I’ve talked about this quite a bit. You know, we have johnny boy here who is, let’s say the freshman and maybe he five alive in and 120 slash 20 pounds, you know, the skillsets are not there and the parents are freaking out about how they have to be on this team and they and they go and they get on this team and then they go out there and they do horrible, you know, and this is almost like it’s too late. And so how important is that for them? Making sure that they at least have somewhat of a skillset before going into that type of an environment.
Walter: Critical mass. I’ll tell you about a young man, a very high level academic catholic school in greater new orleans and he had no tool other than what speed, where he was on the track team at the time. That really stood out to the parents. The number one thing here is we can’t be chasing 10 rabbits when we’re trying to catch one. The first thing we must do is instead of going into travel ball, we have to get into a routine similar to the college process. Meaning, let’s get into a coaching routine that at the next level that he would be a part of an alleged strike to put him through the paces and see if the skillsets began to show themselves. Okay. We don’t just jump into a cage and do 20 minutes, 20 minutes of live vp or teamwork and get out. No, no, no. We’re going to start with this type of environment where instead of spending $5,000 and to be on a travel ball team and at the end of it being miserable because he didn’t play, he didn’t get a chance to develop. Let’s take that same amount of time over the three months or four months between june and october, uh, september. And let’s say, okay, three days a week we’re doing this. The other three days we’re doing that will take a day off. That’s college routine. Colleges are, are basically working out six days a week and taking one day off. I said, so let’s begin to see what takes place and let’s begin to take some video so that johnny can see what he’s doing rather than me or you telling him what he’s doing. You know, we use these words, but how does that feel or what do you think boys at 12 to looking at 15, they don’t. They don’t understand that terminology that they use at the higher level. So they react well and they’re very visual. Obviously the video games and the laptops and the ipads and all the other things, they want to see her. So we take video as you know now, the major league in college, every time they take batting practice is a, you know, an ipad that’s set up on a tripod and you know, jd martinez made this almost universal in every major league. Team. Batting practices, bullpens there. Now video and then you go back and watch them after practice and you get into the video room and you start breaking things down. Well, that is better served not chasing travel ball until such time that the skillsets begin to show themselves and he’s able, they’re able to compete at those levels, first of all, as a freshman and a sophomore, really as an eighth grader and a ninth grader, you don’t need to worry about if I’m missing anything, I think that’s what parents here, they’re chasing a carrot that they feel that their sons need to be. If they’re not in the arena, they’re going to lose because snooze, you lose and it can’t be anything further from the truth. What you need to understand is during those time, those, those two years, okay, is, does he understand nutrition? Does he understand strength training? Has he ever gone for an evaluation from a guy like an eric cressey or Mike Ryan hold or david coggins or, or, or, or ben fairchild, uh, you know, all of these people need to evaluate your son’s physical capabilities as well as inability because that will help us coach your son to get his skill sets to begin to flourish. So when you’re chasing the travel ball and you’re chasing all the accolades that these teams, they all we had sent, first of all, parents need to understand one very basic issue, just put that uniform on your body. Your son’s body isn’t going to make him a student at a recruitable student athlete. There’s nothing that those travel ball programs for the most part, not in their entirety. One of the most part travel baseball teams are jockeys. They ride the horses. So if I have guys that are throwing 90 at 15 years old, we’re going to win a lot of games, but I didn’t do anything to help that young man. So 90 he showed up and we asked them to play for us because really the superbowl team of, of travel ball and we have won all these championships, these mythical world championships. And so it comes a boy and he played for us and we love you and jimmy, you’re the best. And good luck at usc. We didn’t do. They didn’t do anything for jimmy. Jimmy just showed up and those guys wrote them like a jockey and you know, new clap their hands and said, we love you. Thank you for wearing that jersey for two years. So it has to be about development. It has to be about skill sets. That’s the first priority. Any student athlete that has a desire to play college baseball. The other thing I tell parents is jake a week in may or april, regardless of where you live in the country and go not only a college baseball game and I don’t care what level of college baseball, local junior college baseball, nai baseball, ncaa division three, two or one to watch a game, but more importantly go watch a practice and instead of focusing on the game, if your son is as good as the backup catcher at any college, okay, now we have a dog in the fight, but if you look around the practice and you’re batting practices and you see the fourth string field or you know, just hitting rockets all over the field, but he doesn’t even sniff the field. Are you as good as that guy? Because they have to see What dog did chasing and how I illustrate data is I’ll say to a parent, a parent will say to me, well jimmy is really fast. I said, okay. I said, jimmy fast, how fast is he? Went to a pit bull are jcl and he parents and what do you mean? I said, when you play in college baseball, there’s a pit bull chasing you every day at practice. Every game you’re constantly, somebody wants your position, so jimmy’s fast, but how much faster and will he be when there’s a pit bull chasing them? And so that gets parents starting to think, okay, if he was being chased by a pimp or in a competitive environment, how much better would he be? No. It’s one thing for a parent to say, my son sitting for 15 high schools. Okay. But is anybody else on the team? what kind of, you know, one of the calibers of competition. Same thing with travel ball, travel, baseball. You can go win 73 is going to be 72 and two and travel baseball. And your son could have the greatest statistics known to mankind, but who was chasing him? Was there a pit bull around? Was anybody competitive with them? Who’s the backup shortstop behind your son? How good to see is he chasing him? Because when he gets on my campus, yes, what? I have three shortstops that were all american high school players and I got to find the best one that helps our team win. That’s the pit bull that’s going to be chasing your son when he gets to college. And the same thing in pro ball, you know that that funnel gets really tight. The higher up the game you go. And if you don’t learn that when they’re younger and travel ball and you don’t prepare them to be competitive and to be consistent, uh, in their routines, uh, and then they’ll gain prep and then their games. Um, that’s, that’s what you need to be looking for. You can see all the trophies behind the coach’s head. But what are you doing for me now? What? What are you going to do for my center? How are you going to prepare my son? Cause most of the kids roll out of high school baseball and just roll into travel baseball and there’s not a whole heck of a lot of time as I’m sure you’re well aware of, of practice, you know, you just kind of play all these tournaments, um, you know, all across the country. And um, you know, the big boys are starting to die on the vine. The perfect game was just so, you know, it’s not. That doesn’t have the same cache to go play at a baseball tournament in, in, in Georgia any more than it used to be a very competitive environment. You know, the same thing with the pbr. I mean you’re paying money to pay more money to get invited to go play more money. And what does that do for my son? So you know, there’s a lot of information there that I just spewed out, but at the end of the day it is sometimes it’s better to get an evaluation and an understanding of your son’s presidents, skillsets, projectable skillsets, and maybe take a year, a summer or two to get those skill sets developed to the point where now they’re prepared to be actively recruited.
Outro:   I am Geoff Rottmayer and thanks for listening to our conversation on The Baseball Awakening Podcast, stay tuned for part two of our conversation with Walter Beede Tomorrow tomorrow.