Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Breaking Down the Breakdown

Over the years, we have seen travel teams come and go. How many times have you seen the same players play for various travel teams throughout the same summer. In our opinion, those type of teams don't qualify as travel teams. Many are just a bunch of dads, coaches, etc., putting together a group of players with the goal of winning a $5 piece of plastic. Others may have had an initial vision to put together a more permanent team, but lack of planning, follow through and communication made the whole plan fall apart. It happens every year...new teams emerge one weekend and then suddenly dissapate the next.

Stick to the Plan
Putting together a travel team should be approached in much the same way a business is developed. A plan that replicates a business plan should be the first step. A Business Plan??? Yes...if the goal of the travel team is to enter competitive tournaments and ask parents to spend money, then that team organizer should have an accountable plan put together that shows the investors or parents of this venture what the return will be. What Return? The return that their kids will develop into better ball players, play better competition and if in high school, get exposure to the proper scouts that can see their son play. And parents should see this plan, if the this travel team is not one the more established clubs. It's not too much to ask is it? If parents are going to spend their hard earned money and vacation time on a team for their son, then a hard fast plan better be in place.

Follow Through and Communication
Having a plan is one thing and following through with the plan is the tough part for many rookies in the travel game. The more established teams have their summer schedules posted and organized ON WEB SITES , rosters secure, work-outs are year round, and lines of communication open. Logistically, team hotels are reserved, and team and parent meetings prior to the tournaments set. But more important, the coaches of the top travel teams have credentials. When confronted by a newer travel team, ask about the coaches. Did they play college or pro? Have they coached at a high level before? How many years? Do they know scouts or recruiters and can they communicate intelligently...in baseball-ese about player evaluations, skill sets and projectability to them? Parents...it's your money...you can do whatever you want with it...but if you have a son that wants to play at the next level, then experience and communication skills are paramount to not only the success of the team, but the future success of your son.

RT Staff

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