What's your experience in finding a good fit/organization

Discussion in 'Softball Parent Discussions' started by kc0602, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. kc0602

    kc0602 New Member

    We are coming out of 2 years of travel. One year 12u, one year 14u and 15u. Our 03 DD is highly competitive, has a big heart full of desire for the game and like most girls, thrives on the support, love and competitive drive of her teammates. Her competitiveness carries over into all other sports and school in being a straight A student thus far. She has a great bat and strong arm. We have found in these tryouts she has 'lessen' her strength of throw a) due to nerves b) it's just not the same when your in game mode for a throw down, and we are in Volleyball ;) but this is still new and a learning curve in this tryout process.

    We are searching for an organization that she can build on. This is our first in going through multiple tryouts and it's pretty stressful. We have 2 solid offers, one that has ask for a return second look also asking to hold off on decision until second look and we still have one other tryout on our list of interest. 1) I feel bad for the waiting game but understand it needs to be a process. We are finding in 14U many are starting over with new teams or big majority needing to fill roster. Our DD will only have this year left in 14U and I'm confident in her skill set that if we find the right fit, that organization will want to keep her. Again, we are not in the market just to find a team.

    I would love input on those who are seasoned in the travel arena what are your key things you look at in an organization? Our DD is interested in playing college ball, so that tells us we should look at A organizations, correct? Or does that not really matter? Colleges look at H.S. I know, and travel is great learning and experience. Do we look at their longevity? What if an organization has changed hands recently or is only a few years old? Do we look at records? Do you look at tournaments? Most are telling us they play 2 fall tournaments and 6-8 in season with one or two of those being 'showcase'. We can view past records all day long but again, not sure of importance since those records are of girls who are moving up not the team we would be joining. I appreciate any advise you can give. It's crunch time and we want to do what is in her best interest to help her strive to higher heights in playing the game.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  2. CARDS

    CARDS Active Member

    At 16U she should have a decent amount of schools she is interested in and she should have attended some camps or clinics of the schools she has an interest in. If not, she is behind but that not the end of the world...
    If she has college coach interest nothing wrong with asking them for advice as well. It will vary between the divisions of play.

    As far as A or B teams if the desire is to play beyond HS it will be an A type of team but you do not have to travel all over the country unless she is looking for schools more than 4 hours away from home or a D1 school.

    Look for a team with an established coach and that is playing a schedule you can afford including the travel and a roster you can live with that will allow the player to grow and get looks by the schools / coaches that she has connected with....

    You will want to play some fall showcase events and most of your more established organizations/teams have some they regularly attend so the volley ball may or may not come into play.

    I have seen some DIII coaches and JC coaches at HS practice and some games but that was for ladies that were already committed or that they were actively recruiting. I do not know of any DI or DII schools that recruit from HS but there may be.

    At 16U ASA State tournament is a must. If a perspective team does not have this event on their tournament list they may be one you want to pass on. There are a ton of Showcase style events some good some bad the main thing is going to events the coaches she has contacted will be at or, be able to get them to go to you...
  3. Julie

    Julie Member

    Sent you a private message.
  4. wow

    wow Active Member

    Cards addresses many of these areas so I wont be redundant.

    I can tell you, from experience, if you are in the right events you will get seen. You will hear many on this board stress the name on the front, which is important. However the teams success is also as important, if not more so. Look for a team with many returning players. Constant turnover is not good for bonding. It is very true, every team has additions and subtractions every year, but only adding one or two is the key. Turnover should be a HUGE factor in deciding. Coaches ability to develop players is also a key ingredient. As far as schedule it matters who you play. Getting into the right events requires a team with great success or at large bids. Most of the larger events want a resume. Things like who is committed where, where you played nationals, records against other national teams, etc..

    There was team, here locally in Ohio, who came in runner up in a national event. They got a ton of exposure from coaches, turney directors, and even a invite to a larger event next year. They were offered to be sponsored and made a big splash. The ironic part was they were not a "big name" team. The point is with the right coaches, right kids, and, parents you can do great things.

    I would not expect too much if anything from HS. The fact is HS ball is during college season. College coaches are not leaving their teams to watch HS.

    I would say at 14 and above its quality not quantity. Try and find a team who is doing primarily showcases. Be careful here just because the truney says "showcase" does not make it so.

    Opinions are like you know what. I would ask former players and parents what their experience was like. If you talk to 10 and get one or two bad reports maybe it was not a good fit. If you talk to 10 and 9/10 bad reports, run, dont walk away. I think reputations matter. Just ask a lot of questions. You will get your answers.

    I see someone just PM'ed you ... see already working.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  5. I'm not the OP but I found this really helpful. Thanks!
  6. kc0602

    kc0602 New Member

    I cannot express enough how I appreciate the time each of you took to respond. I wish I would have joined and posted earlier in season. Having only 2 years experience in travel doesn't seem enough to even be close to knowing what we are doing. We have been to 5 tryouts so far, 3 solid offers, 1 request of a second look. This last tryout we were hoping was going to be a good fit but it turned out to be too mechanical. No personalization between coaches and parents. Actually, coaches were late, never introduced themselves to anyone, did not group parents together before or after to give a brief background, or anything. They did meet with each girl after, and out of I would say 15-20 girls (it was a 14/16u tryout mix) we ended up being the last one out (and the farthest traveled) but the conversation went like this... Hi I'm coach xxx... your daughter did great, has good arm, liked what we so so I'll get to the punch were offering you as spot and you can let us know. (crickets.....) So I start the questions... how many girls returning, what is the cost (I received a dollar range) where are practices, is that an extra cost (because from what we know this indoor facility cost big jack!!) where are your tournaments, and so on. All we got was 1) dollar range 2) we will figure out spot once team is established 3) Oh by the way we are not the coaches for 14u those coaches aren't here 4) we play lots of showcase and 5) thanks for coming. :confused:

    Wow...than you for your post. I was starting to feel some of the 'common sense' stuff was irrelevant. But after last nights tryout, I see that is still very important and key in our decisions. Was very disheartening last night to see such a large organization with all the quality 'stuff' treat it so mechanical with no passion or attempt to be personable.
  7. JoeA1010

    JoeA1010 Active Member

    I pretty much agree with Wow and Cards. Although the team name isn't everything, it definitely helps. The team name does not make one a better player, but what it does is typically guarantee that the team will play certain tournaments and it increases the odds that a college coach is going to watch. If I get an e-mail (I'm a college coach) from an Ohio Outlaws or Lasers kid, I'm going to find a way to watch them, period. Pretty much the same goes for Stingrays, Doom, Finesse, Turnin'2 and some others. I'm terrified of who I'm leaving out here. There are some independent teams that are excellent, and once they've established their reputation, they also get watched like the teams I just mentioned.

    The experience mentioned in the post just above seems all too common and just boggles my mind. I would suggest if you find a team or organization isn't organized and personable, I'd pass, no matter their reputation for fielding good teams. If they don't care enough to be prepared for their tryouts, then maybe they've gotten lucky and succeeded for awhile, but it's not something I'd want to be a part of.

    Cards mentioned ASA State as far as tournaments. If your daughter is playing 16-U or older 14-U next summer, below are some tournaments that a college showcase team should be playing. They don't have to be in all of these tournaments, but they should be in several. I'm probably missing a few. (This is ignoring for now the very few teams like a Beverly Bandits or top Outlaws team that plays a true national schedule and is trying to get in front of the SEC and other top conferences about every weekend).

    Tournaments: Stingrays, Lasers, Outlaws, ASA State, Orrville (14-U), PGF Firecracker (Indy), Sheer Madness (same weekend as Outlaws), any of the other PGF qualifiers in Indy, Dayton Metro in early June, GAPSS. Then those teams may very well play one or more out of the region such as Colorado Fireworks (if they are really, really good the IDT in Boulder or Louisville) (Sparkler is good if they are in a Power Pool, but anyone can get in the regular Sparkler and it's not a big deal), Atlanta Legacy, Scenic City (Chattanooga), Team New Jersey, maybe Pennsbury or Aunt Rosie's. That mostly covers it, but I'm sure I'm leaving out a few. If a team hasn't played a number of these tournaments, I'd be asking a lot of questions about how they are getting seen.
    grabber711 and denise_anngolf like this.
  8. wow

    wow Active Member

    Coach- Great post. I think its one thing to here from parents/coaches... Its a whole 'nother thing to here from the COACH! The post was clear and concise. The roadmap above is about as comprehensive of list I have seen
  9. kc0602

    kc0602 New Member

    I am extremely grateful for this information and your time! THIS is exactly what we have been looking for, to know what tournaments are 'looked at'. I guess I should have come right and asked. The tryout last night was with a fairly new organization, that display all great qualities! They gave a private tryout to friends and in that displayed and made it sound very like a great fit for future. The setting we went to, not so much. Plus, reviewing your list, it looks like they may have went to two of these tournaments. Not sure if even two. But again, they are 2-3 years new, so that could change. Again, thank you!!! So very informative! Since we are getting into our last year of 14U I just hope we do what right by our daughter and her abilities and desire to learn, grow and get that level of college.

  10. Creek01

    Creek01 Active Member

    I've been part of the Doom every year but one since my dd has been 10u. The 2 things that are always stressed at coaches meetings 1. Schedule (expecially 14u & older) 2. Fundamentals (never stop working on them)

    This past summer our 15u team played Metro, Scenic City, Outlaws, States, Midwest Firecracker, Stingrays, Sparks, PGF Midwest. Everyone of those weekends we had multiple coaches per game on average watching us. If Lasers, Outlaws, Hawks, Doom teams are having great success with recruiting & playing these type of events then that's what you should be looking for as a parent if your dd's goal is to play college ball.

    Btw completely agree with Joe A on Colorado. If you don't get into IDT or a power pool it's not a better recruiting week than going to Midwest Firecracker in Indy (which is a way cheaper trip)
  11. Davemy

    Davemy Active Member

    Thank you JoeA1010 for mentioning Aunt Rosie's! I know my 16U Tournament is the Best in New York State! If your Players are considering a College in NY, it's a must. Over 30 College Coaches this past year! Now I know this isn't as good as the bigger Tournaments in Ohio but its above average and how many times can you see the same College Coaches from Ohio and or play the same teams just to say you played in a certain Tournament!
    As a matter of fact if you if you want to go to a Tournament that mixes business with pleasure that doesn't have a Ocean near by Aunt Rosie's is the Ticket!
    We have lots of water at Niagara Falls! lol Sorry I didn't mean to Hyjack this thread.
  12. Creek01

    Creek01 Active Member

    Dave does a great job with the Aunt Rosie's tourneys. We attended at 14u last year & would recommend it to any 14u team. Only prob with 16u is it was the same weekend as ASA States in Ohio this year.
  13. JoeA1010

    JoeA1010 Active Member

    As I think about it more, I'd add Best of the Best to the list and the Wolfpack and Hawks to that list. I have Wolfpack and Hawks on our team and coming to us for crying out loud. But I don't want to get deep into all of that, as opinions will vary and it changes year to year.
  14. denise_anngolf

    denise_anngolf New Member

    Joe, thank you for your honest detailed reply to this post.

    I wish this post had been published prior to tryouts. My daughter has played 2 years 10U travel in a different state one year 10U here in Ohio. We had very limited information about Ohio softball teams when we moved here. We ended up attempting to search for a new team for 12U. Why is it so difficult to find information on travel softball teams? Baseball has COYBL to find teams and stats. I ended up relying on tryout information on Softball Zone and trying to find web sites for the teams and stalked their team Facebook sites to find out about the teams. We refuse to play for a team that believes in obnoxious (mean) cheering, which is a whole other topic. Most of the web sites are horribly designed and give very little information. My daughter tried out for 3 teams and received on the spot offers on two and a next day offer for the other. Then when scrimmages and practices started, we found out that half the team doesn't even know how to slide. My daughter is far from perfect, but she is very competitive and will slide all day long, runs the bases, has a pitching coach, and loves the game. It will all work out with the team we chose and our daughter will continue to improve her skills. Especially since this will be her first season pitching with the 12U ball. We would like to get her speed up.

    She thinks she wants to play college softball, but time will tell. To attain that dream it sounds like she needs to be on a team that recruiters look for. Her pitching coach told me that she will need to find a different team in the future if she wants to be seen by a recruiter. She is a 6th grader, so it appears to be ridiculous that I need to be having this conversation now. Softball recruiting is crazy! Will my daughter have the opportunity to be seen if she joins one of the mentioned top recruiting teams or will she sit the bench? How do we know if she has the talent to play college softball? I'm struggling with what is more important. Having fun and loving the game while not worrying about playing college softball or following the college softball dream and taking the chance.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  15. kc0602

    kc0602 New Member

    I completely understand your thoughts. Our daughter is 14 and says she would like to play in college. We have yet to find a team that can take her to the next level. Well.. we thought we found the team this year but with the drama a few parents just induced, it’s highly probable the team is done. Some things you cannot judge. They are Wolves in sheeps clothing. It’s things like that you can’t research. Many of us will not stay to be coached by a parent who has shown no respect or integrity after pushing our coach over the edge. Sad part this league was our daughters desire. One that she was eager to learn under. They are reputable and have never seen anything like this happen in any of their other teams in all the years they’ve been around. It’s just sickening and heart wrenching to know 1 or 2 families can destroy and entire teams desires not to mention fun!
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
    denise_anngolf likes this.
  16. denise_anngolf

    denise_anngolf New Member

    KC- It's been almost a year since I put my comment on here, so I thought I would do a follow up for those that come across this post. My daughter ended up finishing her season with the team she was on and did become a better player while on the team, so no regrets there. She ended up accepting a position with the Lasers organization in August http://lasers06.com/. They were upfront and honest with us about pitching time, as we are heavy on pitchers, which we appreciated. We have played about 30 tournament games together between fall/winter so far and it has been the best decision we have made. Being surrounded by other teammates that love the game as much as she does has made such a difference in the game! She is toward the bottom of the batting order (adjusting to faster pitchers has been challenging). It isn't easy. Our dd decided in November to switch to slap hitting and our coach has been very supportive and patient with our decision. I'm hoping we have found our team to call home and I hope everyone else does as well.

    What did your dd decided to do? It sounds like you had some parent drama going on with her team a year ago.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019

Share This Page