07 Jul Top 5 Travel Baseball Myths
The importance of travel baseball has blasted over the past few years. Such rapid growth has attracted many supporters, yet also many detractors. While there are some real criticisms out there, the majority of what you will hear seems to become from disgruntled parents or high school coaches losing their influence over players. Here are five of the most common arguments you will hear against travel baseball:
1. Purely money driven: There are plenty of quality teams and events out there, who while having a higher price tag when compared to playing Little League or high school ball, are justified in doing so because they offer a better product in coaching, exposure, and competition. One look at Perfect Game’s website (www.perfectgame.org) should convince you their events are every bit legit, as well as those of teams who have long lists of college commitments. Be wary of teams, tournaments, and showcases about whom there is little known about, but don’t discount all of travel ball in the process.
2. Too Much Baseball: A full summer travel baseball schedule can be grueling and is not for the faint of heart. Your love of the game and commitment will become apparent after just a few weeks in- this past summer our team played around 40 games all over the Southeast. Since the bulk of recruiting is done in the summer through travel ball, not partaking just because it is “too much baseball” is not a good strategy,.
3. High School More Important: Many high school coaches out there have their own summer programs, and even some of these play a schedule similar to that of a travel baseball team. What wins high school baseball games does not necessarily develop players into what college coaches are looking to recruit, plain and simple. If your coach requires you to play on his team only to learn his “system” or tries to discourage you from playing travel ball during the summers, you may want to find a new coach.
4. Dominated by Few Elite Teams: Over the years there has been a perception that there are only a few elite travel baseball teams who secure all of the best talent and go around beating up on everyone all summer, and therefore if you can’t make these teams it’s not worth playing. With that being said, you shouldn’t be discouraged if you don’t make one of the “elite” teams- there are many other quality programs that go to the same events and provide opportunities to be recruited. This past summer we were told by certain people that our team wasn’t “good enough” to warrant travelling the distance to certain tournaments, because we would lose and not attract any college coaches.
5. It’s Just “Daddy Ball”: The reputation of travel baseball as being dominated by over-bearing parents is just one of its biggest criticals remarks. Speaking from personal experience, this is absolutely true in many cases. However, it would not be fair to stereotype every team in such a way. As in # 1, a little research can go a long way. Before you join a team, ask some current or former members what it’s like. Try and get some insight from opponents as well, as this can reveal a much different opinion. As a general rule, seek a program who is coached by individuals without any personal stake in the team, but additionally don’t assume that all teams coached by parents will automatically be bad. Be wary of teams with coaches who have frequently changed teams, because this could be a sign of constant conflict. A majority of travel teams are coached by good people with good intentions, so it is crucial to not let a disaster, either personal or from another, discourage you from playing on such a team.