Tom DeCara (“Coach Tom”) was my guest this AM. I had asked him to think about how HS and youth level coaching is going to change in the years to come, and he was right on the money when he said that HS coaches and travel team coaches are going to eventually have to deal with a “fork in the road.”
That is, are the elite and highly talented athletes going to opt only for the travel teams….or are they going to remain and play with their school buddies on their local teams. As I pointed out, lots of athletes today say they play on their travel team “for real” – -meaning they take that very seriouly — and they play on their HS teams “for fun.”
That’s an odd approach, but it’s one that is becoming more apparent. Also, it was great to hear from Dave from Orange County (NY), who is the head of the NYS Basketball Assn, that these future coaching issues are finally being considered. There are clearly pro’s and con’s on both sides. On one hand, travel teams offer better competition than school teams, but for the most part, travel team coaches are not certified or have any obligation to be trained in their sport. School coaches, though, need to be certified as coaches and usually have training with CPR as well.
Problem is, for too many parents, this is always a very tough choice, and of course, for the student-athlete, this is still very competitive. I just wish I could offer more concrete suggestions on which is the best way to go. Sadly, there are no clear-cut answers.