Top 10 Tips for those new to Travel Ball

Discussion in 'General Softball' started by PaintTheBlack, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. PaintTheBlack

    PaintTheBlack New Member

    This thread is not about how to act at games or with the coaches, but rather tips to make life on the road easier. Please add additional comments to help these rookie travel parents.
    1. Buy a good chair to sit in, a nice cooler, a wagon, and a pop up tent. Do not be cheap here!
    2. When traveling, hotels make great bathroom stops. Lobby restrooms are cleaned multiple times a day, you usually can get free coffee and sometimes a fresh cookie.
    3. Know in advance where you are going, what food is around, where the fields are, and how far the hotel is.
    4. Always find other things to do outside of softball. If your going to be in Chattanooga, check out the falls or the other unique things to do in that city. Especially during pool play days you have an idea of what your free time is going to be.
    5. You eat at BW's at home, find new places to try for food. Champy's in Chattanooga is a great place!
    6. Stay with the team when possible. The memories created by the kids and parents are some of the best.
    7. Always bring all of the uniforms, you never know what you might need.
    8. Never say no to extra socks, belts or pants. Especially socks!
    9. Have a good First Aid kit and get a huge bottle of Advil.
    10. When flying to a tournament, plan on stopping at a thrift store to pick up a cooler, chairs, etc for the week once you land. That way you don't need to pack it and you can either donate it or trash it at the end of the week without having to spend lots of money or carry a foam cooler around. This is especially important when going to an area that has a beach!
    Enjoy it, it goes quick!
  2. 22dad

    22dad Member

    Join every hotel rewards. Usually get more than 5 days free by end of the year.
  3. DLamb

    DLamb Member

    Get to know the other parents...they can make or break a summer.
  4. crazysoftballmom

    crazysoftballmom New Member

    In addition to the above, I keep blankets in the car. Some of those early season games are still pretty cold to sit through. Sunscreen and bug spray are also necessities. And Red Vines :)
  5. Run26

    Run26 Active Member

    Bring the following items:
    1. Cash
    2. Umbrella
    3. Hat
    4. Cell Phone
    5. Extra Car Keys

    Do Not Bring the following items:
    1. A tired player
    2. Your own score book
    3. Fireworks (don't ask)
    4. Alcohol
    5. Subs
  6. Xrayaries

    Xrayaries Active Member

    Always travel with a sense of humor. Be humble there will be good times and bad times. Stay humble and understand there is a reason to play the game. If you're not growing as a player and a teammate for a positive reason then you are in the game and playing the games for the wrong reason.

    Stop second guessing the coach. It will only lead to frustration. In their mind what they did was right. The game of softball is filled with what ifs. Never dwell on past games or performances.

    Do what parents are suppose to do. Cheer on your child and all other children playing the game. Your DD may be 2 seasons above the talent of some team mates. Encourage your child to help make others better. Enjoy the game for what it is.

    Last and most important. YOUR DD DOES NOT NEED TO BE ON AN ELITE TEAM TO BE RECRUITED. That is a parent myth. I have seen many B level players go to DI schools with scholarships.

    Have fun!
  7. wellbuckit

    wellbuckit Member

    I'm sure that you are right about not being on an elite team to be recruited but I bet it helps if they are.
    HITTER23 likes this.
  8. Xrayaries

    Xrayaries Active Member

    Not really. The girls need to market themselves. They need to put their face, stats, videos in the coaches lap. If they like what they see they will make it a point to either get you to a camp of theirs or come see a game.

    When a coach shows up at a tournament they have a list of players they are there to see. Not because you play for Lasers. Yes the lasers have coaches at their games because coaches are there to see a girl they are interested in. My DD is on a B level team. She had multiple coaches at every tournament. She has been invited to several tryouts/official visits. I know several girls that worked hard to get DI scholarships. It all starts their 7-8 grade year. Start sending emails and videos. Even though they can't talk to you they will know your name see your videos and progression through the years. They will know your work ethic and persistence. By the time you reach your junior year they will take the time to see you play. It is that simple.
    Cougerfan likes this.
  9. Long Baller

    Long Baller Active Member

    +1 on the extra car keys! I locked my keys in my car at a tourney one time, but luckily it was local. But don't leave the spare key IN the car, haha.

    This one may sound odd, but take a shoe drier if you still have room left in your car after everything else is loaded up. Nothing worse then DD complaining "Dad, my cleats are still wet" if you ran into some rain or a dewy field the day before.
  10. 22dad

    22dad Member

    Scented garbage bags for the pleasant scents on that long drive home!
  11. wellbuckit

    wellbuckit Member

    You can say "Not Really" all that you want but that doesn't change the fact that if you play on a team that gets more exposure it is easier for college coaches to find you. Yes most of the girls will probably need to email coaches and go to camps but that is part of softball recruiting.
  12. Xrayaries

    Xrayaries Active Member

    I did say not really but everything I said is 100% true wtf are you trying to argue?
    FIRE FASTPITCH likes this.
  13. brownsfan

    brownsfan Member

    Technically you did say "not really". Girls can market themselves all they want; but if you are not in the right tournament (where having the right name on the front really helps); the chances of the coach appearing is slimmer. The reason, college coaches only get 30 recruiting days. Let's say they go to Stingrays (4 days), ASA/USA Nationals (6 days), Colorado (upwards to 12 days I think), Bandit Invite (3 days); those alone account for 25 days. Point is, it should not be on the girls to recruit themselves; that's the coaches responsibility or the recruiting coordinator should the said org have one. That org recruiting coordinator should have strong relationships built with college coaches.

    Now I'm NOT saying it can't be done. 2 of my dd's teammates got recruited from teams that aren't big. They just happen to be at a tourney that the recruiting coaches were at. I know another player being recruited currently is from a non-known name but once again; they were happen to at a tourney that college coaches were at. She had never contacted them; but they heard her snapping out calls from 3rd base (which caught their attention as they were leaving), and she backed it up from her fielding and hitting.

    So yes, you are correct, but so is welbuckit. My dd is playing in college. My dd was part of the large name Ohio teams since 11U. The college that landed her was not on her original list. Here's the key and parents read this.....this college saw her fail and right then talked to our recruiting coordinator for a visit. She asked what made them offer and they aid Pitsburgh. She said I stunk that weekend. They said they know but all they saw was success prior. They needed to see how you handled failure, and they could never tell as you still kept your motor running with a positive attitude when pulled from pitching and played another position. You also backed that up with your bat. Most kids sulk after getting pulled.

    And an FYI, any in-state HS game does not count against the 30 days. So get into the Prebis tourney held by Keystone HS. I have seen college coaches there.
    wellbuckit likes this.
  14. brownsfan

    brownsfan Member

    As for the tips,

    1) Enjoy every minute of it. I made the mistake of getting caught up in it...but it didn't affect my dd.
    2) Enjoy the moment.
    3) Invest in the coaches bucket cooler :D.
    4) If you go to a different hotel due to costs; make sure you go hang out with the other parents and remember; it's not just you who is away...but so is your daughter.
    5) Always take money...hear that 10U parents and newbie 12U parents. Some tourneys have gate fees or parking fees and possibly both. If held at a school; that is potentailly their only source of additional revenue for their HS team. The reason I called out 10U; because a buddy of mine had to settle some parents down as he was the field director and was ready to kick them out. I've also witnessed some going off.
  15. brownsfan

    brownsfan Member

    Ok the green :D, I think of the sick
  16. tjsmize3

    tjsmize3 Active Member

    I coach in an organization that most come play for in order to get recruited. Our organization (same one your daughter played for) puts numerous kids into D1 programs each year, but I have to strongly disagree with the above statement. I am the guy on our team who talks with college coaches on a kid's behalf and while I can certainly HURT a kid's chances of getting recruited by a particular program, I really am NOT the critical link in the way the recruiting process ACTUALLY works. I am at best a liaison. My job is to make introductions for my players to potential college coaches and facilitate communication between the families and the college programs once interest has been established. I am no way a salesperson!!! The vast majority of college coaches realize very quickly when you stop discussing facts and start "selling" kids... the later is not well received by most coaches I deal with. While you are absolutely correct in that our schedule puts us in front of probably 20-1 D1 college coaches compared to most local teams on a given weekend, it's still largely the responsibility of the kid to sell themselves to the college programs.... and that is exactly what we saw on September 1 this year. Those who wrote CONSISTENTLY and CREATIVELY to programs and also SHOWED UP TO CAMP got the most phone calls by far. I had one kid who wrote over 3,000 emails in the past year to over 50 different programs and took the time to personalize them and get very creative in what she wrote (on a weekly basis). On Sept 1 she got 12 calls from D1 programs and had several offers made on that day. My best advice to all the 2022s and younger is that if you are going to a "big name org" to get recruited and think the coordinator is going to sell you without you busting your butt to write and get to camp... you will have a very quiet Sept 1 next year.
    Cougerfan, Run26 and 08DDF2 like this.
  17. Coach Tony

    Coach Tony Member

    Excellent post, Coach Schmeiser!! A coach or recruiting coordinator cannot sell your way into a program. Lots of misconceptions out there about the real recruiting process.

    On a side note, I always laugh when I hear coaches claim that they can get a player in to a particular college... college coaches are in the business of winning games and, more importantly, staying employed. They simply will NOT take a player whom they don't think can help them do matter how much they may like (or pretend to like) your travel coach or high school coach.
    tjsmize3 likes this.
  18. OHsoftball

    OHsoftball Member

    My daughter subbed for an org a few times before the recruiting rule went into effect and I saw first hand the coach trying to "sell" his kids to coaches. It worked... plenty of them were committed by freshman year. Do I agree with this? Not really.. but I do think the coach/recruiting coordinator should definitely be a strong advocate for all of their players. So what if a kid can't go to 100 camps?? Does that mean she wants or deserves it any less than the kids whose parents are able to send them to every camp east of the Mississippi?
  19. Run26

    Run26 Active Member

    I cannot agree more with this post. As a "liaison" as well for a well known organization I can attest that most of the work comes from the player. I can tell you that 95% of the time a college coach comes to talk to me is because the player has made the coach aware of her schedule and location. It's very rare that its just happenstance. Don't be surprised if the coach also wants to place your daughter in a different position than she is accustomed to. It's rare that a player comes out of TB and is assigned to a given position in college. It just doesn't work that way unless you are a pitcher or catcher.

    If we're focused on the 5% that happen to swing by - they rarely want to focus on 1 girl. They are instead asking me questions about who can fill a need on their roster. I don't usually focus on one player but usually offer them 2-3 and allow them to focus on who they want. Some work out and some don't.

    Don't be tricked into thinking a name/org sells your player. It does nothing other than offer recognition for players that have worked out in the past. It can also prove to be a negative if the college has had dropouts or leave the team scenarios within a particular org. It happens - a lot! Check some of the biggest D1 programs and focus your attention on upperclassmen. You may struggle to find a lot of "older" players.
    0203bbmom and tjsmize3 like this.
  20. tjsmize3

    tjsmize3 Active Member

    OH there are a ton of deserving kids that will never get an athletic scholarship for a multitude of reasons. I don't think camp by any means is the ONLY thing that matters, but it's just so much easier for a coach to see how your kid plugs into their program when she performs and interacts on their turf, with their players/recruits, in their drills, etc... To your point the whole recruiting process is not always "fair" but it's probably the best we can do with what we have. In the end those who are persistent generally prevail. I see that year after year.

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