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Brad Jerome

Thank You! I hear so many horror stories about year-long travel ball. I Love my son, and I Love Baseball, but the last thing I want him to do is burn out. I wanted to enroll him in a trial session of youth wrestling but he didn’t want you do it. He’s 6! I didn’t force him to. Asked a few times, but the answer was always no. We will try again next season. He loves Baseball and for the last few summers I pitch foam balls to him in the back yard. He’s played t-ball, but wants to be… Read more »

This is very insightful and very well written. You’re right “the lure” for semi-athletic 7 year old can be ferocious. After reading this blaugue the main thing that sticks out to me (As a coach of my oldest daughter (12) for 6 years and my middle daughter (8) for 3 is the BURNOUT! I’m going to have a heart to heart with my oldest first and make SURE she enjoys this as much as I do. Thanks again for the great advice!

Chad Morris

People that hate the writers thinking, either are part of the group getting paid or have been sucked into the mindset.

I saw the link on a Facebook group for select baseball. They were bashing it to say the least.


And people who love the writers thinking are probably not part of a good experience. There are good and bad programs at all levels whether local or travel and the success depends on the people running them. Pros and cons either way. If the situation is bad for your kid, get him out no matter local or travel. Parents still have to parent. If it is a good situation then have at it as long as it is a positive experience for the player/parents. This writer obviously is doing things right in his community to get the results he shares.… Read more »

Mike C

U are putting all travel programs in one big boat! Pisses me off to no end when peao do exactly what your doing. I run a travel org in the Bay Area. Guess how much money I make? $0 what u fail to realize is that there are a lot of leagues out there that do not have a few things. Number one is coaches. Your son is lucky, u understand and can teach the basic fundamentals. 95% of the happy go kicked coaches are just that, happy go lucky… they know nothing about baseball. Then they play against a… Read more »


Case. In. Point.

And you were the backup right fielder on your high school team that thinks this is best for the kid.

He’d be right too!

Coach R

You obviously do Not know who this is. lol! It may help in the future to do some homework before you start on somebody. He’s right, the travel baseball at the age of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and even 12 is crazy. After that you do what’s best for the individual. They need nothing more than a good league with basic fundamentals. Which, if you watch local high school games you’ll see that 99% need basic fundamentals desperately.

Jason Gray

Agree with a whole ton of this. My 13u team in south Florida takes the whole summer off while other teams play another 40 games, and has since we started travel. Most of my kids play other sports in middle school also. The problem is that because of travel, rec has become unplayable.
Ps. Why you do lale like that lol


In our experience, travel ball is a good option for kids that want/need more. It is a great option when local teams lack good leadership/structure. Parents need to be mindful of costs, coaches, time etc., but if the kid loves it don’t shy away. You however are making some very good points. Kids benefit from youth sports and it sounds like you have had many good experiences suggesting you were blessed with connecting with kids and can coach as well. All part of the overall positive experience. Not all kids are that lucky to have that leadership, whether local rec… Read more »

Tom Morris

My son started travel ball at the nine-year-old age. I had him participate in all the local instructional leagues: T-ball, pitching machine and coach pitch before we considered even going onto travel ball. Why should I spend a whole weekend in a town 100 miles away on the whims of a 5, 6, 7 or eight-year-old son? Talk about a long weekend. When he could appreciate the money being spent and the time being allocated to travel ball did we even think about getting into it. We only joined a travel team that played approximately every other weekend. We started… Read more »

Nelson Pichardo

Loved the article. Feel the same way. I feel like the odd dad out there always saying no to all these hacks asking my son to play on their travel team.

Michael Morelli

You have shared my thoughts exactly. My daughter started travel ball on a B level team. Stayed on it and learned a bit. She’s now playing DIII college. She was an ice skater. She is still a soprano with a killer voice majoring in voice at the college. The kids need to be well rounded. If the player is going to be a major leaguer, they will be with or without travel ball. Either they have it or they don’t. I coached a few exceptional high school baseball players. One or two went on to double A ball. They were… Read more »

Cool Dad

I’m calling a little bull on this. Unfortunately, I don’t like travel ball as much as the next guy, but unfortunately that is the era that we are in. I too, remember playing local rec ball with my friends. We shared two bats, catching gear and 4 helmets. Those were definitely good times. But those days are long gone. Things change, people change, the game has evolved. The real reason for the blog is exposed near the end in the last paragraph, and pretty much sums up the sense of anger from the author. He is so mad that he… Read more »

Daniel Neiswender

What a douche bag response.

Joseph M

You’re the only one to come away with that opinion.

Raimie Blake

I’m a mom. I never played baseball or softball and do not regret not playing. My son is 10 and does year round travel. He also plays football and basketball and video games and rides his bike. He started in a rec league, then part time travel. We left because the coaches (dads) reached the limit of what they could teach the kids. I don’t think he’s going to the majors (he does), but he is working with coaches and trainers that are teaching him baseball while developing his character and teaching him 21st century life skills. He loves it… Read more »

Bubba Booey

I enjoyed the article, and agree with many of Mr Huffs thoughts on it. However, our experience has been mixed when it comes to travel ball. Our older son is now in high school and grew up in a dad coached rec league, who by 12, had outgrown that league and the dad coaching and needed a travel program to take the next step in his development. There were 30 kids trying out just for the JV team, all of which, with the exception of 2, were from different travel ball teams. I honestly believe that without the reps and… Read more »

Love this. Just released a book found at Dontcutmykid.com That touches upon this very subject. Having been in performance and healing for 20 years I’ve seen the trend chang to epidemics in ALL sports. Little did my dad ever imagine that a surgery he had in 1974 they named after him, that was supposed to be for the professional to continue his career would be happening in youth more than pros. Concussions, pediatric ACLs, stress fractures, medicated for anxiety and depression due to their inability to perform in youth sports, it’s a race to the bottom, and the kids are… Read more »

Rachel Tommasini Darbonne

Yes, more people need to stand up and speak out. Most parents I talk to don’t want to do it but feel like they have no other option or their kid will get left behind. So frustrating and really has taken the joy out of youth sports! Crazy. And it’s the parents that are doing it! Speak up and let the kids be kids while they still can.

East Cobb Astros Coach

Some points I do agree with like it being crazy expensive and some travel coaches are complete garbage. On the flip side travel ball is where all the talent is. If you want good competition then you have to do travel ball. I’ve coached Rec league and I’m coaching travel ball now. Rec league was fun, but hardly a place for good players to grow when half of each practice is focused on one or two players that can’t play the game and don’t want to be out there. It was tolerable at ages 5-7, but after that the kids… Read more »

My issue is this: If your kid is indeed talented but does not play travel, then some school teams do not consider them at all. I’ve seen this happen to a PHENOMENAL middle school girl…a pitcher (and no, not my kid) whose middle school would not even CONSIDER her, because she only played recreation ball. The irony is that the middle school team who would not have her, lost the City Championship to my daughter’s middle school team, and my daughter’s team was a mix of girls…just as many recreation leaguers were on the field, as travel team girls, and… Read more »

Cheryl Hansbury

Totally agree with everything you said! My daughter played intramural softball… we were clueless about how good she was until the coaches said, “she should be on a travel team.” She was 14 at the time! We educated ourselves about the “travel world” and signed her up. She loved it, she thrived, she was seen during a game by a D3 college coach who literally pulled her off the field and begged her to come play for her in her junior year. We knew nothing.. we visited the school, loved the coach, they offered some nice academic money… and that… Read more »


People can agree and disagree with this article and both are right. It all depends on the travel team you are playing for. They are not all the same. One program in my local town costs $1200 to play and the other was $150 plus tourney fees. Both provide more instruction for a player than the run of the mill dad who is coaching just to help out the local LL. My problem with Little League is that it has become to liberal. It is about being fair, and not caring if you win or lose. I teach my kids… Read more »


Travel ball has destroyed our varsity baseball program. Our school district has a significant number of low income families. We have at each grade level a singular travel ball team consisting of 12 players from the class. These players are “the team” with high hopes of a state championship someday unfortunately by the junior/senior level we are lucky to have 6-7 of the original 12 playing and the majority of the 5-7 are no longer (if they ever were) the best athletes in the class. I have coached for 50 years in the community and am not certain baseball as… Read more »


I can understand your viewpoint,somewhat. But, that’s where it ends. Our kids play travel ball and it’s been great. Number 1, we wouldn’t play if the program didn’t align with our beliefs and expectations. In season sport takes precedence, no questions asked, end of story, take it or leave it, but it’s never came to that, bc The Program has the same beliefs.
I don’t understand parents complaining about this. Either find a good travel ball program or don’t play, very simple.

Daniel Neiswender

Great article. Can’t think of one point I disagree with. Only thing I didn’t see mentioned is the fact that a lot of this for the parents. It’s a clique/social hour/weekend for a lot parents. It is really quite funny to watch.

George Groce

This up is right on the spot. Let the kids play what sport they want (baseball, basketball, football, ect. This will produce a well rounded and hopefully injury free young adult.


totally agree. travel baseball is absolutely nuts and waste of precious family time. my experience was that it was a bunch of dads who teach bad mechanics and strongly favor their own kids. baseball does require repetition to become better but the extra experience can be obtained in a summer camp outside the control of helicopter parents. other sports should be played and enjoyed. let the kids be kids and have fun. keep the helicopter parents away from your kid. stay out of travel ball at least until the kids are close to or in high school. that’s when sports… Read more »

Janet lin craft

Thank you from an athletic trainer

Janet lin craft

Thank you from an athletic trainer.

Frank Williams

Your an idiot !!!!
Your probably a daddy ball Little League kinda guy whose kid got cut trying out for a travel ball team.

Joseph M

Funniest comment so far. The derp factor is strong in this one.

Good on Frank. Where we live lots of kids make a travel team. Lately, it’s more about whose parents can pay those club fees.


You are a moron Haha Did you ride the pine or something?

Dan Nault

Less is more, played with Eric Young at Rutgers, he never played baseball until 9th grade, 5ft 10 , played in MLB for 20 years, you can throw all the money at it all you want but you can’t buy talent.

I like that you said that taking your kids to sports clubs can help them gain more confidence in themselves and the ability to interact with others. My wife and I have been talking about taking our kid to a sports club so that he can develop his skills. I’m going to look for a place where I can take my son to develop his skills.

Evelio Vergara

Former Player, Coach HS, Club and LL for 20 years. With all due respect, the title of this articule is not right. There is good Travel Teams, and bad. There is good LL Coaches and bad. There is good HS Teams and bad. There is Private Baseball Coaches with Profesional background that can’t teach at all…The reality is more simple guys, If you want your kid to just have fun and be active and he has no inclination to pursue a career in Baseball just have him play Little League. Why would you pay for Piano lessons if your Son… Read more »

Joseph M

Travel ball is fine after they get into their teens. Before that age it’s nothing more than an ego trip for parents with misplaced priorities.

Braxton Wiggs

This was mostly a very good article. However, one thing you fail to consider is the level of players these days. Rec ball when we were kids was a lot better. You could say that the proliferation of travel/advanced teams has hurt rec ball, and you would be absolutely correct. However, there is no putting the horse back in the barn. If your kid wants to play and is having fun, then let him play. If he wants to go back to rec ball only at some point, then do that. Another thing: when I was in little league it… Read more »

Stacy Blum

What all fail to forget is genetics is 90%+ of the overall equation. If you or your wife weren’t great athletes chances are your kid is along the same lines. There are exceptions but few. Spend all weekend playing games…..what a bunch of dreamers….

Glenn Miles

I like to cover my nipples in tuna fish oil and hang out with my 3 rescue cats.


As a manager of both a travel team and a Little a league team, you literally have no idea what you’re talking about. I certainly advocate for Little League but what you are forgetting is travel ball is for a different type player. Travel ball is NOT year round. Travel ball is real baseball. Little league rules are fine until about age 10 then they should play real baseball. I have coached probably 1000 baseball games and every year my feelings get stronger. It is on the coaches to manage pitching and game play. This article is crazy!

Joseph M

Real baseball is played with 90 foot bases. No child is ready for “real” baseball. Biggest misnomer ever is when people call baseball a “child’s game”.

Joseph M

My brothers and I loved baseball. It’s all we did in the 70s. But we never played more than the 18 official Little League games a year. The rest of the time we played whiffle ball, or tape ball, or 3 on 3 baseball on a made up field. Or we played pickle, or just catch. Even if baseball is your only sport, it shouldn’t always be organized. I’m so glad that travel ball didn’t exist when I was growing up. Otherwise I’m sure i would have convinced my dad to let me play and I would have burned out… Read more »

I don’t agree with everything here but some of the stuff is spot on. My wife and I have 2 sons playing division 1 college baseball. Great kids, well rounded and passionate about playing. My advise would be to guide your kiddos to fun activities with some structure. As they get older and have the capacity and capability to make more adult like decisions allow them to have a bigger part in the process. Our two sons are very different and we helped manage their lives to a certain point and now we get to set back and enjoy the… Read more »


Aubrey, you are 6’4″ 245 lb’s and a gifted athlete. Ypu didn’t need travel ball to hone ypur skills at a tpu ger age just tomake your high school team. 95% of all coaches are taking a guy on the team based on sheer potential….and i doubt you had 45-60 kids trying out for your freshman ball team who were all very good athletes. A normal sized kid can’t just show up for freshman ball tryouts with only having played rec ball in the spring for 3-4 months having received coaching from dads who know nothing about the game. I’m… Read more »

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Scott McGowan

I agree with most of why you are saying. I get frustrated with parents on year round baseball. I don’t mind the travel ball or select as some call it. As long as its local. Most parents don’t understand that D-1 has very limited scholarships. NAIA gives more than D1 and very seldom do they give a full ride. I think kids should play multiple sports. Plus parents will spend enough on travel to have paid for college. I’m trying not to get started on these guys who give so called ( private lessons). I’ve had parents tell me his… Read more »


Very interesting, my son plays baseball after only playing football since age 4. He started rec in 2018 and wanted to play more, so in 2019 we made the switch because he could play & practice more. We don’t play for the pay, I 100% plan on him receiving an academic scholarship. I know this is addressing a larger group, but I only see a harsh focus on baseball, although you used football images. I have personally seen and experience more of the NFL push on kids from weight training as early as 9 years old. TYFA, TYSA, etc. I… Read more »


You know who doesn’t play travel ball? The kids in the DR are not spending $1000s for their kid 8 year old to play baseball.


Don’t lump all programs into this. I guess your in a state where teams are just taking cash from people and will have 2 or 3 per age group! That’s not how all programs are run. My program has 4 teams total. All my players are required to play a different sport and none of them are allowed baseball activities year round, even our Seniors who are getting looks. Keep an open mind and stop lumping your bad experiences into a SCAM alert.

Mississippi Sixers 9u

This is BY FAR one of the STUPIDEST articles I have EVER read. You are putting all travel teams in one box. Not all travel teams take your money. Some will rip you off and travel all the time even if they aren’t good but most teams know their place. Where I live most travel teams that aren’t very good might travel once or twice a year but they mostly play games in local tournaments. Only the good teams travel consistently, mostly because they have to go find good competition somewhere else. Also, rec ball is just a big joke… Read more »

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