So we’re going to talk some economics today. A buyers market is simply defined as a situation where supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations.
So how does this apply to travel ball? Pretty simple…it is a buyers market, meaning that the player really possess all the leverage, when it comes to picking travel teams, which certainly has its pros, but also definitely comes with its cons too.
Let’s talk about the cons…players have the freedom to move around if they are told something that they don’t like, such as…
- You’re not the best shortstop anymore.
- You need to start a serious lifting program.
- You’re a “second” team player.
- You’re going to be a pitcher only in college.
- You need to have better body language on the field.
And the list can go on and on. So instead of looking in the mirror, taking the feedback, and working on it…players can (and do), just leave and look around until they find someone willing to overlook the deficiency that was pointed out.
What is the problem with this? Well, it’s two fold…#1-Players don’t work on the areas of improvement that caused them to leave the last team (so the deficiency remains). #2-As they get older, it will no longer be a buyers market (high school and/or college) and players won’t be able to bounce around like they do in travel ball currently so they never learn to truly compete.
I hear, very, very often, from college and high school coaches that players don’t compete like they used to. And I think a large reason that is the case is because of the culture that travel ball has created. Don’t like something? Just leave. Find a team who will tell you what you want to hear…and not what you need to hear.
With only 7% of high school players moving on to play in college, the market changes to a sellers market. All of a sudden, all those options players are used to having vanish. And all that matters is how talented a player is and what type of competitor they are (grades matter too guys!). Be prepared for the market to shift. It will. Be obsessed.
PS-I am 100% not saying you need to stay in a bad situation. I am saying that there is a difference between a bad situation and the tough truth. It’s up to you to evaluate which situation you are actually in and make the best decision for you.
Director of Baseball
Maplezone Sports Institute