Posted on 01/20/2021 at 12:00 AM by The Graphic Edge

Travel Baseball Team in Action

Your son or daughter has been playing a sport they love and is looking for opportunities to play even more. You're in luck! Volleyball, baseball, basketball, and softball all have a multitude of options for level of play. Maybe recreational, or rec, ball is right for them. Maybe they are ready for more of a challenge. 

That said, you might still be wondering if your child is really ready to join a travel team. And what about the rest of the family? Are all of you onboard for the commitment such a team will require? Here are three key things to consider when deciding if your child should try-out for a travel team.

  1. Your child's commitment and desire. The very first thing you should consider is whether or not your child really has the desire to play on a team at the next level. Recreational sports are generally focused on learning the sport and having fun. Travel teams have these goals too, but are also much more concentrated on competition and excelling. Despite what you may have heard from other parents or even coaches, it is not necessary to start your son or daughter on a competitive team by age 8 to have them be able to play in high school. In fact, starting before your child is truly ready can have a detrimental effect and your child could burn out, get overuse injuries, or simply lose interest by the time they get to high school. Some kids are ready for competitive sports early and others become ready a little later. There is no age that is right for every kid. Joining a travel team should be something that your child truly desires. 
  2. Your family's ability to meet the financial and time commitment. Once you determine that your child is ready to move to the next level you need to determine how joining a travel team will affect your family. Travel teams can demand a lot of your family finances and time. Most travel teams cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per season, while rec programs are much more affordable. Before you have your son or daughter try-out for a travel team, contact the organization to inquire what the total fees for playing will be. Many teams have an organizational fee as well as a separate team fee. Ask how many out of town games and tournaments will be played, as that can add hotel and travel costs. Also inquire as to the time commitment. The number of games and practices can vary greatly depending on the individual organization and level of competition. Make sure you won't be overwhelmed by the time commitment necessary. Keep interviewing teams in your area to find one that fits the time and financial commitment you are willing to make. 
  3. Team/Coach Philosophy. When trying out for travel teams, the desire to have your child make a team can overshadow the fact that the team and coach are effectively trying out for the chance to have your child on their team as well. Make sure that you agree with the coach's philosophy and how they will run the team. Some coaches try to give each player equal playing time. Other coaches will play only the best players. Some coaches are focused on winning as a primary goal and getting their players to the next level, while others are focused on teaching the fundamentals and building teamwork and character. Your child will spend a significant amount of time with their coach and team. Make sure their values and coaching methods align with your values.

Joining a travel team can be a worthwhile and fun endeavor. Your child will learn the value of hard work and dedication. Travel teams bring with them a level of bonding and teamwork that is not often found on more casual teams. Finding the right team at the right time for your child will help them develop lifelong friendships and skills that go far beyond the sport they choose.

Find a Team Dealer That's Also a Team Player

Thanks for reading our blog! While you're here, please take a moment to check out our Team Uniforms and Team Sports Equipment offerings. The Graphic Edge has been outfitting and equipping travel teams, high school teams, and college teams since 1989. We played the sports, our kids play the sports, we coach the sports, we officiate the sports. We're not just another team dealer, we're a team player!

Categories: Youth Sports

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