Have you not heard for HBA? Humble Baseball association is "Nations" baseball. They are located off Atascocita Road. They are a highly competitive baseball program and have about 600-700 kids per season that play in that league - 6u, 8u, 10u, 12u and 14u. We have played and coached there for 9 seasons and LOVE it. My son refuses to play select ball (for now) on the weekends and as long as we are "stuck" in league ball, we will play for HBA.
I must stress the "competitive" baseball point again with HBA...they enforce the Nations rules and have umpires. HBA is a great introduction to baseball!!! The Y and Forest Cove stress "everyone is good" and "every kid must play every position"...this is good for 4/5 year olds but if your child has a serious aptitude for baseball you need to look into HBA.
Just my option ;)
If your kiddo is good enough for "select" or "all stars" or even "elite"...you need to start searching for a team NOW.
Yes "young"...and every kid should learn to play every position...that is what t-ball is for. Coach pitch (6u) and kid pitch (8u) is completely different.
It is the parents responsibility to teach their kiddos PRIOR the basics on how to play ball and the rules of the game not the coaches who have only a few practices before the games begin. If more parents took the time to teach, play, and practice that would be amazing and so good for the player. Coaches are there to take what the kids already know and mild it to make the kids become better ball players, teach then, help them and make that team become brothers for the season. Moving kids around the field each and every time they take the field does not help the child learn...it makes them get hit and get scared...having players remain stagnate forces them to work together...makes them watch each other, anticipate each other, learn each other's strengths and weaknesses, help/assist, back up, knowing each other's throwing and catching abilities, running speeds...making the kids depend on each other makes a team and makes good solid ball players.
My kids have gone from t-ball through 14U. From KWFC to Select/Elite.
I am not a coach, but have witnessed enough to see what is good for a player and what isn't.
If you are having your 8 year old specialize in one position now, he is screwed when a better player comes along (unless he is coach's son), or gets the bad side of the gene pool when puberty isn't as kind and can't make that throw from 3rd base to first when the infield gets bigger.
Our boys were coached by a former NCAA Champion and a retired pro ball player. Each coach had the boys learn at least three positions.
I recall during the 12U season tryouts, a lot of players not getting on the team because all they played was infield and could not beat out our starters.
As for HBA, it's a decent program, a little better than KWFC, but not worth the drive.
Our travel team used to scrimmage against some of the teams from HBA, it was a waste of time for our starters, good practice for our 3rd string pitchers and those needing some confidence with their hitting.
Agreed, no player should specialize in a position. If they have the ability to move and switch around the field, all the better for that player. The reality is lots of kids playing "league" ball are not that player...they are learning to play and need to watch to learn. Parents drop off the child and don't even take the time to get them the proper sized equipment. It may take a few seasons before that player can play "infield" and be confident to throw and catch to make the correct plays and out. Select/All Stars/Elite are for the player that can play several positions and that is excellent for them!!! Amazing even the abilities of some of those players! They rock the field! But league ball is kids learning to play...and they simply have to learn before they can be a multi position player and move around the field between innings. We have coached now for 9 seasons...and rarely doesn't a child in their 1st season dominate a field and have the ability to know the game.
My son is a multi position player...practices 5 days a week...and has since he was 5...but most parents don't take the time do help their child hone in on their abilities. It would be nice is some "league" parents at least practiced with their kids on the weekends...but not all parents have the time and especially if they have a multi child household. League ball helps ALL kids become better ball players...but when they are excellent they do weekend ball...and it is amazing some of the kids that come out of league ball :)
HBA is the best local around...hands down. I live in Atascocita so it is perfect for our family. If we lived in Kingwood...we would have started in New Caney as we have heard great things.
HBA doesn't have "select" teams anymore and when they did they were not HBA teams just under the umbrella of HBA and zoned for Nations Baseball. There are lots of levels of "after league" ball, the key is finding a good one that respects the kids and is there for the kids...after all the kids are most important.
If my son would finally agree to play on the weekends (which he won't right now because he is in SIP Spanish Immersion Program and wants his weekends free)...we would totally look for one with a ex-pro player; they love the game enough to to keep playing and that is something that is awesome!!!!
I agree with all the above. I've just seen parents mess up by, like you said, not working with their child on basic skills between team practices. Those kids get left behind, get injured and not have a good time playing ball. We tried to stay at KWFC as long as we could but all the good players left around 10u. That season was horrible because the remaining players couldn't do the fundamentals. Very painful to watch.
On the other side, you have parents determined that their child will only play one position and cause a scene when the coach doesn't agree and moves the kid to the outfield for an inning or two.
If you do go the Select route, do your homework on the team/coach. You will want to stay away from Daddy ball.
For us 10U was the perfect time to make the switch.
Good luck to your boy, he sounds like a good ball player.
EMC (East Montgomery County) has a great league. We live in Kingwood and moved our kids from Kingwood/Forest Cove years ago. We were tired of the high fees, poor facilities and overall mismanagement of the league. EMC operates baseball and softball leagues in the fall and spring. The facility is fantastic and fees when we played were $85/season vs. $250 for Kingwood/Forest Cove. Word has gotten around and 3/4 of our last team was kids who had left KWFC! We live in the back of KW, off of Mills Branch and the EMC fields are easier to get to and closer than the KWFC fields.