What’s Right with Travel Ball

Let’s continue the discussion of the things that are right with travel ball and recruiting. Just a quick heads up for all our loyal readers, as soon as we posted the first installment of what’s right I was bombarded with messages about more things that people thought were wrong with travel ball. So stay tuned, there’s more to come.

2. What’s Right with Travel Ball – Recruiting, part 2.

Travel ball coaches are highly motivated people when it comes to seeing their players get recruited. I’ve often wondered if for some travel ball coaches the real scoreboard has less to do with winning games and much more with helping their players get recruited. Now before you jump to the wrong conclusion, I think this is a very good thing.

As we mentioned in the first series, one of the major motivators for most people to invest in travel ball is the dream of playing in college. Yes, I know some kids just want to play, but the majority of players who enter the travel ball fray are hoping to use it as a stepping stone to a college career. So with that basic understanding clear in our minds you see why I say travel ball coaches who help get a high percentage of their kids recruited is a very good thing.

We know that it takes a village to get a player recruited and all those people deserve some credit but quite often the travel ball coach is a huge part of the equation. In our recruiting seminars we always tell players that they need to work really hard to market themselves to college programs. We try to help parents see their role in the process and give them some guidance about some of the do’s and don’ts. But without a player’s travel ball coach working hard on her behalf it will be an uphill climb for many players.

When you go to any of the big showcases you are likely going to see some version of this scene taking place all around the ballpark. Travel ball coaches working the crowd, shaking hands and talking to the college coaches in attendance. Often while their team is playing in the game taking place while these discussions are happening. The very savvy travel team always has a plan in place that allows their coach to be able to talk to the college coaches. Everyone knows their jobs and someone else will take over so the head coach can go and talk up their players.

Showcases are designed to offer the opportunity for college coaches to see the players they are interested in recruiting. Showcases are also crucial for the networking that is required to help a player find her college softball home. Winning and losing in a showcase is really measured more in the connections made than the runs scored or who is ahead on the scoreboard.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?