Parents need to take the time to research the team, the benefits, and the competitive level of their child’s travel team. Again, it may take some time, but in the end the investment will be well worth it.
What Does the Team Have to Offer?
Experienced travel teams should have websites where they post players’ statistics and contact information for potential college coaches and recruiters to view and request as needed. Having an updated website will assist players in gaining access to potential college coaches and recruiters who are interested in knowing more about competitive players.
Is being a part of a competitive team what your child wants? Competitive teams are a great way for athletes to make new friends and to build self-confidence while, on the other hand, club teams are an expensive way to play sports.
Make sure your child is ready to make the commitment to a club team and that they understand the time and sacrifice that goes into playing on a club team. Educate your student-athlete about the sacrifices (weekends, hanging out with friends, down-time).
Decisions for Parents
Many parents question what would be the right age to start their children in club sports. Some parents enroll their children as early as five years old while others wait until middle school or high school to start at the competitive travel level.
It all depends on what the athlete is ready for. If your child is dedicated to their sport and wanting to play competitive travel competition then it would be beneficial for them to gain the experience when they feel ready.
When is it Too Much?
Too much play in specialized sports can lead to overuse and unwanted sports injuries. It can also lead to burned-out and apathetic athletes. As parents of student-athletes it is important to be aware of the amount of strain that playing at a competitive level means to young athletes.
The opportunity to play on a travel team can be challenging and rewarding. Make sure your family does the research and learns the expectations of playing at a higher level. This will help in choosing the perfect team for your athlete.