Pros and Cons to Youth Travel Baseball

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Summer is just around the corner, and you may be wondering whether you should sign your child up for a travel baseball team. For some young baseball players, joining a travel team is the next step in their journey. The stakes are higher, but it’s more competitive and rewarding. Also, if some of your child’s former teammates are trying out for a travel team, they may feel more compelled to do so as well. But as a parent, you can’t help but wonder whether a competitive sports team is the best option.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons to joining a travel baseball team.

The Pros

Building Character

If your child makes it onto a travel team, it means they are talented enough to be part of the program and will be playing with other kids who are equally talented. The competition is stiff, and this means your child will have to work extra hard to keep up with it. They will play against teams that are just as good, if not better, than they are. These are good learning lessons in life that will help your child grow and become a better person and athlete.

Supportive Community

Travel teams require more time and money, so parents tend to be equally committed to the team. Many parents say that the team becomes like family, and they spend endless hours sitting through games and traveling together. It’s nice to have everyone on the same page, and your child will learn about interacting with a large group and being a good team player.

Healthy Lifestyle

A club team will fill your child’s time, which most parents appreciate as their kids get into the tween and teen years. Plus, when they need to put forth their best for weekly practices and games, your child will have to get adequate rest and eat balanced meals. This leads to a healthier lifestyle and teaches your child how to be dependable.

Cons

Expensive

Travel teams are costly. Not only are the team fees more expensive, but also you must have the funds to cover transportation, dining and lodging. There are also tournament fees, the cost of home/away jerseys and backup equipment.

Less Free Time

Travel baseball takes up a lot of free time. If your child enjoys baseball in a casual way or prefers other sports more, travel baseball may be too demanding for them. Make sure that your child is prepared to take on the challenges of club baseball and can juggle this with homework, school and other activities. Also, the off-season will include conditioning and strength activities.

Higher Pressure

Club sports are high pressure. Coaches choose the very best players to fill out their team, and your child will need to perform to the best of their ability at all times. Additionally, travel teams can conflict with school and other activities, and the coaches expect you to put the team first. If your child can handle that, make sure you can, too.