How do you know if your softball player is ready to play at the next level? Ask yourself a few questions:
- Is your young softball player always making the All Star team?
- Does she seem bored playing softball with her recreational team because her talent level is way above theirs?
If you answered yes to either question, don't worry, there are options.
With a little research you can find select level/tournament level teams that will be a better fit. At this level your daughter will need to tryout to make a team unlike rec where you just sign up and are assigned to a team. A website that can help you with this search is www.usssa.com.
There are three levels of competition at this point. They are class A through class C with C being the lowest and getting progressively more talented at each level. Also the amount of tournaments played by each team will increase as the level increases. It is very important to meet the coaching staff of the teams you are thinking about trying out for with your daughter to make sure you like each other. You and your daughter will spend the next year with them so be sure there are no personality conflicts.
As a parent it is imperative that you make sure that you are ready for the commitment as well. My daughter currently plays class A 14u and she practices two to three times per week in addition to playing a tournament three out of four weekends each month. It doesn’t leave much time for much else during the season which typically ranges from April through October. Consider the investment as well; your daughter will need quality equipment and high end softball bats to compete.
This can be the most enjoyable time of the year or dreadful depending on your own interest level. I hope this helps in making the decision to play at a higher level!
Written by guest contributor, Chris Houck, girls softball and co-ed softball team coach and softball Dad.