Figure out what are your child’s goals. Then judge her talent unbiased. This should help you decide what level of play and team she needs to be on.
Most importantly, if your child is passionate about the game and is talented, encourage her to take chances on teams that will better her. Too often parents let their child play on teams that have friends on, in turn holding their child’s talents back.
Those friends won’t be able to help get them on school teams or collegiate teams.
We talk about how travel players have to fully commit, which they do. However, parents need to fully commit as well. Have seen too many good committed players not get the support at home and they never fully realize their potential.
Parents have to put in the time and support just as much as the player has to put in the effort and training to succeed. -Travel Ball Parent for 6 Years
Always strive to have your daughter play at the highest competition level for her that maintains fun in the game, with teammates that have similar end goals. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways, however, this should always be the team you seek.
Focus on developing kids as a whole, not just in the area of softball talent. Spend time focusing on character development first.
Ask to be a guest player at a tournament or at a practice before committing, or just simply watch different teams play their games.
If your child is passionate about the game and is talented, encourage her to take chances on teams that will make her better.
Too often parents hold a child’s talent back selecting a team with the most friends.
Watch travel ball team practices and games before committing.
Teach your child to be a team player. Teach her that hard work and dedication is the key to success in life and in sports. And respect her coaches and fellow players.
Parents need to stop complaining so much. The girls pick up on it and start complaining too, and that can damage their chances of making a good impression on coaches and recruiters.
Go to tournaments before choosing a team. Look for teams having fun and smiles post game, win or lose. Look at coach’s reaction to bad calls and loses. See if families are together and promoting a positive environment, or spread out, not talking or cheering, and/or creating drama.
Once you make a commitment to a team, it should be expected that you finish the season no matter how bad the level of daddy ball (it may be).
Make sure your player fits the team as well as the team fits the player.
Start young and local. Little League/Pony is a great starting point. Don’t rush to travel clubs.
Know your child’s goals and find the best place/coaching to work towards those goals. You may not find the best fit right out of the gate, but you will eventually.
Sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. -Travel parent for 4 years
Parents can break up a team faster than lack of talent or skill. Let the coaches coach and the girls grow without criticism.
Make sure your player is comfortable with her coaches.
It is tough out there and the level of commitment has disappeared.
Do your research!! Be educated on the process.
Find a good team and stick with it. Constantly looking for bigger and better won’t get you better. It only shows you are not committed. Your daughter can play in college even if she is not on a team that travels the country to ‘play the best’.
There is a lot of competition in your own backyard. The college coaches aren’t traveling the country to find your daughter. They are looking at players that come to their clinics and build relationships.
Try very hard not to overstep into coaches territory.
There is a level of play for all, just have to research and find what works for your family.
Find the right team and the right coaches.
Ask questions and research, research, research!!! -Parent of a 12u player
Shop around. Find a team that works for your entire family.
Do what’s best for your child
“Persevere” – parent of a girl who has had her share of “failures” but picked herself up, over & over, again & has succeeded!
Softball is getting more popular as the years pass. Speak with your children about college ball. Is it something they really want to do or is it something you want to do?
Parents have to be committed to the players outside of team practices like pitching, hitting or catching lessons to continue to be better players. Don’t always depend on the coaches to teach them once or twice a week. Players need to also do extra work by themselves as well.
Lastly, parents need to stay away from players during a game and let the coaches coach and stop giving advice from behind the dugout.
Visit a team, and then watch practices and games before committing.
Don’t ever let softball stop being a source of enjoyment and instead become a chore.
Remember to keep the fun in the sport. Most players do not go on to play D1 softball. College coaches watch the parents as much as the players.
It is good to be involved with your children as they are playing and talk them through things, but be sure that you are still being respectful of the coaches for the team and don’t try to overshadow what they are saying (especially during games). Be supportive but let the coach do their job also.
Also, when it comes to college recruitment, it never hurts to start looking and checking out programs early. I highly recommend doing over night visits when possible at the schools your daughter is interested in, if they are offered, so that your daughter can get a feel for campus and the team before making the commitment.
Know how early college coaches start to look at players.
Always let it be fun. Don’t ruin it for your kid by being rude to coaches, umpires, and your child.
Do your research. Attend practices with the teams before making any commitments. It’s important to see how they practice to ensure that the skills are being enhanced.
Ask a lot of questions up front to make informed decisions about which team will be the best fit for your daughter to learn and advance in the sport.
You must love the game. You will have many ups and downs but enjoy them all.
Your player’s experience is worth it!
Remember why you are playing the game.
Understand that a commitment is for better or worse. Helicopters need to be left at home.
Truly be honest about your child’s current abilities and desires. Then understand her goals and help understand the various options in reaching them.
Be prepared to fight for your daughter. You may not have to, but be prepared just in case.
The hardest is finding a team that you and your child are compatible with. Her first little league coach brought the love of softball to her life. First year travel ball. Benched. Her fight to try and be better went unnoticed to this coach.
Moved on as sitting on the bench gets you no where and dealing with a coach that plays daddy ball will make your blood boil. Next years team seem to be different as we joined to then be told after 3 months the team was merging with another team as they were going bankrupt. Left went to another team.
This new team made my daughters ego a little too high. My daughter was one of the better ones. She knew it. They idolized her. This was definitely not a fit. Yes it’s fun for your daughter to be the all star but it’s not fun when the parents or other players get tired of hearing it and then they play the childish role of not wanting to talk to you.
Finally in her last year of 14u we found a match. Great coaching staff. Great organization. The talent around her pushes her even harder to be the best. We are family and they are softball sisters for life (there is nothing this softball family wouldn’t do for one another). My daughter is the happiest she has ever been on a team.
This has been a rough ride from 12-16 but wouldn’t change a thing. If your daughter is a baller keep her on that field no matter what. There will be wins but there is also the tears. There will be smiles and sorrow but it’s all worth it in the end when you keep that bright yellow ball in her hand.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do what is best for your player.
Find the team that is the best fit for your daughter. A winning team doesn’t (necessarily) equal player development.
Just say no to Daddy Ball – let someone else coach your kid!!!
It has to be enjoyable to the child.
Remember, it’s only a game.
Work just doesn’t stop at practice. Extra work outside of practice will make girls successful in any sport.
Scout out teams before running to join. You have to find the right fit for your child. Not every coach or team will help your child reach her goals.
Trust, but verify.
Keep the game fun for your girls. Keep being positive. After all the early travel years they are still young children.
Get a second job to fund travel.
Remember it’s about the girls… not you.
Listen to your daughter and understand her wants and needs.
Don’t get caught up in all of the hype. Let your child enjoy softball, play with her friends/age group. This won’t be her career, but the friendships she makes and the lessons she learns will last a lifetime.
During practice and games, leave the coaching to the coaches. Focus on being your kid’s #1 fan only.
They need to know that you are with them 100% when others around may be down on them.
Always trust your gut instinct and do what’s right for your daughter.
Do your team research. All teams are not the same.
Let your daughter have fun.