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How To Start A Travel Baseball Team
How To Start A Travel Baseball Team
There are many things you must know when it comes to starting a travel baseball team. Although it may seem easy, you can’t just sign up 12 players and look for games. There is much more to starting a travel baseball team.
The first thing you need to know when starting a travel baseball team is that you must start the process early. Starting a travel baseball team takes a long time and there are many things that you will need to do that take time. I would give yourself AT LEAST six months in advance of starting a travel baseball team. Even if you know a bunch of kids that already want to sign up, you will still need the time. Trust me.
So, why will it take so long to start a travel baseball team? Well, you have to do things like:
Determine a budget
Find a place to practice
Make a team name
Design and order a team uniform
Collect money from the parents
Register the team (USSSA, Triple Crown, AAU, Nations Baseball, USTBA, Super Series)
Find tournaments and create a schedule.
When it comes to recruiting players for a new travel baseball team you must first determine what kind of players you are looking for. Are you looking for a baseball travel team full of studs or one with good parents? If you want your travel team to be full of studs, you are going to have to a lot more recruiting and you may encounter problems with the parents. If you focus on finding good baseball players with great parents, your travel baseball team will have a much happier season.
Tryouts are a good way to find some players that you might not have seen before, but most of your players will come from you calling coaches and parents from leagues that you already know. If you do hold a tryout, make sure you advertise the travel baseball team tryout in the newspaper and online. You want as many kids to show up as possible because you don’t want to spend the money on the field and only have 6 kids show up.
When recruiting players for your newly started travel baseball team, make sure you accept around 30 players. Don’t worry, they will weed themselves out even before the season starts. Thirty is a good number if you want to end up with 15 by the end of the season.
When talking to the parents you need to sell the team. Why would it be beneficial for their son to play on your travel baseball team? If you have a great coach, they need to know his credentials. If you are going to be playing in highly scouted tournaments, they need to know that. If you have the best looking uniforms in town, they need to know it.
Determining A Budget – When it comes to determining a budget for your new travel baseball team, there are many things you need to consider. Estimate your costs and pad the estimation so that you will not have to end up paying for things out of your pocket. Here are some of the costs associated with starting a travel baseball team:
Incorporating the team
Registering the team
Registering the players
Paying the coaches
Equipment: practice balls, fungos, extra set of catcher’s equipment, portable travel net, etc
Random extras: first aid kit, scorebook, lineup cards, etc
And of course uniforms
These things can easily and quickly add up to $8000 and even more if you go all out for such things as the uniforms, equipment, etc. What you will want to do to determine a budget for your new travel baseball team is take the number that you estimate your costs at being and divide that number by the amount of players that you need to field a team. Probably from 12 – 15. For our example we will use $8000 and 15 kids.
So you are looking at $533 just to cover the costs. That’s not including the money that the parents have to pay for travel. Another thing you will have to do is estimate and explain how much the travel is going to cost the parents when they decide to be a part of your travel baseball team. You don’t want them to sign up and then be surprised that they are dropping another $300 every weekend on travel and eating expenses.
You could also go the route of fund raising. To do this you must obtain a non-profit status. You can go to the irs.gov website and look under “charities and non profits” for more information about how to start a travel baseball team that is a non-profit organization. Once you are a non-profit, you can go to local businesses and ask for sponsorships or donations in which they can write off on their taxes.
When collecting money from the parents I suggest collecting a considerable amount up front as a down payment. This way you know that the families and players are committed. You should then collect the rest of the money just before the season starts. If you wait until half way through the season, good luck on getting that money any time soon. You will be spending most of your time tracking down money that is owed to your travel baseball team instead of worrying about the team itself.
When it comes to registering your newly started travel baseball team you can register with many different sanctions however, one of them covers all the rest. If you register the team through AAU, even if you never play in an AAU tournament, you will be registered for all other tournaments. It’s easy to join and only about $300.
Here are a few more tips when asking yourself how to start a travel baseball team:
Am I ready to put in the work? You must realize that it is a lot of work. Although you may think it is going to be fun (and it will at times), it will be even more of a headache.
Am I ready to deal with unhappy parents? Make sure that the parents and players know exactly what the rules and expectations are. You must not tolerate parents who are over involved and they need to know that before the season. This includes letting them know that there will be no talk about playing time. You will have to remove some players from the team because of their parents.
And last, but not least, do I love travel baseball? You will have alot of fun if you have the right attitude, just don’t forget the bubble gum and sunflower seeds. No travel baseball team can go without these essentials.
Good luck on starting a travel baseball team. If you have any questions about how to start a travel baseball team, please feel free to ask by posting a comment below. I will do my best to answer all your