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  • Dave Barnett

It's all about the TEAM

I always get a chuckle to see the different names of the travel teams when attending tournaments around the country. Teams called: Chili Dogs, Dirtbags, Renegades, Team Elite (lots of Elites), and Prospects, just to name a few. My favorite I saw recently was a team called, “Suspects”. Players at all levels are suspects before they become prospects. The development of a player starts at a young age and as long as a player has the desire to listen and enjoys baseball then he will have a chance to become a prospect someday. Travel ball offers players the opportunity to play and as they progress into their high school years, be exposed to college coaches and professional scouts. Younger players that play travel ball should be in that development phase where they are learning how the game is played. I have a concern that some of these travel organizations are not developing players. It is evident as I talk with high school coaches and college coaches across the country. All sports have fundamentals and learning these starts at a young age. The other aspect to developing as a player is understanding the value of teamwork. It takes all players doing their job to help a team win. The objective to play the game is to win the game. Travel ball is exposing players to play and hopefully develop. I don’t see enough of this and when players enter high school and college, it is about winning and it is about the TEAM. Coaches want their players to do well individually and if collectively they all perform well, then winning takes care of itself. Remember to be a “team guy” and not an “I guy”. You never know when you may become a prospect!


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