The Milwaukee Brewers weren’t the only visitors to Dodger Stadium last weekend. Alongside our partner Prospect Wire, LeagueApps was thrilled to set up shop at the Southern California baseball mecca. With several organizers and youth baseball coaches in town for the LA Invitational, a tournament that features some of the top teams and talent across the country, it was the perfect time to sit down and discuss the state of youth baseball.
The round table discussion was fired off by LeagueApps President Jeremy Goldberg. There were quite a few shocking moments throughout the event, but none caused more stir than when he revealed youth sports’ dollar signs. The travel business of youth sports is a $9 billion market. As a whole, he estimated, the market is over $60 billion.
Aside from business talk, most of the discussion revolved around some of the challenges that plague parents, coaches, and organizers. One cause for concern voiced almost unanimously by the attendees involves the overall development, or lack thereof, of young baseball players into young men.
Coaches and organizers are starting to notice an increase in young athletes being pushed too hard at an early age. By being pushed too hard and too early in their lives, youth baseball players are not getting the chance to develop into the players, or people, they should be. Mike Viera of SGV Arsenal is worried that too much focus is on baseball at an early age.
“Baseball is a vehicle to get you where you want,” Mr. Viera said. “It’s not an end.”
This has also led to young arms being overworked at a young age. Even recruiters are beginning to notice an alarming rate of young pitchers with arm troubles. Most attendees were shocked to learn that some nine- and ten-year-olds are on the field more than the Dodgers!
Other than SGV Arsenal, the summit was attended by organizations Pacific Coast Baseball, NC Valley Baseball, Rising Prospects, So Cal Bombers, Team California Trojans, Show California, Evoshield, and USA Baseball.
Also in attendance was Dodgers team president Stan Kasten. The Major League Baseball team is reaching out to local sports organizers to combat some of the problems that face youth baseball.
“LeagueApps is one reason why things are easier today for organizers,” Kasten said. By using LeagueApps, organizers are finding the business of organizing easier. This allows organizers to focus more time and resources on some of the above problems plaguing youth baseball and youth sports.
Despite the obstacles, the Prospect Wire/LeagueApps Summit proved to be a great experience for all attendees. We’re looking forward to hosting more of these events and round table discussions. Feel free to contact us below if you’re interested in attending or if you want more information on how you can be a part of LeagueApps.