Baseball for a 6th Grader

Hi - I'm hoping some baseball parents can help me out! My son is a 6th grader at King and this year played Albany Little League for the first time. He was on a great team with wonderful coaches which, unfortunately, he'll be too old to play on next year. I'd love to hear from parents who have had kids play for King, since he's considering trying out in 7th grade. I've heard that the next level up in Albany, the Cyclones, is pretty intense. He's a sensitive kid and needs supportive coaches who care more about the kids and their development than winning. Does anyone have experience with the Cyclones to share? I also wonder what it means that it's a travel team...how often and far do the travel? We live outside the NOLL/SOLL boundary so that's not an option. Thanks in advance for your input!

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RE: Baseball for a 6th Grader ()

You have to be pretty passionate about baseball to do Cyclones. It is intense. They are a no-cut organization, so no tryouts. But if your child isn't playing at a high level, Cyclones will happily take your fees and then your kid still won't make the roster for tournaments. Just because you're on the team doesn't mean you actually get to play. It's a bit demoralizing. It is a travel club - a lot of tournaments are in the Central Valley and South Bay, so it's a commitment. 

RE: Baseball for a 6th Grader ()

My son played on 10U for the Cyclones last year after after having played just one season of Albany Little League. He was pretty new and inexperienced but the coaches are wonderful at meeting kids wherever they are in their development. The only requirement is a love of baseball and willingness to work hard. Kids are usually split into 2 groups for practice depending on their skill level, everyone can progress at their own speed. Player development is the emphasis and instruction is tailored to the child. All of my son's coaches were extremely  supportive and encouraging, not intimidating or overly harsh . Cyclones describes their organization as a "baseball buffet", they offer as much baseball as you want but you can decide how much you're up for . There are typically 2 evening practices per week and scrimmage or games on Saturdays. There were opportunities to play in tournaments from August -November. Morgan Hill was the farthest we traveled, most were within an hour away from Albany. Last year there were 2-3 tournaments  a month but tournaments are by coach invitation and not every player makes it onto the roster every game. Coaches are flexible and don't expect every player to be available for every tournament, you can decide how many you want to attend. My son wanted to be at EVERY game he was invited to so it was pretty intense,  but only because that's what we chose . The tournaments are highly competitive by nature, which is what many of the kids love about it, but the coaches always emphasize having fun and being a good team player over just winning. I 100% recommend the Cyclones, especially for a first time travel ball experience. They also run week long summer camps at the UC Village starting next week. Might be a good way to get a feel for it.  Eastbay Cyclones Baseball Camps - Fusion Member Portal (berkeley.edu)