How to find a travel baseball team for your player in Georgia
As rec and travel baseball seasons wind down and head into the summer tournament stretch, parents often begin to think about either introducing their player to travel baseball, or trying to find a new team or program for their player for the following season. We get asked a lot about how to find teams or programs, so here are some guidelines.
But first, a couple caveats:
- Determining whether a player is "ready" for travel/select baseball is a completely separate topic that will not be covered here. In fact, Travel Ball Parents has a great post on that topic: Is Your Kid Ready to Join a Travel Team? Are You?
- This doesn't cover the scenario where an existing all star team or group of players from a park or neighborhood decide to transition together into travel/select baseball.
Now here are some ways to identify potential options for your player to find a team in Georgia
Players Combine Events
Training Legends is the only organization in Georgia that provides events where players can display their skills and tryout in front of coaches from multiple organizations and teams in a single session. Training Legends hosts the Players Combine open tryouts each year which brings coaches looking for players and players looking for teams together. Benefits of this setup include the following:
- Parents save time by not having to take their player to multiple tryouts
- Parents can meet and engage with coaches from teams they may otherwise not know about
- Parents receive objective measurements for their players as well as skills evaluation in comparison with their peers
- Training Legends staff runs the event, allowing coaches the freedom to focus on player evaluation and parent relationship-building
Learn more about Training Legends Players Combine events!
Ask a Coach/Instructor
If your player takes lessons from a private instructor or at a training facility, have a conversation with the instructor about potential travel baseball openings. These individuals are often well connected with the local scene and can provide insights (and referrals) for you and your player about team and organization options.
There are 2 main outlets in Georgia where teams posts tryout information in a forum setting:
- The Northwest Georgia Baseball Association: looks for the forums with titles that include "Team Openings or Tryouts." This is where teams and organizations post their tryout info with some marketing as well (coaches' experience, what level the team expects to play at, whether they're new, etc.)
- There are a few Facebook groups where teams post similar information as they are trying to find players. They include:
There are a couple sites where teams list tryout information that can be filtered and sorted to ease search:
- Travel Baseball Central (requires free account setup)
- Training Legends Event Calendar (new for 2018, coaches can contact us to add listings)
Finding a team for a player may entail some "marketing" on the parents' part. Similarly to how teams post online to find players, many parents create similar entries to identify options for their player. The Northwest Georgia Baseball Association has boards dedicated to players looking for teams, and similar entries can be created in Facebook groups and on Travel Baseball Central.
Key information to include in a post for your player would be:
- Age group
- Geographic location
- Batting Hand and Throwing Hand
- Past playing level
- Contact info
Stats, accomplishments, etc. are potentially good to include but variations in competition levels may be factor.
With Facebook posts, you can include pictures or videos of your player.
Here are couple sample posts:
- "11U looking for team to fill in on certain weekends in Cobb/Cherokee/Bartow areas. Available to practice a 1-2 nights a week. Has played mostly OF, pitches, and can fill in on the infield. Bats left, throws right, has mostly played AA/AAA. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss potential opportunities."
- "10U looking for team for 2018/19 in Gwinnett county area. New to the area, looking to join a team. 1B/P/OF, bats left, throws left. Please email email@example.com to discuss."
Many teams have openings during a season due to injuries, relocations, or other reasons. They will post these openings on the platforms listed above. This can be a good way to have your player join a practice or fill in during some games. The benefits to this scenario are that it allows the parents to see the coaches and other team members in both an instructional and competitive format outside of the tryout experience. If the player does well, then there might be an opportunity to continue with the team. It will also help the parent understand what level (AA/AAA/Major) a player may be best suited for.
Once a parent has identified potential teams for their player, they can do a little research to learn about the group. Performance wise, searching GameChanger or past tournament results can provide some insights into how competitive the teams are at the levels they play at. Googling a team or searching Facebook and checking team group pages can help you learn about an organization's background and personality as well.
It's just baseball and there is a team for every player. Players will make teams they "shouldn't" make, and they will be cut from teams where they are "better" than every player who was selected. As parents, our challenge and what we control is the opportunities we provide players to succeed or fail on their own merits.