It happens every year in recreational leagues around the country. Someone gets the idea that it would be great if many of the All-Star Players played on one recreational team.
It would be so much fun to have all this talent on one team to dominate the league and win the regular season championship!
And there are loads of excuses too: “They’re good friends”. “They need to carpool together”. “They won’t have fun if these kids don’t play together “.
But the true motive is the same. These parents/coaches want to win every game by a lot of runs.
Here are some reasons why this is a bad idea:
1. It destroys the morale of every other team in the division. There’s nothing like running into that team that has 2 great pitchers, a great catcher, a tight infield and strong hitters to make at least one 10U team cry. Does the game look like a track meet?
2. Young players are more likely to leave the league or less likely to join after hearing about how the board allowed this to happen.
3. More skilled and developed players inspire others to work hard and play better. Playing alongside a teammate that has more experience might be the most effective way of teaching and training. Even professional and collegiate athletes benefit from having veterans around.
4. It’s a great chance for better players to learn leadership. Teams can have vocal leaders on the field. This is their chance to be that voice of confidence directing teammates as a captain.
5. The whole idea of recreational sports is to bring a community together by meeting new people, playing with new players, meeting new parents and learning to work together. Don’t prevent families from building new friendships.
6. Breaking up all-star players into different teams allows them to grow and play in different positions instead of being locked into the same one all year round. In 8U, 10U and 12U, they can still explore and try new spots on defense. Maybe a new team needs a short stop, or the corner infield positions. Maybe catcher or pitcher. This allows young players the ability to try something new and decide whether they like it or hate it.
7. All-Star players can use a break from each other and their coaches. Give the all-stars a chance to miss playing with each other. The chemistry and camaraderie will be even better once the All-Star season begins.
8. You’re not really going to leave and form your own travel team. That’s a lot more hassle and driving that you ever wanted. And if you wanted to play travel, you’d be there already.
9. It really doesn’t feel that good beating every team by a 10-run margin and finishing the Rec season undefeated. There’s nothing magical about being a big bully, beating up on other kids.
10. Grow up