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Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring Elite Programs

A lot of areas now have some sort of off-season regional elite programs that are available to the aspiring athlete. Basically they would be advertised as an AAA Elite Program with try-outs scheduled in various towns. After try-outs a team or teams would be would be selected that would compete in a Spring AAA league playing in a league format with play-off games and a championship game. These leagues usually begin about a month after your regular league has finished and gives players and opportunity to play their sport a little longer.

But what are the advantages and disadvantages of playing in such leagues?

Well, first of all it can be costly, with a lot of travel, meals, gas, and accommodations. As well the registration is similar to what you would normally pay out in your regular league and for the most part, the players that compete are not all elite athletes so it can be a bit watered down. Let's face it; a lot of parents cannot afford to place their athletes in another league at the conclusion of the season. So, despite being labelled a AAA league, it does become a league of those that can afford it. At the end of the day, somebody is making money.

The advantages are that usually these leagues feature great coaching and will give your athlete an opportunity to learn from a certified coach. Although not all the athletes would be at the Elite level per say, there still will be a significant amount of these athletes in the league that currently play at a high level year round and it would be a great experience for your athlete to play with or against these players.

As well, if your athlete is aspired to play say in the regular AAA league, then this exposure might be beneficial to them as usually they are scouted a bit or watched by the AAA coaches of the local league and it gives your athlete an opportunity to show their stuff. That way if they do attend the regular AAA training camp the following season then they are already known by the head coach of the team as he watched your athlete play already in the Spring League. Most coaches of elite programs will go an check out the spring leagues to see what is available in their own back yard. It's a coaching thing, we're just too curious to stay away!


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