One of the best things about our community is that we get to have the combination of our ‘seasoned’ players and parents outlooks combined with that of those just starting the journey. And what a JOURNEY it is…
Our hope is always that we can help those that come behind us, avoid some of the mistakes that we have made along the way; that those with experience will chime in at just the right time to help those with questions and concerns making the ropes a little less prone to burning the hands. And that our newbies, so full of optimism and excitement and sheer joy and passion will remind the ‘old timers’ just how it all started.
Today – we share 10 Travel Softball Truths. Truths that are likely true in every sport, but round these parts, we try to make sure our fidget spinner keeps us focused on softball.
- The 8U, 10U, 12U and a good many of the 14U “ALL-Star”teams WILL lose the vast majority of their players by the time they are in high school. Probably more than half by the beginning of 9th grade. “Oh that won’t happen to us, “ you say…. Look, we know….it doesn’t feel like your 8 or 9 or 13 year old is ever going to be able to live or breathe a day without softball, but things change. And once these girls hit high school, things change really fast. So be super careful how much time (and money) you spend fretting over colleges and scholarships and being on the “best teams” and all the future plans at the younger age groups and try to focus a lot on letting your kid have fun,
- You’re team is going to play like tee total crap some weekends. It happens to every team. It doesn’t matter if they practice 6 times or not at all, there are going to be days on the ballfield that JUST ARE NOT THEIR DAY! And most groups of parents react the same. You can always tell which teams are losing without the scoreboard by looking at the sour faces of the fans on the losing side. They get frustrated and embarrassed and angry and start questioning everything from the line up to the coach and whispering and desperately trying to find someone to the blame….Always remember that these girls are humans, and that no one is on 100% of the time, and that every team and every player is going to have days where they just suck. Over reacting, causing team drama, being mad – well, its just a waste of freakin’ time.
- Changing teams does not always fix the problem. There. we said it. NOW HEAR THIS! No matter where you (or your kid) goes – there you are. If you have the same problem on more than one team – chances are the problem is on your end.
- Boy, do we know a lot and we mean A LOT of coaches. Over 10+ years we have seen good ones and crazy ones and everything in between. But we can honestly say that the vast majority of the coaches on the field do not sit up wee hours of the nights trying to figure out ways to hurt your child like conniving witches. They really really really do want their team to be successful, if for nothing else to avoid #2. PLEASE Stop taking everything that happens so dang personal, and stop trying to get your kid to take everything personal with you.
- Not everyone is cut out for elite/select/A-Ball and college teams. The Jones’ are not real. Not that long ago the best teams were made up of the very top talent. Today they are made up of talented players and mediocre players who can simply afford it, and this sport is becoming a big booming business for many. People are making money and A LOT of it, by blowing smoke up your butt by telling you that your daughter is the next Jennie Finch because they know that is what you WANT to hear and what will get you to fork over money. Find someone you can really trust to assess your daughter (We will always recommend Collegiate Sports Advocate and Cheri Naudin) Therefore, many organizations are getting watered down, and have a lot of bench warmers. Be honest with yourself, be realistic with your daughter, and allow her to play at level where 1) she gets to play and be an integral part of a team and 2) is successful. Take off the rose colored glasses and always remember that ALL AROUND ATHLETICISM wins out in this sport.
- The girls will have issues or drama. It;s the nature of humans, not just girls. Don’t get involved, unless you absolutely HAVE TO! It’s none of your business, your girls need to be empowered to deal with this kind of stuff in their lives, on their own, without mama and daddy stepping in – one of the blessings of playing a team sport is learning this lesson, and adult involvement is not always necessary and often leads to just larger and bigger problems. These are the teachable moments.
- Obey the 24 hour rule. We live in a world of instant gratification. Far too many angry texts and words are exchanged too quickly in the effort for immediate gratification. When you are part of a team, the best example that you can be is one of reason for your daughter. No matter how upset you may be, or feel – wait at least 24 hours before addressing the situation. Athletics are not something parents should ruin for their kids. This is called self-control, and we need more of it and we need to show more self control to our children.
- There is more than enough room on the field for every child to succeed! “Better” is nothing more than an opinion. And we all have them. The feeling that someone is better than your kid (which there will always be someone better) is not something to feel defensive, angry or jealous over. It is these ‘better’ athletes that will make your child strive for better. No one is dimming your child’s light by being better than her!
- This. Is. Just. A. Game. Sure, it may be the greatest game on Earth, but it is still – just a game, played by kids…
- This is not about YOU! This is about your child. Keep it that way.
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