Certified softball maniac
This depends on your families goals. If turning out a good little softball robot is the goal, then professional instruction at a young age may help. If the kid just wants to have fun playing softball, then a travel team might be the better choice.
Originally Posted by SnocatzDad
My advice is to plan for the now, and not have any expectations for the future.
She's 9 and will be able to play 10U in fall 2012/spring 2013 and fall 2013/spring 2014? She is the perfect age to be going into 10U this fall; softball is strange. If you wait until she's actually 10, she'll be on the old side, LOL. My advice would be to take her to tryouts this summer and get her on a first year 10U team this fall.
Speaking as a parent, our DD moved to a competitive team because she was getting too frustrated with her rec teammates. It's no fun playing hard and hustling when the rest of the team doesn't have that intensity. Your daughter sounds like a kid who also cares more about the game than her teammates do--that mismatch isn't good. Softball is such a team sport, IMO a girl who's hungry to play well really needs to be with other girls who also have a commitment to practicing hard and doing their best.
DD moved over at age 10, she was a second year 10U who made a first year 10U team. She learned a lot and made it onto a nice 12U team for this year, but aging out and being forced to leave her 10U friends was traumatic. I wish she had moved over at age 9 as a first year 10U. For our area anyway, I think first year 10U is THE perfect time to make the move. A lot of good teams form their cores right then, take their lumps as first year 10s and then gell as second years. It's not unbearably hard to make it onto a 10U team as a second year at age 10 or onto a 12U as an 11 year old, but it's likely she will either be the newcomer going in with a group who have already been together for a year or more or she'll end up going onto a start-up team (and a second year 10U or first year 12U start-up isn't likely to be as strong a team as one that started up as a first year 10U).
Last edited by MsDinosaur; 05-14-2012 at 03:01 PM.
Certified softball maniac
Pretty good advice here. I think too many people make decisions that are based on what needs to be done now to ensure a child is the best possible player at a certain point down the road. There's something to be said for letting the child follow what's fun for her right here and now. I don't worry much about burnout if it is the child who is dictating the pace.
Originally Posted by starsnuffer
I eat, sleep and breathe softball
I'd have to go with others to start in 10u. I'm not sure what level she has been playing but you will better gauge her abilities in her own age, along with good competition.*
Don't get upset if it takes her awhile to adjust and catch up. You and her being "young" to the sport will find out there is a huge gap between rec level and A class TB. Studs in rec are just average fish in a good TB arena.*
Best of luck.*