At what age should kids begin playing “travel” or competitive sports?

We all know that travel or competitive sports for kids have grown explosively in the past decade. Do you believe this is a good thing? And, if so, how old do you feel kids should be before they are allowed to play travel sports?

The state of baseball in the inner-city

A very discouraging article ran in this morning’s San Diego Union Tribune. You can read it here. Essentially, the article highlighted the fact that many inner-city teams cannot field a JV team due to lack of players. This, obviously, does not bode well for the future of the Varsity programs. There were two root causes given, which were:

  1. Kids from economically disadvantaged areas are competing against kids who pay thousands of dollars to play travel ball, take private lessons and who use $400 bats. When they see themselves at a disadvantage based on skill level, experience and equipment, they get discouraged and quit.
  2. The quality of the youth league coaching they are getting is inadequate, leading to boredom and frustration – again causing them to give up the sport.

While the first issue is serious, we believe CoachDeck can help with the problem among the ranks of volunteer coaches. Our product was designed to allow even the most novice coach run a fun and effective practice, even if they are coming to the field straight from work and have had no time to prepare. We are hearing from organizations everywhere using our product that more kids are coming back to play year-after-year because they are getting more out of the experience. We would love to believe that as awareness of CoachDeck spreads to every youth league, the trend of kids giving up sports because of lackluster coaching can be reversed.