• Steven Martinez

    Hello Coach Wolff. My name is Steven Martinez.. I want to comment about baseball tryouts. I’ve been going to many tryouts since 2006. I feel that in many of those tryouts I have done much better than many of the other players there. Unfortunately they did’nt even give me a second look. I feel that at those tryouts I left my heart and soul out on those fields but for some reason I don’t even get recognized. Coach Wolff do you think I am wasting my time? Or do you think I should try other means to try and at least get noticed. I know that I would never give up trying because baseball is all I have ever wanted to do since I was very young. I am now 24 years old and still feel that I can play as a professional. I did play college ball for two seasons and won MVP as well as athlete of the year. Some people have even told me to try and play baseball overseas perhaps in Japan. Do you think this is wise or should I continue to tryout at open baseball tryouts. Can you please give me some advice I would really appreciate it. Thank you. Take care.

    • Rick Wolff

      Hi Steven – my advice to all aspiring ballplayers is that you don’t quit trying out until you truly reach a point in your life that YOU feel that either you’re no longer interested in chasing your dream, or you feel that there are no other baseball avenues left to pursue. In other words, it’s important that YOU make the decision as to when you’ve had enough – don’t let others make that decision for you. And remember this – -baseball is the ultimate sport in terms of frustration. It’s very, very hard to get signed to a pro contract – and only 6% of all signees ever spend a day in the big leagues.
      In terms of trying out for pro teams, at age 24, I would suggest you contact the various independent pro leagues as they have tryouts each spring. Another one to look at is the New York State Development League which plays out of Westchester Community College. Baseball is indeed a business – and you need to market yourself and your talents to those teams. And yes, going overseas is a possibility these days. Japan might be a stretch, bot there are pro leagues in Germany, China, Korea, Australia, Italy, and so on. Spend some time on the internet and you’ll find out more about these leagues. Good luck! Coach Wolff

  • Steven Martinez

    Thank you Coach Wolff for responding so soon. I took your advice and comments into consideration. I’ve decided never to give up on my dream. I will remain true to myself and follow my passion which is baseball. I will always work hard and continue to better myself. I know it will take perserverance and personal sacrifice, but I am up for the challenge. I will chase my dream and follow through. (Failure will not be an option for me.)

    P.S. I am considering giving the American Baseball Institute a try. Do you think this is a wise decision, have you heard about this place? It is located in Clearwater Florida. Please send me your feedback regarding this matter. I would appreciate it. Thanks Coach.

    • Rick Wolff

      Steven- alas, I’m not familiar with the American Baseball Institute. But don’t take that as either a negative or a positive. If I were you, I would do your homework on them, see what they offer, see what their fees are, and of course, ask for references of other ballplayers who have gone through their program. Once you have all the facts, then make your decision. good luck! Coach Wolff

  • Rodk

    Dear Rick:

    My son is a 9u baseball player.

    I got an open solicitation by email by an outfit at this website http://starsandstripesbaseball.com/view/starsandstripes/stars-and-stripes-costs for a tryout for him to join a state-based squad for a nation-level tourney in Florida during Christmas week.

    There is a $115 tryout fee that is supposed to include a professional assessment of his talent, and the participation fee is $350 if he made it, and it was supposed to be a 5 game minimum plus some local pretournament games and several practices in Florida. (We have relatives in Florida and would not have to stay in a hotel.)

    I never heard of this company and neither did his coach, who is a professional baseball coach and former pro player, and he gives me and him a report continuously.

    My son is a good ballplayer, not one of the best in the state of NY though solid, and he plays on a good team. He would be a legitimate prospect for a team like that given that not too many guys can go to Florida as singletons in this economy.

    Have you ever heard of this company, or is it like the modeling agencies that take the money of every sucker they can find but don’t do more? Ultimately, are tryout fees a scam? Is it customary to pay tryout fees at 9u and 10u? Does everyone make the team anyway, given its unusual timing and format as a pickup team? Or does no one make the team and you are suckers on the tryout fee?

    Thanks.

    • Rick Wolff

      Rod – I have never heard of “Stars & Stripes” baseball, and while they may be legit, my gut tells me this sounds more like the talent modeling agencies you mentioned, where proud parents pay a lot of money to see their kid be “selected” as an all-star. If I were you, I’d tread with caution on this. Coach Wolff

      • Rodk

        Thank you.

      • Mr. Wolff; Any thoughts on the following question? (High School Football) Does a senior have any right or has he earned some playing time as a result of him participating in the program from freshman year? He gone to all practices, participated in fitness camps, been dedicated to the program and during his freshman, sophomore, and junior years had played a lot in most cases being a starter. now at the varsity level his last year he sees little or no playing time. mostly just garbage time when the score doesn’t matter win or lose? I’m not suggesting that he starts as i feel thats a coaches decision but i think he should see some time in the game when its meaningful in order to give the player the feeling that his play makes a difference? How does this kid keep a positive attitude when all he sees mostly is the last few minutes of any game? Your thoughts

        • Rick Wolff

          It’s always a difficult dilemma for any HS coach when it comes to kids and quality playing time. On one hand, at the varsity level, it’s truly the coach’s decision as to who gets into the game and for how long. That’s a given, as you know. But that being said, the best coaches know and recognize those youngsters who have poured their heart and soul into the program over the years, and somehow, the best coaches find a way to reward those kids with more playing time here and there.
          At this point in the football season, it wouldn’t hurt for your son to approach the coach directly and ask him “Coach, what do I need to improve upon in order to get more playing time?” That’s a different kind of question than “Coach, how come I can’t get more playing time?” In any event, I do think your son should approach the coach and see what the coach has to say. Good luck. Coach Wolff

  • Thank You for your response and I will suggest this to my son. However I truely believe that a player who as you said put his heart and soul into the program deserves to be recognized with not quanity time but quality time. this loyalty from the coach shows the underclassman that all of their work over the years will mean something in their senior year. After all a small percentage of these kids will play at the next level. (college) This to most is the last time that they will play this sport.