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How do you find tryouts and a good team?

Apr 30, 2018
210
28
DD '09 wants to find a new team. We live in a small rural area about an hour South of Houston. There is a softball facebook page for the major city that some teams post on for tryouts, but not that many get posted. I see some people ask about tryouts and they seem to get more responses, but I can't post without our current team seeing the post.

Inexperience coaching is the primary reason we are looking for a new team. How do you find a team with good coaching? From our experience so far, evaluating the coaches during a single tryout is not a good bases.

Sent from my SM-G975U1 using Tapatalk
 
Aug 5, 2019
27
3
South Louisiana
DD '09 wants to find a new team. We live in a small rural area about an hour South of Houston. There is a softball facebook page for the major city that some teams post on for tryouts, but not that many get posted. I see some people ask about tryouts and they seem to get more responses, but I can't post without our current team seeing the post.

Inexperience coaching is the primary reason we are looking for a new team. How do you find a team with good coaching? From our experience so far, evaluating the coaches during a single tryout is not a good bases.

Sent from my SM-G975U1 using Tapatalk
Maybe you could contact the coaches who have posted in the past and see if they have any openings or know of any teams looking for players? Also, couldn’t you look at the member page and contact coaches on there?
 
Apr 30, 2018
40
18
In our area the tournament organization has a facebook page and they post notices from a lot of the teams regarding tryouts. You can always PM and not make a public post. Also most of the teams list a contact email or phone number if anyone is looking for more info or a private tryout if they are with another team currently. Tryout we just did, got a lot of good info on the team and coaches style from the parents who had been there last year. Tournament organization also has points.. tournament record, can get a good idea of where they are playing and if they are where they need to be.
 

pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
4,163
113
Watch some of their games. If the team makes the 1st or 3rd out at 3rd base more than once in a game or tries to move a runner over to second with a bunt in the last inning down by 5 runs move on...(now if I would only follow my own advice..) :LOL:
 
Jun 12, 2015
3,846
83
Definitely go watch a few games if you can. I especially like to see how the coaches behave when they're losing, or if the players are having a bad game and making a lot of mistakes. I like to find a balance where the players are held accountable and there are high expectations for effort and behavior, but without a lot of yelling, insulting, etc.

Also pay attention to the parents. How do they act, especially in those situations I mentioned - losing, lots of mistakes, etc. How do they respond if the coach sends a runner into a tag? What's their energy like? Are there 2 or 3 dads hovering by the dugout yelling instructions? Do the ACs seem helpful and supportive?

For us, at this point, these things are more important than experience. 09 is 10U, right? A lot of the coaches will be just starting out, since so many are coaching with kids on the team (this is not always a bad thing, despite what people will say - and a paid/no kid on the team coach isn't always God's gift to softball). I would be more inclined to look for how motivated they are to learn and grow with the team, assuming practices are well run and the players will be growing too. JMO.
 
Feb 10, 2018
45
18
Northern Virginia
I am a little further up the line (14U), but have been thinking about this process for a while in advance of next summer. One thing I would suggest (and it sounds like you have thought about some of this) is actually writing down those things that you and your daughter most want out of a new team. Essentially, the criteria by which you would select a new team. Writing it down forces you to really think about it and put it in black and white.

Beyond that, I would map out the softball universe in your area and within the distance you are willing/able to drive for practices. Do you have potentially 3 or 4 teams to choose from or 30 teams? As others have suggested, I plan to spend some time with my daughter watching many of these teams and coaches in local tournaments to see how they perform and behave when they are in their "natural habitat." You will probably run into some/many of these teams during your own tournament play. I also think you can learn a lot from GameChanger records or USSSA data on-line (assuming they have registered for any such tournaments). Anyway, you see the point.

There is always risk when making such a decision--leaving the known for the unknown--but I am aiming for my DD and I to make as informed a choice as we can, in part because of the level of commitment that travel ball requires (particularly as a pitcher). Less true for you given your DD's age, but at the stage we are at we cannot afford to "waste" a year of her development with a bad coach or in a bad team. I am somewhat amazed at how little research some parents seem to do when making such moves. I then laugh, mostly to myself, when they wonder why they took their DD to a situation that was actually worse than the one they just left.
 
Dec 2, 2013
1,042
63
Texas
DD '09 wants to find a new team. We live in a small rural area about an hour South of Houston. There is a softball facebook page for the major city that some teams post on for tryouts, but not that many get posted. I see some people ask about tryouts and they seem to get more responses, but I can't post without our current team seeing the post.

Inexperience coaching is the primary reason we are looking for a new team. How do you find a team with good coaching? From our experience so far, evaluating the coaches during a single tryout is not a good bases.

Sent from my SM-G975U1 using Tapatalk
Assuming 10U right? I can't do the math anymore. I do better with graduation years. At 10U and 12U you will for the most part find parents coaching these teams. So trying to find a team with experienced coaches will be kind of difficult. At 10U No reason to spend a whole lot of money on traveling to practices on the other side of Houston. Since you are south of Houston, you will be traveling to just about all of your tournaments anyway. Your sanity will thank you later. At this age it's not about winning, it's about getting reps and developing so they can learn to play the game. As others have said, watch other teams that practice close to you and send the coach a message to see if they have any openings and are willing to evaluate your DD. It's a good way to begin your networking.
 
Nov 16, 2014
1
1
Sub with other clubs as discretion allows.

Inquire about practicing with a potential team or working with their instructors so you're connecting with their circles on several platforms.

Be honest about you, your daughter, and your intent so if anybody has objections or "issues" that you're right by your daughter in the end.


Enjoy the journey!!
 
Jul 14, 2018
368
63
Just a quick Facebook hack: you can start your own page called '[your home town] softball' and then post to existing groups under the page ID. A determined person who is already a Facebook friend could track it back to you by following the page, but it's a quick and dirty way to post a "looking for a team" note without your real name being broadcast.
 

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