From sea to shining sea the history of America’s greatest pastime runs deep. Baseball is and always will be the heart and soul of our country. For many years developing into a professional athlete included having good morals, being a positive role model, and physically training to be the best you could be. Currently we have pulled away from these core values and are more focused on the instant gratification of winning. What happened to player development? Where are the coaches that hold players accountable for attitude and effort? When did academics start taking a back seat and youth sports became the priority? We, coaches, parents, and caregivers, need to stand together and bring baseball back to the core principles and values that not only develop phenomenal athletes but will assist us in raising our young athletes to be extraordinary adults.
Our experience in youth sports has allowed us to meet many talented kids throughout the country that are not being taught the basic fundamentals of baseball and the life lessons that come with it. Travel baseball has taken our nation by storm. People have been brainwashed to think that playing in tournaments every single weekend with little to no player development is what their kids should be doing. The truth of the matter is that the travel baseball culture has caused the demise of good coaching, strong leadership, and consistent parenting. Travel baseball has created a philosophy that plastic trophies and “Winning” indicate who is the best team and who is a part of the greatest organization. Coaches and parents have bought into this philosophy and sacrifice too much just to “Win”. Player development is now at an all-time low. Coaches and organizations are using players for their immediate talents and/or their maturity and have total disregard to their physical and mental well-being in the process. While the short-term outcome is gratifying where do you see your child in 3-5 years without player development and accountability? The long-term effects of travel baseball will be devastating to our youth today if we as society do not do something about it.
“TRAIN MORE PLAY LESS” was created to bring our sport and its teachings back. We are dedicated to having a powerful impact on our players across their lifespan. We want to GOVERN our baseball, so we know our players are being developed the correct way. For us to achieve this, we must make sure our families and players across the country understand there are more important goals than winning tournaments every weekend. Training properly and learning life lessons now is what makes you GREAT. Games are an important part of the process, but they are not the MOST important part of the process.
When travel baseball first originated it gave better players an opportunity to play against kids of the same caliber or better on a weekly basis. Travel ball was new, and many considered it ELITE. When we think of ELITE we think of expectations, requirements, tests, standards, commitment, and character. Over time the travel baseball market has become saturated with teams. They are on every corner, dozens in each age group, and any kid can join. They are no longer ELITE – they are everywhere. So, let me ask you this… Can anyone play college baseball? Can anyone play pro baseball? Can anyone become a navy seal? Can anyone be a doctor? Can anyone be a lawyer? Can anyone own their own business? The answer is no. If you take into consideration the amount of training a professional athlete endures to then turn around and play a regimented amount of games it would make more sense that we would want the same for our children and we would train our children the same way. Hard work and dedication, attitude and effort are just a few things that are required to be ELITE - yet it is no longer taught to our children. The first step to being ELITE is a different mindset and “TRAIN MORE PLAY LESS” offers that. It is more than just baseball. It is a way of life.