An athlete furthering his or her career is extremely important. Working hard and trying to maximize potential, or see how far they can go with a sport has so many positive effects on an individual’s life. One, they won’t look back when they are 25 years old and think, “I could of done more, or could of performed better.” That is one thought that dwells on people as they get older, and makes them wish they could go back and do it all over again. Two, it develops skills they need such as; work ethic, critical thinking and organization skills, making adjustments, and networking. A lot of the positive attributes I developed as a person and people I have met that helped me along the way is mainly due to furthering my career as an athlete. This brings me to why it is important to not just play high school baseball, but travel as well.
Let’s take a look at high school baseball first. If you are considered a good athlete in high school, you have to play for the school team. That gives you the sense of confidence that you are one of the better athletes in your area and it gives you something to work towards and prove. If a college or professional scout sees that you did not play in high school that sparks up a pretty big red flag in their mind. That is not a positive mark on your track record that you want people to see if you are serious about furthering your career as an athlete. Most importantly, the high school season prepares you for travel baseball in the summer and fall. You are keeping your body in shape and your mental focus sharp by playing high school athletics. People under estimate how important it is to be in constant game situation competition throughout the year. Which is why it is so important to play in a travel program.
Let’s face the fact that in-town athletics is depleting all over the country. The sport of baseball and softball are becoming so competitive now, which is why the number of travel programs are rising exponentially and have been for the past 10 years. If you have the athletic ability and drive to get better, it is a must to get involved in a travel program. Twenty years ago, there weren’t even 12u travel teams out there. Now, it’s starting as young as 8 years and under. Playing travel ball is the way to stay competitive and improve as a player. If you don’t, you can fall behind and have a really difficult time catching up. This progression is changing the way college scouts recruit. They are more likely to get recognized during the travel season rather than the high school season.
Playing high school ball and travel ball is key, they feed of each other. The easiest way to look at the big picture, which a lot of people don’t understand, is the percentages. These percentages are roughly estimated, but are honestly the truth. The amount of players that play baseball until the age of 14 has a significant reduction as they get to high school. Well less than 50% of kids that play baseball to the age of 14 actually end up making the high school team. Then only about 20% of that 50% end up furthering their career and play in college. So my point is, the more you play, the more you have a chance of being a part of those percentages. Playing in the spring, summer, and fall is an absolute must if an athlete wants to further his or her career and maximize potential. That constant game situation competition keeps an athlete physically and mentally sharp so they can keep up with other athletes and hopefully surpass them. On top of it all, high school seasons only last about two months. They start around April 1st and are concluded around June 1st. One who is serious about playing baseball needs to look at playing eight to nine months of the year.
Written by Carl Taylor