Travel, competetive sports parents, take note

Here is an excerpt from writer Tim Keown’s article entitled, “Where ‘Elite’ Kids Shouldn‘t Meet”.

Parents line up to have their kids try out for under-10 fall baseball teams, where tiny kids compete for the right to have their arms trashed by pitching in four different games over two days of a weekend tournament put on by a for-profit organization that gives teams 10 minutes between games to warm up.

There is the allure of better coaching (sometimes true), better gear (nearly always true) and better competition (debatable). Still, is there anything dumber than holding tryouts for 9-year-olds? We’re not talking about Little League tryouts, which don’t include cuts and are intended to place kids at the appropriate level for their ability. No, we’re talking about putting 9- and 10-year-olds through an extensive tryout to keep some and cut others.

And then, five years down the line when Little Johnny decides to trade his bat and glove for a skateboard and a piercing, his parents can scream and yell about the travel ball coach who ruined baseball for their son by taking their money and not playing him. It’s an overgeneralization, sure, but the whole operation has a way of surgically extracting the fun out of a sport at an age when fun is all it should be.

The full article, which can be found here, is a must-read for all parents who have young children playing sports at competitively, or are contemplating the benefits to “travel” or competitive sports.

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