Thursday, March 5, 2015

Travel Ball Expectations and Scholarships

As we quickly approach the start of another travel ball season, it is a perfect time to offer some food for thought on the expectations for not only this season but overall travel ball expectations.  Simplify your thoughts down to your team and your son or daughter.  What is it that you hope they take away from this season? Or what is the end result of their travel ball career?  Are sports about life lessons or is travel ball about athletic scholarships?  Yes to both?  Yes and Maybe? Yes and No?

Yep, it crosses every parents mind at some point!  It would be nice to get part or even better ALL of college paid for through athletics.  Your mind races a little just thinking about that possibility.  Let's back up a second.

Parents have different perspectives to these questions and rightfully so.  We all have diverse upbringings.  We come from various parts of the country, unique environments to our home lives, and a multitude of athletic experiences.  We all have different expectations. 
ex·pec·ta·tion (noun)
a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.
  1. a belief that someone will or should achieve something.

Reference -Google definitions

Consider having a single set of expectations for this season and every season to follow.

What if you approach travel ball with the mindset that
  • my son or daughter plays travel ball in the summer because they enjoy the game, they want an experience that varies from the local league, they need a more challenging baseball or softball experience, and they want to learn more about the game
  • the entire family is a part of the experience and no matter what the game results are, we are still a family with a goal to have an enjoyable time together. "We enjoyed watching you play."
  • if we focus on always providing the best learning and training experience for my son or daughter, the opportunities will come.  If the skill and hard work are in the heart of the player's make-up, maybe even someday that opportunity will be an athletic scholarship.
"Success is where preparation and opportunity meet." 
- Bobby Unser (3 time winner of Indianapolis 500)

So what should you expect?  There are going to be good game and bad games.  Things won't always go the way you want.  Your son or daughter will fail from time to time.  They will show up every game and be a contributing member of the team.  They will listen to instruction and apply what they learn to the best of their ability.  They will grind through season after season because that's what successful people do.  If they have prepared and improved their physical and mental skills each year, opportunities will present themselves.  There might not be athletic scholarships but there will be opportunities to be successful at anything they do because they have spent years training and being encouraged to do so.

Best of luck!