So your kid has been playing Little League for a few years and seems to have taken to it. If your child, like mine, is clearly a “baseball kid,” like my son says about himself, you might be wondering what you can do to foster their passion for the sport. When my son was 8 years old and started actually playing baseball (as opposed to building sand castles in the outfield), my husband and I wondered how to cultivate his talent and interest in the sport. 

As it turns out, a little bit of asking around and Googling for “baseball lessons near Boston” went a long way. But I don’t think it’s that simple for everyone, because for years now I have consistently found myself fielding other parents’ questions about options for their kids’ baseball training in the Boston area.

If you have a little baseball lover at home who is looking for more than your town’s Little League, here is what’s out there! This advice is for folks whose kids want — and have the time for — more baseball than what they do through Little League.

1. Try a few lessons at a baseball training facility

Ask your kid if they would like to take some hitting, fielding, pitching, or catching lessons. If they say yes, search online for a local baseball training facility. Your child may only want some additional training and not necessarily to join a club or league where they’d have to try out to find out if they can join a team (more on this below). A baseball training facility can be enough and can provide that added edge your child may be looking for.

2. Look for a club/travel team

Ask your child if they want to try out for a club team, also known as a travel team or travel league. Keep in mind that people refer to these types of programs as many different things, so allow yourself to be confused for some time.

First, look into what is available near where you live. I have found that in Greater Boston — including the North Shore, the South Shore, and MetroWest — your best bet is to look at the websites of the main two travel leagues out there. One is Select League and the other is AAU Baseball. One caveat: It is not always easy to figure out which organizations belong to which league, and the websites are not always easy to navigate.

The good news is, if you find a training facility near you when you do your initial search for lessons, they may have travel league teams your child can try out for and join! Ask what league the facility’s team participates in, what division it’s in, and any other information you might want. You’ll want to inquire about the cost of joining the program, of course, as well as what is included. We have found that although it is an investment, the cost of the program is totally worth it for what our son gets out of it each year.

3. Embrace the baseball life!

We’ve come to really love our son’s participation in a baseball training facility and a travel baseball league. Honestly, it’s a bit like a family. Our son has been training at the same facility and playing as part of the same team for more than two years, and we are happy to have been able to offer him this opportunity and continue to support his love of the game. Some kids have come and gone, so he hasn’t always had all of the same teammates, but some of the friendships he has made are really wonderful. We’ve been to games all over the place and some tournaments out of state.

We’ve gotten to know the coaches, the parents, and the kids. We’ve shared meals in hotel lobbies and taken turns supervising each other’s children in hotel pools. We’ve cheered on our kids in the freezing cold, the rain, the hot sun, and everything in between.

And we love it.

Seeing our child flourish and grow as an athlete and as a person has been extremely rewarding as well. I honestly couldn’t recommend it more. And I really hope that if this speaks to you and you have questions, you will reach out to me.

I recently “interviewed” my son and his friend to hear the kids’ perspectives on life with “more” baseball. They’re typical 10-year-olds, so they didn’t necessarily have a speech to give, but when I asked them why they love being a part of a club/travel league team, these were some of their thoughts.

”We get to travel to more places around Massachusetts and out of state for tournaments.”

”I like a good challenge.”

”I can get more awards.”

”It feels like more of a big deal.”

”It helps me get better; I get more training.”

Here’s to more parents out there finding ways to continue to support their baseball-loving kids in Little League and beyond!

Angie V Martin
Angie was born and raised in Panama and attended college in Massachusetts, after which she took a couple of years to work in Boston and enjoy the nightlife before attending law school. Soon after becoming an attorney, Angie got married to the love of her life. They set down roots in Jamaica Plain, where they welcomed their firstborn, Henry, in 2012. Angie now lives in Nahant with her husband and two children (little Eloisa was born in 2015) as well as their rescue Boxer dog, Hobie. Angie is passionate about public interest law and serves as the pro bono director at Veterans Legal Services, a nonprofit legal services firm serving Massachusetts military veterans. Angie is also a certified life and leadership coach and loves supporting women and mothers on their journeys in their personal and professional lives. In addition to feeling honored to be a contributing writer for Boston Moms, Angie also enjoys writing in, and translating Boston Moms articles into, Spanish — she is a firm believer in ensuring every Boston mom feels like she/they belong here!