Sunday Setting Sights on Success Tip of the Day
5 Keys to Play Travel Baseball and 5 Not to Play
Many youth baseball player’s careers end early because of playing travel baseball (overmatched or early burnout) and many careers end early because of never playing travel baseball (bored or under challenged). No decision is more crucial for players than deciding whether to play travel, and when to play it.
For some youth baseball players, making the decision to play travel baseball is a “no brainer.” However, for many others, it is not an easy call. For all, however, deciding when the time is right is crucial for the player’s success, near and long term. Jumping in too early may cause early burnout down the road or to a player being over matched before adequate skill level has had the time to develop in a player. but joining travel baseball too late may set the player behind baseball wise. Additionally, although talent usually shows up later on no matter the level, playing before adequate skill level develops may lead to being over matched.
5 Reasons to Jump to Travel Baseball
- Player has decided baseball is their favorite sport
- Player is in the top 20% baseball skill level of his age group
- Player feels bored in the recreational league because games and winning seem unimportant
- Player doesn’t feel challenged in the recreational league
- Know of a very well respected travel ball coach
5 Reasons not to Play Travel baseball (Just Yet Anyway)
1. Playing Travel in other sports where they will greatly overlap
2. Not sure they are ready for increased time commitment
3. Skill level is questionable
4. Baseball is a generally boring game to player.
5. Player is not ready for increased pressure level of travel baseball
Of course, parents will have great input in this decision as to whether the whole family is ready for the move, too. There are other factors as finances, travel logistics, friends, and time commitment too. All things being equal, players should look to play for the most respected coach, as a good coach makes the most difference. Finally, waiting an extra year before playing travel baseball is not that detrimental, but waiting too long may be.