I have a question as my team moves into fall. Is it really a bad thing to just be okay with having a “C level” team? I have a couple players that could definitely make a “B” team and maybe even an “A” team but the girls all get along and have fun playing together and so do the parents. I realize that we won’t be able to compete with the higher level teams so we would only play in “C” or maybe a “B” level. Is that a bad thing?
The numbers of girls playing softball, is GROWING. And it is GROWING because more and more because there are more and more teams and more and more kids that are realizing just how fun this game is.
The thing is…it is just a game. We don’t have to automatically turn every activity that our children are involved in, into some sort of job interview for collegiate success and beyond.
It’s okay if our 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 year olds just play because its fun – even if that means their team never sets foot on the field at the Colorado Sparkler, PGF Qualifier or at an ASA A- Level tournament. In fact, for a lot of girls it’s better if you just keep it low-key, competitive and fun; because they will end up playing longer – and sticking it out through those awful teenage years when boys and drivers licenses and other distractions seem more important than softball.
So relax… The answer to your question is a BIG EMPHATIC NO, your team does not sound like a bad thing. In fact, it sounds like growing this team TOGETHER, sticking it out TOGETHER, finding your way TOGETHER may be worth the ride and you may be very surprised how well they are able to compete with competent coaching…..
You see, while more teams will definitely bring about more talent, it doesn’t necessarily mean that teams, or players who are on these teams – who are established, having fun, successful by their definition, void of much drama, cost-effective, local, where the girls are learning and having fun, making memories and enjoying their time on the field – are suddenly all wasting their time by staying on their good timin’ team.
The point of ALL OF THIS is not for every kid to get recruited by college.
What happened to getting exercise, and having fun, and being part of a team sport, and enjoying childhood and young adulthood….
- Kids are burning out way too young! More than HALF of the kids you play with at 10U wll NOT be playing at 16U.
- Parents are going broke trying to keep up with the Jones’s of travel ball and recruiting based on far too much misinformation. If you want the real deal, are serious than talk to Cheri Naudin at CSA.
- Athletes are starting to think and believe and behave that their ability and talent level is decided by the name of the team on the front of their jersey, and many of them are only there because of money or nepotism. (REALITY CHECK – IF your CHILD wants to play softball past high school – they HAVE to be an all around athlete!!!!)
- Parents and athletes alike are being put under immense pressure to DO SOMETHING….anything….to make this whole thing ‘worthwhile’
- Team hopping is becoming the norm! So much for sticking it out.
- Elite organizations and teams are being oh so watered down, with tons of bench warmers.
Take it from some folks who have been there.
When you look back on these years, you will gain a lot of hindsight and the last thing you want is regrets. If you are not careful the child-athlete thing can take on a life of its own – and before you know it, it’s over and you will see every mistake you made along the way, how you ruined the game for your kid.
So no – you child is not wasting her time.
So what if you don’t play the most elite team in your state? If your daughter is happy and growing, and the team is growing together, and it is working and you are happy and satisfied then stay where you are – because there are far more unhappy folks out there today than there are happy ones. And this ‘peer pressure’ that all youth athletic teams have to be the BEST and WIN all the time blah blah blah is getting ridiculous.
And if your kid gets to a point where she wants to step it up a notch, feels like her team is no longer fun or challenging, is more serious about recruiting – then go ahead and pick up play, attend try outs, contact a recruiter – and otherwise check out your options.
The biggest thing is that she is making this jump for the right reasons…her reasons…not because you or anyone else feel like “Oh My GOSH if I don’t get her on a better team she will never get noticed and play in the World Series and never make the high school team and her life will be over…..”
We can promise you this. Happy teams are the best. Happy teams are the ones the girls look back on. Happy teams don’t always have “Elite” or “Select” after their name. And happy is different for everyone. And that our friends, is OK!
Softball On –
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