Top 5 Benefits of Playing Travel Sports

A youth soccer team huddling with their coach.

Travel sports are more popular than ever before! In the past two years, the travel sports industry has grown by 20 percent, and this upward trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Playing travel sports can be a big time commitment for young athletes and their families, but the benefits of participation can last a lifetime. Rocky Top Sports World has put together a guide to the top five benefits of playing travel sports.

1. Takes Your Game to the Next Level

One of the main benefits of participating in travel sports is having the chance to experience a more challenging level of play. While recreational sports leagues are great for learning the fundamentals of a game, as players get older, the best athletes typically make the jump from rec teams to travel teams. If you’re interested in eventually playing for your high school team, a background in travel sports is your surest path to the varsity roster.

2. Builds Close Friendships

Many lifelong friendships begin on travel sports teams. Between practice, games, and traveling, the sheer amount of time spent with teammates is virtually guaranteed to inspire camaraderie. The social benefits of being part of a travel sports team can be especially significant for children who tend to be quiet or shy.

3. Sharpens Time Management SkillsA youth football game.

As we mentioned above, travel sports typically come with a demanding schedule. Rather than viewing this as a negative, however, we consider it a great opportunity for young athletes to bolster their time management skills. Figuring out how to balance academics and athletics fosters a discipline and work ethic that will serve players well in the future. Studies show that, on average, young athletes have higher GPAs, more positive attitudes about school, and more interest in going to college than their peers who do not play sports.

4. Correlates with Career Success

Just as playing sports correlates with academic success, it also correlates with professional success. A survey of over 400 female executives found that 94 percent had played competitive sports in their youth. Similarly, a study conducted by Cornell University found that adults who played sports as teenagers had more career success and were more likely to be involved in charitable work. Clearly, the skills athletes learn on the field are transferable to the workplace as well.

(See Also: CNN Report Details How Team Sports Help Women Succeed Professionally)

The city of Gatlinburg in the Smoky Mountains.5. Traveling Can Be a Lot of Fun

Of course, one of the best parts of playing travel sports is traveling! Young athletes on travel teams have the unique opportunity to visit new places and play against competitors from different parts of the country. Many families take advantage of their children’s sports travel by planning a vacation around a tournament or event.

Rocky Top Sports World is located in Gatlinburg, TN, one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. Situated on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, our charming city offers spectacular natural beauty and some of the very best attractions and restaurants in the Southeast.

With seven fields, six basketball courts, 12 volleyball courts, team rooms, and an onsite grill, Rocky Top Sports World has everything you need for an incredible sports event. For a complete listing of our upcoming tournaments and camps, visit the Rocky Top Sports World Events page!