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Group: Baseball Fans

Group Discussion: Travel Ball: good or bad for youth development?

2014-05-28 05:13:09 (GMT)

Oakland, California

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Travel Ball: good or bad for youth development?

Have you been hearing the conversation surrounding travel baseball and whether or not the increase in travel ball is contributing to the serious arm injuries of young pitchers, like Stephen Strasburg?

What I didn't know is apparently travel baseball is much more widespread than it used to be.  I read an article where a writer (who happens to also coach his sons Little League team) felt travel baseball teams "underminded community baseball."

How big is travel baseball in your area?  Like many sports (football, soccer, tennis, golf), I think intense, year round training and competition among youths has been, and likely will always be, much more prevalent in warm weather states.  What do you think? 

posted 4 years ago


Great question and topic.

I haven't heard of travel ball for any sport being more prevalent now than before.

Travel ball isn't inherently bad. The reality is that most athletes competing at the highest levels are products, in part, of an above-average commitment to the sport early, including ongoing organized competition or travel ball. And yes, for most sports, it's easier to make a year-round commitment in warm-weather states. Non-travel-ball players must accept that they're competing against travel-ball players for places at the next level. Ultimately, it's a choice.

If we grant that long-term pitching makes an arm vulnerable to speed-halting breakdown and injury and the high-speed longevity of each arm is finite and unknown, then travel ball does accelerate the cumulative breakdown of the pitching arm. The physical wear that travel ball creates for other positions is dramatically less.

That said, it seems it would be difficult to forgo many starts or innings or otherwise go halfway when you're trying to create a next level for yourself. 

posted 4 years ago
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