A team from Endwell, New York recently won the Little League World Series. And it got me thinking how many kids that have played in the Little League World Series have gone on to play Major League Baseball?
Here's an eye-opening statistic for many parents and coaches...
In the 69 years of the Little League World Series, a total of 45 players have made both the Little League World Series and MLB, including 13 current players who first made their names on the fields of Williamsport, Pa. How can this be?
Aren't we watching the greatest 11 and 12-year-old players, in the world?
What is happening to these players between the ages of 12 and 18?
Here's what happens...
We're really not seeing the most talented 11 and 12-year-old players in the game. What we really see is the most physically developed 11 and 12-year-old players in the game.
When we see a 5'10”, 170lbs. 12 year old, that is a player that is just bigger and stronger than other kids his age.
NOT more talented.
Here's where it goes wrong...
Other kids his age start to develop physically. 4 years later that physical development levels out and often the physically dominant player has relied on that physical dominance and has neglected the skills of the game and have not developed the essential work ethic.
I get emails all the time from Dads of players who are just realizing this and they are now scrambling to play catch up.
Sometimes it's too late.
So, if you're not one of those early developers, hang in there, work hard, things tend to balance out. If you get cut don’t give up. 12 years old is far to early to retire from the sport if you truly love it.
If you are one of those early developers, stop relying on that to succeed. Start layering this early advantage with the skills of the game.