Increasingly, players and parents are opting to bypass the high school team in order to pursue more exclusive, higher-profile travel teams, especially in soccer. With the fall soccer season arrived, now is a good time to take a close look at the pros and cons of this decision, and publicize your examination with sports league software.
While the travel option may give an adolescent more college exposure, it is not without its drawbacks. This is a good jumping off point for the discussion.
More college exposure…
It is true that travel teams garner more college scouting eyes than typical high school games. These groups organize tournaments all over the country - and world - that attract big clubs and big name colleges. If the athlete’s goal is to be recruited to play soccer at the college level, entering into a travel team is likely to be his or her best bet.
…but higher risk of burnout
The problem with travel programs is that they often require year-round playing and forbid participation in any high school sport. That means an increased likelihood of the youngster getting sick of the game and becoming over-exposed. And, with the enhanced focus comes greater risk of injury, which could derail the entire process altogether.
Higher quality of competition…
Because of the vaulted exposure, the travel teams attract the best of the best. And because of the freedom from academic constraints, athletes can focus on the game, while coaches can coach the way they see fit without interference from the Athletic Director. Therefore, young athletes get a chance to play against some of the top youth athletes in the country.
…but a more difficult team to make
If your kid is on the cusp of college level play, then a travel team may hinder his or her growth by delegating the athlete to the bench. While the competition and practices with the best players may indeed push your youngster to another level, if there is no playing time available, that neutralizes the exposure he or she would otherwise receive. In that case, it may be better for the adolescent to play on the high school team and demonstrate skills as a captain and leader.
Regardless of the decision, make it carefully. One size does not fit all, and there are advantages and disadvantages for each argument. With some research on sports websites, and by talking to you young athlete, you can come to the right answer.