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How do you pick a travel program?

Feb 3, 2016
318
28
We encourage any players considering our TB team to go to multiple tryouts (club teams) and decide after seeing all of it.

Helps us weed out parents who need their DD play every inning vs. Parents doing what's right to get their DD's good coaching and play at level that will grow them as a player.

Opinion: Find an independent team if you can.

Independent team:
$1000: Kid will learn, and be coached well. Limit is up to kid to earn a prime spot on a very competitive team. Held accountable and must work outside of practice.
Skills to out perform most if not all club kids.

Club: $1500-$2500
Guaranteed spot on the team. Just be ready to write the check on the spot after the tryout. They tell everyone that one more spot is left and they have others ready with the checkbook out.
(Miss 50% of practices and kid will still start)

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 
Nov 26, 2010
4,211
83
Michigan
She’s only 6 right now. Shes playing 8U sling pitch this season in a local rec league, which involves travel all over greater Jacksonville.

The league we’re in now has a travel program that starts at 10u. I’ve heard from other parents that left the program that it was too expensive for what you get and the parents that stayed all think it’s great.

looking for an objective way to evaluate rather than follow the path of least resistance and stay in that program if she maintains the level of interest she’s got now.
Honest opinion. Don’t worry about it now. Your dd is 6. By the time you need to worry about it the teams around you will have gone through 2-4 sets of coach’s/team managers/org boards. The terrible group today might be the outstanding org in 3-4 years. And not to mention the fact that your dd might be playing soccer by then.
 
Jan 3, 2019
51
18
Florida
Honest opinion. Don’t worry about it now. Your dd is 6. By the time you need to worry about it the teams around you will have gone through 2-4 sets of coach’s/team managers/org boards. The terrible group today might be the outstanding org in 3-4 years. And not to mention the fact that your dd might be playing soccer by then.
No offense to anyone who replied, but this is the best piece of advice right here.
 
Jan 3, 2019
51
18
Florida
Ditto just breath and work on the basics of hitting and throwing and don't overthink it. Plus your daughter might be really interested in basketball or gymnastics or who knows by then, #1 focus right now is HAVE FUN!!
My 5 y/o is starting her second season of t-ball and my only focus is for her to have fun and hope she learns a little bit about the game along the way. I figure when she turns 10 or 11, she'll make the same decision as her older sister to continue to pursue softball. If she doesn't then I'm ok with whatever decision she makes.

With my oldest, we started travel when she was 11. She made the decision that she wanted to pursue a future in softball at that time. Here we are 2 years later and we are fully involved. There will come a time when the grind starts, and believe me, it's a grind. As they get older, it's work to stay at a competitive level. We're going through it right now but I wouldn't change a thing and neither would my DD.
 
Feb 4, 2020
14
3
Ditto just breath and work on the basics of hitting and throwing and don't overthink it. Plus your daughter might be really interested in basketball or gymnastics or who knows by then, #1 focus right now is HAVE FUN!!
That’s what we’re doing now. We expose her to multiple sports and she chooses to repeat or not in next available season.

I found team sports extremely valuable for work ethic, leadership skills, managing a relationship with mentors and authority figures that aren’t parents, working on teams and learning how to communicate with a variety of personalities.

I’d like my DD (and 9 y/o son) to be involved in team sports as long as posisble to learn those lessons. So, encourage and enable, but don’t require their participation and goal setting in the team sports environment.

My DD did ballet, gymnastics, swimming, soccer and basketball to this point and we’ll continue to encourage her to try new sports where she can without being over scheduled.

She really liked gymnastics, but my wife and I thought it got too serious too young:. She showed talent, so the gyms were wanting her to commit fully to the sport at 5 y/o. My wife was a gymnast growing up, so she knew how that was likely to play out (also I’m 6’1” and my wife is 5’5, so the likelihood she was going to be too tall to be effective at a future point was high). As a result, we encouraged her to take a couple seasons to try other sports and if she wanted to go back to gymnastics we’d let her follow that path.

All that said, coming into season 3, her interest in softball is just different than the other sports.

One day she asked me “Daddy, do you have to pay for softball every season?” When I replied in the affirmative she asked “are we running out of money?” I assured her we weren’t and inquired why she asked she replied “because, I want to play softball for a lot of seasons and I don’t want you to make me stop”.

She asks me to practice with her. She watches games on YouTube, she identifies her own weaknesses and asks me to help her work on those. It’s just a different relationship than she has with other sports.

We followed the same path with my son and he landed on baseball, but just didn’t know how it worked, because the culture is so different than when I was a kid. As a result. It’s hard to get him meaningful playing time, because his skills were weak (were playing catch up now that we understand how to play the game).

I want to stay ahead of that for DD, so we don’t risk spoiling something she seems to love. If she falls out of love. No big deal , but if she doesn’t and keeps seeking I view my job as a parent is to guide her and provide clear options that she can use to make inforned decisions.

Again, my interest is using a team sport to develop the life skills. The sport is the means,not the end.

The turnover piece is helpful. I’m planning to join the websites and use message board s like this to educate myself how it all works and when I were closer to decision time start getting more serious about the research.

Everyone’s comments on this thread have been very helpful.
 
May 6, 2015
1,378
83
after reading all this, also, do not pay attention to what any team says they have won, their record, etc.

at the early years it is about development of girls. while you do not want to be on a doormat (no fun for anybody), neither do you want to be on a team without any real competition.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,429
113
My list is small:

1. Good coaches
2. No drama parents
3. Short commute
4. Lots of playing time for my DD


You'll notice I didn't put Great coaches. I just need them to be decent (at this stage of her 10U career). #2 and #3 are what will keep you sane. #4 will keep your DD happy.
 
Jan 8, 2019
298
43
One day she asked me “Daddy, do you have to pay for softball every season?” When I replied in the affirmative she asked “are we running out of money?”
Yes, DD, we are!

“because, I want to play softball for a lot of seasons and I don’t want you to make me stop”.
We'll make it work for you! (But, shhhhhhh, don't tell your brother!) ;)
 

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