Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Should kids play Elite, Select or Travel Ball?

Play Local - Have Fun - Save Money

A well-known coach in the Seattle area once told me ...

"Kids should play with a local team until they are in high school."

When I asked him why, he said that baseball should be fun and kids have more fun playing games with their friends. Plus, kids on small local teams get more playing time and have the opportunity to play  different positions.

He said that travel teams tend to overuse their best arms (hardest throwers) and then these kids come to him for rehab. Some players just get burned out on the experience.

He also shared the concept of throwing more and pitching less. Great idea.

Some drawbacks to playing select baseball ...

Select/Travel teams are very expensive and take time away from school and family activities. The competition might be better, but not always.  The coaching usually isn't worth the cost. Unfortunately, there can be a lot of pressure on the players since there is too much focus on winning. Eating on the road isn't the best nutrition for growing kids. Plus, kids often don't get the needed rest when games are in the early morning or late at night.

So, save time and money by playing local. Have fun playing ball.


Where the 'elite' kids shouldn't meet
Tim Keown, ESPN Senior Writer

Your kid is good, right? Really good? You don't want to brag, but he can do some things on the field that other kids his age won't even try. You played a little ball yourself, and you know the difference.

Make no mistake: There's someone out there for you. He's putting together a team, and he's got a pipeline to the best tournaments. He knows people. He'll have tryouts and he'll tell you what you want to hear. It's expensive, sure, but who can put a price on your kid's future? If he's got a chance to be the best, he needs to play with and against the best, right?


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