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Travel Ball

Dec 10, 2008
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What do parents with multiple girls do as far as travel? I have 10yr old twins and an 8yr old. One 10 and the 8 are ready for travel next year, I have been told. One twin needs some more work but is getting better as a catcher every day.

I seem to be at a crossroads. Rec with friends or start our own travel local. The travel team(organization) is in Illinois and we are 45 minutes away. That makes it harder but not impossible. Any suggestions?

How difficult is starting and running travel team?
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
Starting a travel team is easy. Keeping a travel team running through the summer can be very difficult.

Do you have the pitching? You need three pitchers, one of which should be A quality. If you don't have three, don't even think about it.

You also need to think about the numbers. Will you have enough kids to keep it going? Or, will this be strictly a 12U team? What happens next year?

Generally, there are lots and lots of girls at 10U and 12U. But, the girls at 14U start to decide to do other things, and by 18U, only a very few girls are interested in playing. What is the point of setting up a team that will exist for two years?

E.g., the Naperville Diamonds field *TEN* 12U teams but only *TWO* 18U teams, and the 18U teams include some 16U girls.

So, what are you going to do when your DDs are good enough to play 18U? (Remember, if your DDs are really good, they will play 18U as early as 14YOA.

It is going to take a lot of your time to train your three girls adequately to play softball at any level. Every minute you spend training someone else's kid to catch popups is one less minute you have for your own kids.

And, suppose your 8YOA DD comes up to you in two years and says, "Daddy, I think I want to spend the summer doing summer theatre." Are you going to say, "Ok, we'll work something out." Or..."No, I'm running a travel ball team, so you either play travel or I won't see you from June to August"?

Ray
 
Dec 10, 2008
82
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So Ray, I guess you are saying to get on a travel team instead of running one?

Mark, I don't think its too early. In 4 years they want to pitch for high school team. I would think starting earlier would be an advantage after talking to alot of travel ball people in Chicago area.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
I wouldn't advise starting a travelball team unless you are jobless, single and a millionaire.

I've seen lots of travel teams come and go over the years. A dad starts one with the best best of intentions, and then midway through the season, a couple of players quit and the team folds. It is bad for his kids, the kids on the team, his self-esteem, and the marriage. It is much better for you to be your DDs' personal trainer rather than a team coach.

Mark H has a point (he almost always does). A lot changes when the kids hit puberty. But, next year, if they are still into softball and they are ready for travelball, I would let them play.

Ray
 
Dec 10, 2008
82
0
That is why we work hard on pitching mechanics so they will be still pitching through puberty. When your kids are playing wiffle ball in the basement at 2am, I think they love the game.

Got your points though. Thanks
 

KAT

May 13, 2008
92
0
umm why are you kids up at 2 am...arent they kind of young?? Hell my high schooler is in bed way earlier then that.
 
Mar 2, 2009
311
0
Suffolk, VA
NWITom: I've coached at 2 organizations that started up. One stayed together from 12U thru 18U and ONE year we actualy had two 14U teams, small group, but great experience and we were well respected, won our share of tournies and sent quite a few girls off to play in college (predominantly DIV3 and DIV2). The other org was a 12U and 14U and only lasted a couple years. Issues to be prepared for are: cost to start up, GENERALLY situation is similar to yours in that DADS that want their kids playing travel ball and form their own team, finding fields to practice on and INDOOR facilities, having ALL players STAYING commited to showing to practices after the first couple months when excitement wears off and the continous year-round practices, (and why are these players STILL available vice playing for other well coached travel teams?). When parents are paying LOTS of money to be part of the organization, plus Hotels, food during tournies, fund-raisers, etc and they feel their daughters are NOT getting enough playing time, because TYPICAL DAD's kids get most playing time, arguments and in-house fighting might begin.
*** Not trying to scare you off, but there COULD be nightmares if you aren't careful and don't manage the organization well.
Keys: Good facilities, INDOOR and OUTDOOR, Adequate equipment, COMMITTED PLAYERS and MOST importantly and what will keep the club together is GOOD COACHING that goes to clinics, knows their areas of strengths and ADMITS their areas they need to go go help with.
- ABSOLUTELY COMMITT to getting your most commited and best skilled players most of teh time and committ extra time to bring up the skills levels of the players less experienced, but whatever you do, do NOT play players that don't belong on the field because they are a daughter of a "Friend" or coach!!!!

We did have great experiences all years with first organization until the girls aged out and moved to college and the 2nd group I help coach (no DD, just coached).. went to OKC to the Hall of Fame tourny and had alot of fun, but I watched the so-called friends fight between each other when changes were made and playing time effected.

Why not work with YOUR girls and if they truely are good enough, they will be offered tryouts at local clubs and save you TONS of headaches, TONS of time and if your grils change their mind, your only priority will be with your girls, not 12-13 other girls and parents.
 
Dec 10, 2008
82
0
Thanks jimginas. In my area their are only one 10U team. Very few travel organizations worth anything. I am not qualified to run a travel team but a local HS coach would run it and facilities are available.

The team we are associated with because of our pitching coach is in Chicago. Not a big deal but it is if I cannot get my middle DD up to speed. Balance is her problem and I am searching for a gymnastics place to work with her. Having 3 and working with 2 of 3 pitchers leaves very little time for anything else. I am very proud my girls went from middle of pack in rec league to top of the heap this year. Well 2 of 3 atleast. I am just new to travel and a bit nervous.

My older DD has a goal to pitch in high school and I will help her any way possible. I want it to be a family fun deal also.
 

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