Many words have been written on our FAQ and blog describing the dangers of overusage, year-round throwing, and specialization in response to the stories of workload mismanagement we often hear about from parents and coaches regarding youth athletes. Frequently, we find that the issue of overusage stems from the incorrect assumptions that more playing time will always lead to faster development and that exposure is everything. These assumptions have resulted in a surge of athletes playing year-round on multiple travel-ball teams, a strategy that works to the long-term benefit of no one. Simply put, doing the same thing over and over again (such as playing competitively against the same talent level of athletes) has diminishing returns, and so variability + training need to be undertaken in a rational manner to break through plateaus and assure long-term health. Furthermore, exposure to scouts/college coaches is irrelevant if you are not very good. And if you are very good, there are hundreds of ways you can get in front of relevant scouts and coaches without playing in a circuit in the year 2018.
So, instead of capitalizing on the desire to play all year long, associating with travel ball organizations or facilities that value development, promote long-term health, and provide fun social environments for their youth athletes can be extremely valuable to the growth of your athlete.
The most critical component of your decision should be whether you are fulfilling the long-term needs and desires of your athlete. If you are adhering to that principle rather than just simply playing competitively to play, your athlete will be in a good position to achieve some positive outcomes.
If you have questions as to how to structure a long-term training plan, please reach out to support at 425-523-4030 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our remote training options for youth athletes FAQ linked to here.