When weighing the pros and cons of travel baseball for your child, it can be an internal struggle. Is getting more exposure to the game worth it?
Professional baseball players have an off-season to recharge their batteries after every World Series. From November to February, MLB’s best take a breather from the rigorous 162-game schedule.
But should you give your kid a break after their youth league season wraps up? Weighing the pros and cons of travel baseball helps you decide if it’s worth the time and investment to give your child an opportunity to improve their game.
Pro: They Improve Their Skills
The downside of a regular Little League season is that it’s so short, considering your kids might only have two months to strut their stuff on the baseball diamond before they put away their equipment until next season. Those skills diminish as they get further away from the last ball they hit or the pitch they threw. It may take them weeks to find their groove, and the season could end by the time they hit their full stride. Playing yearlong travel baseball ensures your kid’s skills remain sharp.
Con: Outrageous Costs
Since you are enlisting your kiddo in a premium league full of potential MLB superstars, you must pay the price to join the elite. There’s no chance of getting through a travel ball season without it putting a huge dent in your bank account.
Unlike your standard Little League games that require you to travel to the same local park, travel ball will add miles to your car, with some games being close to two hours away. On top of the travel expenses, you must also account for the equipment.
There are no limits to what parents will fork over for the best baseball equipment, including finding the best baseball bat for their little slugger.
Pro: Quality Family Time
You must ignore the credit card statements and ATM withdrawals because you’ll get to spend quality time with your children that you may not have the opportunity to do otherwise. Being with them for the miraculous victories and soul-crushing defeats can develop a bond between you that’s tough to break or replicate. You will look back at these days fondly, especially once they realize all your sacrifices as they grow up and make the same commitment for your grandbabies.
Con: No Time for Anything Else
Spending time together as a family is great; however, it impedes any free time you may have had. You should relish the moments of free time you have during travel season because they will be few and far between. Your interests and hobbies must remain on the back burner until the final pitch. Fortunately, it will make those fun activities even more enjoyable when you eventually get to do them.
Pro: Make New Friends
While it’s wonderful for your kids to venture out and make new friends that aren’t from school or the neighborhood, travel baseball allows you to do the same. Making friends as an adult can be challenging, particularly as a mother who doesn’t have the freedom to go out freely. As much time as you’ll spend together as a family, other parents will do the same thing for their future all-star, giving you a prime opportunity to chum it up with other baseball parents.
After weighing the pros and cons of travel baseball, you should have your answer for what you should do. Travel baseball is a great way to challenge your superstar if the cons aren’t a concern. Meanwhile, the cons can sometimes be too much to bear for you to take the plunge.
Travel baseball offers many benefits such as increased competition, skill development, and exposure to scouts. However, it also comes with downsides like high costs, risk of injury, and limited opportunities for other activities. It is essential for parents and players to weigh these pros and cons carefully and consider their personal goals, financial and time constraints, and overall well-being.
Ultimately, making an informed decision based on individual circumstances and priorities is crucial to ensuring a positive and rewarding experience with travel baseball.