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Travel Baseball Money Maker or Skill Maker

Updated on March 4, 2016
Ready to bat!
Ready to bat!
Winning the game!
Winning the game!
I got this!
I got this!

The cost to play

If you have read my other hub you will know I am a baseball parent, I love the game and love watching my child do what he loves. When he was slugging the ball outta the park, we were approached by a lot of travel team coaches wanting him to play for them. At first we were excited and thought wow he must be really good if they all want him! So we decided to talk to one of them about what it was all about, we were newbies to the travel ball circuit! We were really surprised when we found out that the first team who wanted him only ( I say that sarcastically) cost 1200.00! I was kind of stunned at first, we are not rich, only one parent works, so no 1200.00 was not within our reach! They explained to us how we could pay 100 a month so it would be easier on us! Okay, not bad I thought,but wait you will also need 85.00 for his uniform and you have to pay all expenses to where we go to play baseball! My mind was reeling and I looked at my spouse who was just standing there shaking his head! I almost kicked him in fear he was going to agree!

Is he that good

After learning the cost of the first team, we decided to pass! That didn't stop the others from calling us though! The next coach was really the smooth talker! He started off by letting us know how they play in "SHOWCASE" tournaments, which at the time meant nothing to me! I had no idea what that meant at all. He explained how they only play in big cities against really good teams where sometimes there may be a scout there! I was like okay my child is 13, what is a scout gong to want with him! Trust me we were flattered by how the coach went on and on about how good our child was and how this would be the right step to help him in his quest to become a professional baseball player.My spouse once again just stood there shaking his head agreeing with the coach. Once again I almost kicked him but decided to ask the ultimate question, How much is this going to cost? The coaches reply was that cost shouldn't be the issue when your child is as good as ours is. Not the answer I was looking for but nice try!I thought to myself, is he that good?

Coach 3, The Skill Maker

So we decided that team 2 wasn't for our son, so in came the call from coach number 3.This coach didn't talk about how good he thought our son was he talked about how playing on his travel team would be a good skill maker for our son.He told us that good baseball players can get better with the right training. Okay, I was listening and then it began, the cost of that skill training, first of all he said we like all our kids to join the gym where we have our own trainer that helps do strength training and then we have a pitching coach who will train him in velocity.I was still listening,even though the dollar signs were clanking up in my head!! My spouse who is readily agreeing that yes, training is good to make him a better ball player, while I am over here thinking how much is this going to cost! Travel team cost to join,750, gym 90 a month, pitching trainer, 50 a week!! My son is just sitting there looking thrilled at the prospect of joining a gym and having a pitching trainer and I am over here looking at him and my spouse like they have 3 heads! My thought was he"s 13 and thats a lot of money!

What to Do!!

So after we declined coach number 3 and his fine offer of skill training, the calls stopped. Had we made a mistake but not choosing one or did they get the hint, we couldn't afford travel ball? My spouse was not to happy that I wouldn't agree to let him play with either team, our son really didn't care either way, he was going to play little league and pony league so for now he was happy! He made the little league all-star team but didn't get to travel far but he loved it and all it cost was gas money! He also made the All-star team for Pony league and the cost involved was 2 nights in a motel in another state and some gas money! The only problem was he fell in love with the challenge of playing other teams he hadn't played before and traveling to another state to do it! So the decision became obvious, WHAT TO DO??

We finally did it

The following year when our son was 14 a couple of his friends had told him about a coach who was starting a travel team and ask if he would like to come try out with them. So we decided it would not hurt to at least go to a try out. Our son loved the coach and of course that his friends were there was a plus. After several try outs the coach approached us and said he would like for our child to play for him. He told us how he was going to take the boys across the bridge and play in a showcase tournament, uh-oh there was that word again! He let us know that he would be getting rooms for the team and would have a parent supervisor stay with each group of boys.He explained to us the only cost would be 50.00 for his uniform. I almost kicked my spouse who was not shaking his head this time to agree!! My only concern was that my child at 14 was going to be 3 hours away from his mother and it was as if the coach was reading my mind when he chimed in and said I also have reserved a group of rooms for the parents who would like to come also, my treat!! I stood there looking stunned as I explained how we had been approached by other teams and what the cost was going to be and his only response to me was I do this because when I was a kid nobody did it for me.I learned something that day and I also realized that this coach wanted my child because he loved the game as much as he did! He wasn't all about the money or all about winning, he was just a man who loved baseball and who wanted to give kids the opportunity to play the game!

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