Many children play on sports teams at an elite level. They often have to travel out of state to go to tournaments, competitions, or games. They are often not part of school programs. Instead, they are club sports or private teams that allow children to play at a higher level with greater competition. There are many benefits and disadvantages to allowing children to play at such a high level. This article will discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of youth travel teams.


The Advantages of Youth Travel Teams

Many young athletes love playing at a higher competition because they have become bored with recreational teams. Once children reach a certain level of skill, they want to play against others who are at the same skill level. This allows them to have more fun while meeting with experts and improving their game. Kids love to be challenged so they can learn new skills and grow. Many competitive travel teams provide experiences for younger children that they otherwise would not have had. They learn how to take care of their body through proper sleep habits, nutrition, and conditioning to be in top form for their sport. They also develop greater bonds with their friends and family by traveling so much. They have more shared experiences like playing at the hotel and eating together. The kids will often also be able to play tourist around the new town they are traveling in.


The Disadvantages of Youth Travel Teams

Youth travel also has several disadvantages for both the children and the parents. It can be incredibly demanding on the whole family because of the significant cost. Many seasons have parents spending thousands of dollars for travel expenses and club membership. It is also a large time commitment because the children have to be taken to practices, games, and travel. The parents also often have to volunteer their hours to play chauffeur to their children. The children are also likely to miss several days of school to travel for their sport. They can also increase their risk of burnout and injury because they are playing at such an elite level.