So...DD is moving up to 14U next season. She had a rough Spring for her first year of travel ball. We signed up with a new coach/team who saw DD play the previous winterball season (can't brag enough about our undefeated season with her as starting pitcher ). He didn't want a tryout and just wanted her. Told us it wasn't Daddy Ball...Told us every girl would earn her position. Etc...and the year was hell. Total daddy ball - players in positions they shouldn't have been in based on if the parents played nice or not. I loved the parents and the girls...it was the coaching that bothered me. My daughter didn't connect and didn't learn a thing. Except that we needed to research and bail if a team wasn't working out. I hate how stagnant her year was for her as far as skills go. We had a short break and were supposed to come back for fall-ball but most of the team had moved on and the team has disbanded within the last few weeks.
At this point I'm looking for a team to test the waters with for fall-ball. She's got to move up next spring and I want to make sure she bonds with a team that she can rely on. Coaches that she can learn from. She has a presence on the field that I really enjoy watching.
She had a private try-out with another team who will not use her to pitch. Her speed isn't where it needs to be...but they like her defense and hitting and say if she can be ready to pitch, she will get some time on the mound. This is fine as it gives her a solid goal to improve and maybe she'll get to play another position that she can own. I'm completely OKAY with her not being a rockstar pitcher as long as she can contribute and as long as she has a team behind her that will work just as hard. They want her....and I agreed.
My problem now is Disneyland Dad. He has lived anywhere from 60 to 500 miles away. Right now he's about an hour away...closest he's been in many years. He made it to 2 games this last season....but he did take her to softball camp for a week, which was closer to his house. He is telling me that DD needs a break. That he's tired of seeing her cry because she's not on a "good team". That I push her too much. He will not help financially (he rarely does, anyways). And I'm afraid he's going to put a bug in her ear about taking a break. I tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to Disneyland Dad. I don't want to argue with him....I just want him to understand that I didn't do the research last season. I feel like I need to start looking NOW.
DD has mentioned to me that she doesn't have time to hang out with girls from school. She has mentioned that she wanted to maybe try soccer or volleyball during the fall (not even sure if those are options). So...Disneyland Dad could really sway her if he tried. Am I being stubborn? Will it hurt her to take fall-ball off? We've been playing every season since she was 9. Spring-Allstars-Fall.
She needs more speed if she wants to pitch for a 14U team in Spring. She needs to be prepared to play a new position. There are things she needs to work on....I just don't know if she can risk taking the time off from a "skills" perspective.