Above the Bucks County Legends Baseball mission statement is short and simple, however we are very aware that there is much more to it ………………………… and this is WHY.
Why Travel Team Baseball is becoming more important to our Youth
For the past several years, Youth Travel Team Baseball has experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity with an estimated growth rate of more than 3000% over the past 5 years. This rapid growth rate continues to siphon participation from local Little League, Cal Ripken league, and other local Recreation leagues which were once thought to be the elite programs for talent development. While there will continue to be a market for community based programs, the quality of competition will continue to decline as more youth continue to shift over to The Travel Team format. High School athletics may very well be in jeopardy, as well. Recent interviews with College baseball recruiters and professional baseball scouts detailed the reasons. College baseball recruiters and major league scouts foresee travel team baseball expanding to include more 17-19 year old teams. Competition level within these older leagues will continue to improve as they have within younger age groups, as better players join more teams. Currently when a College recruiter or scout visits a High School game to scout a player, this player will be competing against (possibly) two players on the opposing team which is a College or major league baseball prospect. As a pitcher or hitter, this prospect has not competed against College caliber talent, so the player’s talent potential is an unknown quantity. This scout will be able to appraise 4 players (on two teams) at most during each 3-hour game. These Professional baseball scouts envision performing more recruiting at Weekend Travel Team Tournaments, where they will be able to scout multiple players playing against higher caliber competition during a more limited time period which is almost like a scouting combine format. The higher competition level that Travel Team tournaments offer provides baseball scouts with a better barometer of how a player will perform at the College level or Professional level than High School baseball. Every College Baseball recruiter and baseball scout has their own story about the player that got away. A player that they under evaluated on the High School level and went on to the MLB Hall of Fame, but they have dozens of stories of over evaluations which can be costly to the team and the Recruiters career.
Why Youth Travel Teams are Important
Youth Travel Baseball is a tough business and it is a business. Each family involved in each team is a part of that business. The average cost per family to participate in Travel Baseball is between $1000 and $1500 per year, not including a $50-$100 tank of gas each weekend, snacks, drinks, $150 hotel stays, $180 dented bats, $100 lost or wet gloves, $80 Nike’s, and other unnamed or unexpected expenses. Each family can easily invest $3000 or more in a Travel team baseball season. Each family makes an investment in that business and expects a product in return for that investment. Many Travel teams form at age eight (8) and remain together for years. They continually add/eliminate players over time and in most cases it takes years to develop a Championship Caliber team. Each year coaches evaluate the talent they have, where they have needs, and try to recruit players to fulfill or supplement those needs. The longer these players stay together, the better the teams become, and the better the product each parent can expect. Youth Travel Baseball is an enriching experience and it can provide a positive influence in a child’s life. The average 12 year old today is much stronger, faster and more skilled than his 1980s counterpart. He also is more prepared for more advanced competition. This will become more apparent as this crop of youth move on to the College and Major League level over the next 10 years. However, waiting too late to enter Travel Team Baseball or failing to find a comfortable place to settle can be a liability to both the child and the team itself. Ideally, a team would like to have more player turnover in its early years (4-5 per year) with a decreasing number each year (3, 2, 1, and 0) as they mature and develop team cohesiveness. In remaining with a Travel Team for 3 or more years, by age 13, the average youth player will have experienced every possible baseball situation that will ever occur, and if he pays attention, he will know how to handle these situations when he advances to higher levels of competition. Most Travel Teams offer just the right balance of coaching (instruction) and competition. Most Youth learn by doing and watching, and as they watch other advanced competitors play, they imitate their actions. The High School and Middle School baseball season is far too short to take raw kids and teach them to become baseball players. The majority of current High School players come from the Travel Team ranks. A very low percentage of Middle School Baseball players played Recreation League baseball only, and the majority of High school players come from Middle School Rosters. Youth Travel Teams have now become the feeder system for School Athletics.
Bucks County Legends Baseball
"Respect All, Fear None"
Our Mission Statement
Bucks County Legends Baseball was established in 2010 with the goal of providing each of its members with a superior learning experience to develop as athletes, students and as young men. Our club combines an experienced coaching staff with a structured teaching agenda that challenges the player/athlete while encouraging them to have fun and enjoy the game of baseball.
These select travel teams were developed to be in addition to any other in-house, school or church team. Our club was designed for additional training on the fundamentals of baseball and to face the toughest competition at some of the finest facilities in the tri-state area. Reaching this level requires all players and parents to understand and share our goal.