February 28, 2019
Physical activities are a huge part in people’s lives but everyone has preferences when it comes down to how far you’re going to go, both with traveling and competition. School sports usually tend to stay closer to home whereas travel sports at times can go all the way to Chicago. School sports also much less expensive than travel. It can cost anywhere from $40 to $125 a season as opposed to travel which can commonly cost more than $500 a season.
But fewer kids are playing any sport at all. According to Aspen data, “Almost 45 percent of children ages 6 through 12 played a team sport regularly in 2008… now only about 37 percent of children do.” One reason, according to Aspen Data is that the pressure of being on a travel team is increasing, even for the very young athletes. This means many of the best athletes are not available for the school teams.
But there are still those who play on both travel and school teams. Eighth grader Sydney Rademacher plays basketball on both a travel team and the school team.
“On travel we have different players but we also have our travel players on our school team,” she said, “and there is just a different skill level for the teams that we play. There is also different skill level with my teammates as well.”
Rademacher prefers travel over school basketball,
“Travel is better competition ,” she said. “We get more playing time and it’s just a better experience.”
Eighth grader Lily Briggs, who is on a travel volleyball team as well as the school team, also prefers her travel team.
.“I get to play with all of my friends for a longer period of time and we get to play higher competition teams,” she said.
Travel teams challenge the athletes more, both girls agree.
“Travel definitely pushes me more because we can get into some pretty close games and we have to push ourselves and our limits,” Rademacher said.
“Travel pushes me more because I learn a lot more at the end of the season,” Briggs said.
Even friendships are stronger on travel teams because you spend so much time together.
“You stay at hotels together and you learn each other’s strength and weaknesses in the sport,” Briggs said. “You get to learn their personalities over a long period of time.”
Although travel is expensive Briggs still thinks that it is worth it,
“Most travel sports cost a lot and that’s not including the gas and the hotel payments,” she said. “But I think for what your getting taught, it is definitely beneficial.”