There are a lot of different styles of travel teams out there including some hybrids. While they are a great addition to youth baseball and challenging to youth baseball coaches and players, this is a more competitive style and should be composed of players committed to travel, intense schedules, and more intense tournament pressure. This leaves open a huge spot for local recreational leagues and our youth.
There are several reasons kids join recreational youth baseball programs. They like the game, like sports, parents may have made them play, or just interested in something they can enjoy with friends. There is a big difference between wanting to do something and having to do it.
Local league recreational baseball is kids wanting to do something. Many kids will decide to get more serious about baseball and wants to be challenged at higher levels. This is ultimately the kid’s choice and we as coaches and parents no matter how hard we try , we cannot make that decision for them. We can however, have a positive influence to help our young baseball players grow, develop, and make such decisions.
The biggest reason recreational baseball has declined is the reduction of the fun factor. I’ve heard many stories about the travel teams taking the best players from the local area. Many times that is true, I say so be it. This does not mean we need to have a replication of travel baseball in our local recreational leagues.
We need to keep local recreational youth baseball leagues fun which begins with opening ceremonies , especially the practices, and the city champions. As coaches and parents we need to put in a little hard work together, mixed with some imagination and creativity to maintain and grow our local league baseball teams. After all, it is our children and communities that thrive from this great American past time and we all should have fun..it is a game after all..
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