Travel baseball is a notch up from your ordinary level of recreational baseball. So if you work with a bunch of young players who need to challenge themselves and take a step up, setting up a travel baseball team could be the way to go. Or maybe you've never set up a team before but you think your local community needs one.
Whatever your reason for wanting to start a team, it's going to take a lot of time and effort before you hit the heights you want to reach. There are start up costs and recruitment processes to go through. And there are many factors that will determine how successful your team is going to be, but if you follow these tips, you should be (nearly) as good as the Yankees in no time!
Yes, it's only a team for high school kids, but travel baseball is a step up from ordinary recreational leagues. It's not about every kid getting involved and having an equal amount of time on the pitch; it's about winning. Therefore, you have to be choosy when you're selecting players, only let the best players in your area onto your team. You'll still only be picking from the local area, so put up posters and adverts and follow school teams.
Don't Be Afraid of Competition
Competition is a big part of travel baseball. There are a lot of games in a season, so make sure your players are prepared to compete. Nobody is going to go easy on you. Competition is going to be a big part of your internal management too. Make sure your team is competing for places, the starting team should be there on merit.
Get the Best Equipment
If you're using a pile of old bats and gloves, your team is going to feel amateur. Make your team feel a bit more professional by providing them with the very best equipment possible. Browse online for more information on how and where to get the best bats, gloves and balls for your team.
Push the Team Hard
Training and practice are going to be vital for your team if it's going to hit its potential. You probably won't be able to run the team alone, so think about getting a coach or two to work alongside you. In training focus not only on basic baseball drills, but also on fitness levels and team cohesion. This will benefit the team in the long-term.
Don't Fear Dominant Opponents
You hear a lot about the best teams in your area and the chances are they'll be a lot better than your team when you start out. They probably have expensive equipment, better pitches, and more experienced coaches. But that's no reason to fear them, approach every opponent with confidence and fearlessness.
Don't Let Overbearing Parents Influence Things
Travel baseball has a reputation for attracting overbearing parents who want to push their kids and the team on. But if you want them to take a step back and stop interfering, don't be afraid to tell them.
Hopefully, this guide will have given you the motivation to start a team. Remember, it should be fun too, if it's not, your players will soon move on. So, getting going and start your team today.