Continuing on my kids’ sports theme from yesterday, I’m curious what folks think about travel sports. When I was a kid growing up in Richmond, it seems this mostly wasn’t a thing. There were some recreational leagues through the YMCA and various local organizations in the younger years, then most of the sports went through the junior high schools that played the other ones in the city during the junior high years, and, then the high school athletic teams traveled around to other high schools.
Now, with soccer at least, there are travel teams that seem to start at 9 or 10 years old. They travel around to other parts of the state and even do tournaments in Illinois and Ohio, I think. If you’re grooming your kid to be an elite athlete, I guess I can see this. Expanding the pool of competitors allows the best to play the best. But beyond that, I think I’m missing the point. My goal with my kids and their athletics is mostly to get them exercising, developing coordination and motor skills, learning some things about teamwork and competition, getting to spend some time with them (as a coach), and – if there is time left over – have a little fun.
The other kids in town provide plenty of competition to accomplish those goals. Still, plenty of people I know and respect, both friends and family, are getting their kids into the travel leagues. I have trouble seeing how travel versus local contributes anything additional beyond expense and time commitments.
Anyone else spent much time thinking about this sort of thing?