Curt Schilling To Parents: Don’t Get Suckered Into Travel Sports

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Curt Schilling had a stern message for parents – don’t be suckers by paying for traveling sports for your children.The 6x All-Star and 3x World Series champion was referring to the new craze that has engulfed parents across the country who are obsessed with trying to get their kids any sort of competitive advantage. The thing is, all that money spent may not actually be doing any good.

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“If you have to pay for your child to play, they’re not good enough to be a Major League Baseball player… because the game will find them,” Schilling said on OutKick’s The Curt Schilling Baseball Show. “If you’re kid is good enough, he will find his way to the big leagues.”

Schilling then had some matter-of-fact hard truths for parents to hear.

“If you’re one of the parents of the 277 kids that are Major League capable or potentially talented, they are not a hidden gem. They’re not that super talent that no one else but you see sees, they probably aren’t just that good. And I know that sucks to hear that,” Schilling continued.

Schilling says that instead of travel ball, parents should allow their kids to play in little league and pursue it in high school as well.

Curt Schilling had some strong opinions on parents paying for traveling sport leagues. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)


The former World Series MVP then cited various examples of leagues, coaches and managers that have been found to have either stolen parents money or not delivered on what they said they would.

“These coaches are promising things that almost none of them can actually provide. And they’re promising things that you don’t need them to provide. If your kid is good enough, then he will play on a team that he doesn’t have to pay for,” Schilling continued.


Perhaps Schilling’s best example to back up his point is from the actual players themselves.

He goes through a list of various players that were never involved in traveling baseball, as well as many players that were undrafted and made it to the Big Leagues based on their talent. He mentions players like Kevin Millar, Frank White, Larry Bowa, Bobby Bonilla, Dan Gladden and Hall of Famer Larry Walker.

Many kids are playing baseball in hopes of making it to the big leagues one day. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Anyone who is a parent knows exactly what Schilling is talking about here.

The pressure to make sure that your son or daughter is getting the most exposure as a young athlete is massive. Because of that, many are willing to do anything and everything to make that happen. It’s tempting to want to join into traveling or exclusive programs to try and stand out from others either in sports or in academics.

I mean hey – Lori Loughlin even went to jail over it!

But as a millennial myself (and admittedly not a parent) I would suggest that parents maybe take some of that money that would normally be given to travel leagues and put it instead towards well-produced video highlight packages. I can’t tell you how many tweets and videos have gone viral showing aspiring athletes that were just ridiculously good and started getting a ton of attention from them. And if we see them – you can be sure that professional scouts do as well.

When I was growing up being a part of a traveling or an AAU squad was like, “OMG! They must be incredible!” That has since changed with the oversaturation on the sheer number of the various leagues out there.

We’ve already seen the rise of NIL deals transforming the way younger athletes are approaching the sports industry. Maybe the decline of paying for exposure in traveling leagues is next.

Regardless, as Schilling says – in the end, talent will find the way.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.


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