Destination Tournication, If You Build it They Will Come
Cities across America are doubling down and hoping they have what it takes to get a piece of the $9,000,000 youth sports industry. Upon watching a recent piece on Real Sports HBO (click here to watch the segment) the magnitude of what I do with my family at least two out of four weekends a month, really hits home. As parents, why do we do it? Some may think they are making an investment in their kids future and helping them obtain an athletic scholarship or get drafted by a pro team. I’ve got news for you, your kid probably isn’t going to make it to the big leagues, however, most parents don’t realize that until they’ve committed a large sum of money and several years of lessons and trips to tournaments so Lil’ Johnny or Suzie have an opportunity to develop as a player.
I’m not trying to be a dream killer, I promise, but the reality is there are only so many college scholarships as well as so many spots on a pro team. Just because a parent spends thousands of dollars on lessons and elite teams, doesn’t guarantee anyone a spot at the next level. However, society has given a nod to the travel ball industry because it does help kids gain exposure to the college coaches and pro scouts while allowing them to play at awesome facilities like the ones featured in the HBO video. These mega facilities also help to create an atmosphere where a coach can visit and see a multitude of teams instead of just two if they were to visit a high school game.
I realize I spend a good chunk of change on travel sports. Do I know how much? I don’t and part of me doesn’t want to know. I look at the money my wife and I spend not as an investment in my kids future, but as an investment in the memories we create as a family, visiting places we may not have visited if they hadn’t gone to a tournament in Anywhere, USA.
Have fun at these phenomenal facilities, embrace the time with your kids and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that the scholarships come and the pro scouts take an interest.