Last Tournament -Summer 2014

Empty fields
Empty fields

Well summer softball is over!  The dugouts and bleachers are empty. We had our last tournament for this summer 2014 (IFA-VTD West Coast world series tournament) at Stockton for our 12U and 14U teams. It was a 4 day event.  This is the first time we participated in an event like this.  The first day was team building events with our 12U and 14U. Our coaches were like the energizer bunnies, even with the temperature over a 100 degrees, they found a “nice” park (you know this is Stockton) where they did an awesome BBQ event.  The coaches and parents pitched in and made this a really special event for our kids.  We had team building games like dodge ball, red-rover etc.   The kids had so much fun and loved it.  It was more like a vacation than rigorous practices and games.

Stockton-Not Fairyland
Stockton-Not Fairyland

The event was made even more special because our entire team stayed at Hilton, Stockton.  They had very nice facility.  Great rooms (unlike my previous stay in another hotel with paper-thin walls) and amenities like a nice big lounge for kids to hang out and a nice pool made the stay enjoyable.  They also had an area where kids could practice with wiffle balls.  I will have a review for hotels separately.

Hilton Lounge
Hilton Lounge

On Friday we had 2 games that was just friendlies and it was fun for all our kids to try out different positions.  They lost both games but they had fun.  It was also one of the hottest days.  106 degrees!!! made everyone melt.  Ice bags were hot commodities around Stockton.  It was impressive that our kids in 2 teams emptied about 6 to 7 -24 to 36 packs of water.

On Saturday the tournament began and we won both our games which were played back to back.  It was impressive!!! We actually had a cold front-under 100 degrees.  woo..hoo!! In the evening, the kids played in the outdoor pool and we had a special celebration at Spaghetti factory.  We have a very nice set of parents too 😉  They cheered for all the kids regardless of how their own kids played.

Sunday was a different story, we had to only win one game to win the championship but we had a bad day, so we had to play the same team again and lost both games.  So we placed 2nd in the tournament.  It was a little sad (I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was sad) to see the girls lose.  Softball is more than just a physical game!  It is a mental game!

I believe, kids at this age group learn more from losing a game than winning, our coaches and kids were really classy regardless of the outcome.  The coaches didn’t yell or curse at the kids.  I will never forget what one of our coaches said at the end of season talk before handing out trophies.  She said that kids are exactly where they are supposed to be as 12 year olds, if they were perfect and played a perfect game then the coaches wouldn’t know what to do with them.  She said that the kids were all very coachable and that was the most important thing for them to keep improving as a player.  The one thing special about the organization’s goal is more about getting the kids to play college softball by highlighting what skills they are good at rather than winning games.  All kids have to have a 3.0 min GPA to be able to play.

Every “A” ball team has their positives and negatives, and I think parents should try out some teams for their kids and give it some time to learn about how the basic organization operates and if the organization goals and attitudes suits their goals and attitudes and their kids goals.  There is not one team that fits all.  I am not sure if my kids will end up playing college softball, but right now it seems like they are willing to put in more effort into practice and play a good ball game!  When I ask, why do you want to play softball, I still get the answer “It is fun.”

Please check out the travel ball teams in your area, a lot of them will have tryouts in the next two weeks for fall ball.  If you kids are interested, please go try out!

While we have a break from games, I am going to try to catch up on hotel and park reviews and add more softball workouts.

As always THANKS for reading and THANKS for spreading the word to others who love softball.  Counting down to 200 subscribers!

Would love to hear from you :-)