Softball Recruiting: The Importance of Travel Ball
As a former Division One head coach and National Pro Fastpitch National Champion, Carie Dever-Boaz, knows the ins and outs of recruiting for softball. Watch and learn about the importance of travel ball.
Hi, I’m Carie Dever-Boaz and I’m here to give you a little insight on travel ball. And what does that mean and sometimes that can be kind of scary, especially for people that aren’t aware of it or really know the significance of it. Travel ball happens at all different levels. There is thousands of different organizations out there from ASA to GSA to ISA to USSSA to USFA and all of those have travel teams. What that means is a team is put together and they travel to go play. But I think that word travel can be kind of scary, especially nowadays, when you start putting a financial tag to it. What does that mean? There is lots of different levels. There is a league travel and these are teams that might be based out of New Jersey that are traveling to Texas and are traveling to Florida and are traveling to California and they are traveling everywhere. And that can really add up. You’re talking tens of thousands of dollars, just to do the travel. Now obviously, if you’re willing just to farm your kid out you can cut those expenses down a little, but a lot of these organizations have travel fees too, and that’s to cover indoor facilities training and the instruction that’s going on. And they’re taking on bigger and fuller meanings of what it means to be. They’ve got speed and agility training. They’ve got vision training. They’re bringing in professional athletes to do some of that training and to expose their kids. So the travel ball can be a lot, but there is a lot of different levels. You can have a travel team that stays within a tri-state area that travels. But it’s very significant if you want to be noticed by college coaches to participate in travel ball. Number one is most of your high school ball is being played when those college coaches are in season themselves, so it’s harder. It is getting easier within the collegiate scene to get to some high school games, because you now have hopefully three full-time coaches on a staff, sometimes a Director of Softball that can cover part of it, as far as sending things out. So, you’re getting more specialized within that. But it’s important. You know it’s the way to market yourself. If you’re not traveling, you’re going to keep yourself to a very specific market of colleges. So it definitely is important. I don’t like the travel coaches or the college coaches that are telling kids don’t play in high school. I think high school ball serves a purpose. If you’re lucky and you got a great coach, that’s fantastic. Obviously, they’re probably not going to be as professional as trained as what you’re going to get in the team – travel team. But I think it’s important. You get your reps. It creates a loyalty. You’re representing your school and I think it’s a valuable lesson for athletes nowadays that it’s more important on the name in front than it is on the name in back. And I don’t think they get that a lot right now. So, I don’t want my athletes to ever choose between it, but I think it’s important for travel ball teams and high school coaches to be working together, because let’s face it, we’re in it for the kids. And I don’t know, I refused to grow up and I love kids, so as far as I’m concerned, if I can help a kid and get him exposure through travel and/or working with high school coaches, and I do both, travel ball and high school. So, I think it’s important for them to do both.
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