Select and travel baseball has taken over our kids' (and families') summers; and the times of getting out and just playing for fun are a thing of the past? ...or are they.
Recently I spoke to a guy involved with a local youth league and he told me the level of interest and the number of players involved has really picked up in the past couple of years... I was shocked; and pleasantly surprised.
A few years ago I had a similar conversations and was hearing that the 'just for fun' summer programs that many youth organizations ran were dwindling in popularity. The sense I was getting was that kids were either gravitating to select or travel ball in the summer, or weren't playing at all.
The highly competitive option is a good fit for a lot of kids and helps them work toward higher goals they have for their playing careers. But its not for everyone. I was concerned that more and more kids were just taking the summer off completely.
I am curious to hear about the health and level of interest there is around the country for league run, casual summer ball programs. Are they gaining strength in your area? Always been doing well? Has interest been dropping off in your area?
Please share your stories. Also, share strategies you have seen used to increase the popularity of a successful summer program. Hopefully your stories and ideas can be helpful for leagues and organizations that are looking for ways to improve this summer option for their players.