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2011-07-28 digital edition

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2011-07-28 / Sports

Poor Youngsters

by Mike Organ


Above is a picture of Derek Dane, who has played select ball almost since he can remember. In this picture he and members of the College Station Twelve traveled to Steamboat Springs, Colorado in the summer of 2010 to take on some of the top 10% of teams in the nation in the 2010 Triple Crown World Series. Above is a picture of Derek Dane, who has played select ball almost since he can remember. In this picture he and members of the College Station Twelve traveled to Steamboat Springs, Colorado in the summer of 2010 to take on some of the top 10% of teams in the nation in the 2010 Triple Crown World Series. An article in the Austin American this past week said something needs to be done about all the summer camps, select baseball, volleyball, and softball teams. That is not mentioning the 7 on 7 competition, lineman challenges, weight lifting workouts, and various football related camps that are put on by college coaches.

The college camps are especially suspect because high school athletes pay money to go to these camps to get better, obviously, but also to get noticed by college coaches. The kids pay to get noticed and recruited. It is somewhat like betting on a poker hand. You ante up and hope you have the cards to win. Here you ante up and hope you have the skills the coaches want. A few have what it takes, but most don’t. The good thing is the athlete and parents can look back and say they gave it their best shot. And the coaches have a little extra cash to go with their million dollar salaries.

How do you solve the problem that is robbing the youngsters and parents of their time and money? Some say limit the number of camps and/or games the student athletes can participate in. However, when does it start to infringe on personal, family decisions? How can you tell someone like Lexington’s Derek Dane he should not be playing on artificial turf fields against top-notch talent?

Some players get good enough to play at the next level and prosper. Others are just good high school players and it is over. Still others have been burnt out over the years and will quit as soon as it is their decision.

Parents should watch their progeny and feel their way with each individual child. Will you always make the right decision? No, just do the best you can.

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