Just Don’t Lie To Me


Just Don’t Lie To Me…By Patrick Langdon

On the eve of what will be my final games as a baseball coach, I was once again reminded just how far off the reservation the games we played as kids have strayed. Scott Fiske Miller sent me a video from HBO’S Real Sports teasing a story about travel sports. The family in video were asked if “ten years at $15,000 for sports was a good investment? ” “YES ” was the answer without hesitation. But bad fiscal logic aside the mother’s reasoning behind it is what was really telling. “We want to make sure we are keeping up so our kids don’t get left behind” Wow…just wow! They, and by they I mean the travel sports machine, hooked them! I can say with great definitely that there’s no place to be left behind to. The machine has crushed the competition (rec or developmental leagues) in a fury of lofty promises and massaged people egos and total lack of objectivity with a mixture of compliments and snake oil. ” I’ve been around the game a long time …your son has IT!” Well let me tell you I’ve been around the game for a long time too and I’m not going to lie to you….I ASSURE YOU THAT THEY DO NOT! My statement isn’t based on knowing your player and their ability to play their game. It’s based on law of averages. As good as you’ve been told your player is it stands to reason that there are thousands of players as good or better in any particular sport. So even the outstanding players will struggle to see college money in sports like baseball where scholarships are at a premium. That doesn’t stop these programs from chumming the water with “we can you to the next level” I ASSURE YOU THEY CANNOT! College coaches give out college scholarships … travel coaches do not! They cannot promise you anything that is in the area code of a sure thing. So in essence you are paying a lot of money for a raffle ticket….one that not only requires you to pay someone else for the chance there may not be a drawing at the end. It’s essentially “you can’t win if you don’t pay and even you do you might not win either!” Seems like sound investment strategy. “Here at XYZ Academy we care about you and your players future” I ASSURE YOU THAT THEY DON’T! The ONLY thing they care about is separating you from your cash! IF they cared there is no way it would cost what it does. They would be making it affordable and more accessible to the masses in effort to make sure nobody gets lost due to financial restraints. It’s not about getting the best kids it’s about getting people willing to shell out the cash! If they happen to be talented great …if they aren’t next year we will still take their cash or find someone else willing to pay for the chance! The biggest scam of it all is the term “professional coaching” If you take money (are paid) to coach then you are a professional. I know guys that have played in the big leagues or had long minor league careers…It doesn’t make them qualified to be great at coaching baseball. It sure as hell does mean that someone who played the game at a high level be it pro or college has the capicity to teach it. Not everyone has the gene. But mostly getting paid to do it you would think requires something you can’t get from someone that isn’t being paid. Just off the top of my head I can rattle off 25 names of guys I’d rather have coach my sons …guys like Matt McPeek
long before I’d send them to some of the “Professional Coaches” dotting the landscape out there. It about knowing and the travel sports machine has done a great job of controlling the information. “Tell them what they want to hear and not what they need to hear” is why they are all successfully profitable! It’s my sincere hope that your son or daughter is the exception to the rule and get everything out of sports they dream of. My advice is to make sports plan B and make an investment in their education. Its more of a sure thing and they will use their brain a lot more often especially after the games are over!
On the eve of what will be my final games as a baseball coach, I was once again reminded just how far off the reservation the games we played as kids ha. Scott Fiske Miller sent me a video from HBO’S Real Sports teasing a story about travel sports. The family in video were asked if “ten years at $15,000 for sports was a good investment? ” “YES ” was the answer without hesitation. But bad fiscal logic aside the mother’s reasoning behind it is what was really telling. “We want to make sure we are keeping up so our kids don’t get left behind” Wow…just wow! They, and by they I mean the travel sports machine, hooked them! can say with great definitely that there’s no place to be left behind to. The machine has crushed the competition (rec or developmental leagues) in a fury of lofty promises and massaged people egos and total lack of objectivity with a mixture of compliments and snake oil. ” I’ve been around the game a long time …your son has IT!” Well let me tell you I’ve been around the game for a long time too and I’m not going to lie to you….I ASSURE YOU THAT THEY DO NOT! My statement isn’t based on knowing your player and their ability to play their game. It’s based on law of averages. As good as you’ve been told your player is it stands to reason that there are thousands of players as good or better in any particular sport. So even the outstanding players will struggle to see college money in sports like baseball where scholarships are at a premium. That doesn’t stop these programs from chumming the water with “we can get you to the next level” I ASSURE YOU THEY CANNOT! College coaches give out college scholarships … travel coaches do not! They cannot promise you anything that is in the area code of a sure thing. So in essence you are paying a lot of money for a raffle ticket….one that not only requires you to pay someone else for the chance there may not be a drawing at the end. It’s essentially “you can’t win if you don’t pay and even you do you might not win either!” Seems like sound investment strategy. “Here at XYZ Academy we care about you and your players future” I ASSURE YOU THAT THEY DON’T! The ONLY thing they care about is separating you from your cash! IF they cared there is no way it would cost what it does. They would be making it affordable and more accessible to the masses in effort to make sure nobody gets lost due to financial restraints. It’s not about getting the best kids it’s about getting people willing to shell out the cash! If they happen to be talented great …if they aren’t next year we will still take their cash or find someone else willing to pay for the chance! The biggest scam of it all is the term “professional coaching” If you take money (are paid) to coach then you are a professional. I know guys that have played in the big leagues or had long minor league careers…It doesn’t make them qualified to be great at coaching baseball. It sure as hell does mean that someone who played the game at a high level be it pro or college has the capicity to teach it. Not everyone has the gene. But mostly getting paid to do it you would think requires something you can’t get from someone that isn’t being paid. Just off the top of my head I can rattle off 25 names of guys I’d rather have coach my sons …guys like Matt McPeek
long before I’d send them to some of the “Professional Coaches” dotting the landscape out there. It about knowing and the travel sports machine has done a great job of controlling the information. “Tell them what they want to hear and not what they need to hear” is why they are all successfully profitable! It’s my sincere hope that your son or daughter is the exception to the rule and get everything out of sports they dream of. My advice is to make sports plan B and make an investment in their education. Its more of a sure thing and they will use their brain a lot more often especially after the games are over!

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