Tag Archives: Big League Dreams Softball complex

Practice makes perfect

Hey Softball Peeps,  Hope your fall ball is going well.

Our fall ball this year is jam-packed.  We have already had a couple of tournaments in Stockton and Pleasanton and this weekend we are at Big League Dreams in Manteca.  Then, we have one in Fremont, two in Sacramento and one in South Bay coming.  My husband is always reminding the kids to practice, everyday even if it is for 30 mins.  But having a volunteer coach at home is good and bad. Good that kids get a lot of practice, bad that the kids get a lot of practice.  Sometimes, I get tired of practice and blurt out “can we do something other than softball?”  Wait..I can see the wheels in your head turning…hmm..

I haven’t been to the field recently to watch my younger daughter play since we had to split up between taking the two kids to different activities at different places.  The last time I saw her play in the summer, it was a typical softball weekend as a pitcher.  Some pitches are great, some not so great and you feel the pressure on the mound and as a mom of a pitcher you wonder why your kids like to put themselves in such pressure situations!!

So this last weekend I got to witness my daughter pitch again (after a of a lot of practice at home the last few weeks on our backyard pitching/batting cage ) and it was amazing to see how much she has improved.  She had innings where she totally shut down the other team by getting 1-2-3 strike out.  But there were times when she would get 1-2-strikes—and walk.  This last weekend, the championship game came down to getting the last batter out, last inning, time ran out, umpire said we will finish the inning (gulp!!), I couldn’t watch the game..I was so nervous at this win or loss situation, we need to get this out and there were already the first two strikes and then 2 balls. I was praying that my daughter get her third strike out so she could have confidence in her pitching skills (she loves to pitch and so far seems to handle the pressure better than me just watching her from the stands) and finally the elusive 3rd strike came and we won.  I could see the confidence in her face after that strike out and wondered how much the game of softball has taught her at such a young age.  To work hard, to persist and to keep pushing regardless (all the bad cheering against the pitcher) and to succeed.  And she still wants to keep pitching! She also had an ulterior motive, I think the coach promised her a fine pen if she pitched well and more than anything, I think she really wanted the pen.

How many of us at 12 years of age have had the opportunity to play and have everything rest on that one thing you have to absolutely have to nail to succeed?  May be you have, then you are an exception..not me! I was blissfully in la la land 😉  Kudos to all the pitchers who work hard everyday to perfect your techniques.

Now, I see the importance of regular practice especially for pitchers and how it makes the kids feel when they succeed and I tell my daughter that she needs to practice if she wants to stay a true top-notch pitcher.  Practice makes Perfect!!  I won’t be giving my husband a hard time about practicing all the time, well not promising that one outside of softball 😉

If you have young kids, make sure they are signed up to play some kind of sport they like so they get exposed to all kinds of situations before they grow and leave home!  Sports teaches the kids a lot of things that they would otherwise not be exposed to.  Of course you can’t force them but encourage them by all means.  Here is to another weekend of softball. Cheers!

 

Travel softball in full swing

14U-championsHey Folks!  Hope you are all busy with your kids sports.  I just got a couple of hours to do a post.  It has been quite busy in our household.  Both our girls are playing recreation softball which is almost over by mid May and travel ball which just started this month.  We already have had 3 travel-ball tournaments.  This last one was in Manteca,CA at the Big League dreams sports complex.

I have written a field review about this complex.  Please click link above to read.  Well, my 13-year-old got to play up with the 14 u team last weekend.  It was a nice tournament to watch.  For once it seemed like we were at the receiving end of the softball glory.  They ended up winning the 14U gold championship.  I was glad my 10 year old’s game was also in the same complex, so I was lucky enough to walk back and forth and watch both girls play and also get my daily walking exercise!  The softball Gods did not bless our 10U with a championship, but then again at 10U everything is just about learning and kids being in the game mentally.

Both my kids also got picked to play in their recreation All Star games today and luckily there was no travel ball this weekend, so got to run to their games soon.  Will post more later.

Thanks for reading.

“Big League Dreams” Sports complex-Manteca, CA

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Big League field

We had one of our Spring tournaments at this complex.  At first sight, this seemed like a very beautiful facility but not all was great in my opinion (from Youth fastpitch softball point of view).

Here is my opinion of the park.

Here is the good. The complex is actually really nice and built to look like replicas of the major league baseball fields. It looks very picturesque and they have put a lot of effort and details to make it look like a professional ballpark.  It had a central batting cage, an indoor soccer stadium, Pro-shop to buy memorabilia.  It had a great Stadium Club Restaurant with a small bar in the middle with several TV’s playing professional games.  It had an arcade with plenty of games for the little ones. There was also a small play area for little siblings who tagged along for their big sister’s games.  The restrooms were very clean which is very unusual for softball tournaments usually.

The things that were not so good for the softball teams were the following.  First of all, you are not allowed to take a team cooler with your team since the dugouts had water for the kids.  The problem was with the location of the park in Manteca and the weather getting hot, the teams which were practicing on the sidelines warming up for their games had no water or had to go buy water from the stadium restaurant at $2 to $3 per bottle.  Have you ever noticed how much water these kids drink when they practice softball for an hour before the game?  You need a couple of cases of water that has been chilled to keep the players quenched.  So not being able to take a cooler was a big negative for us.

Secondly, before you can even go in, you had to have all your bags searched including the kids’ softball bags, which is fine except they did not have enough people to search for the number of teams that were playing this weekend.  There was a long line of players waiting to get in with only 30 mins or so before their game was about to start.  So if your team has a game, make sure to allow some time for waiting in line at bag check.

The third negative for our teams was the fact that the infield had no dirt.  Everything infield was artificial turf.  It looked awesome actually for the parents taking the pictures but it was terrible for the actual players.  The ironic thing was at the booth where a lady was selling softball trinkets and t-shirts, they were selling shirts which said: “If you didn’t get dirty, you haven’t played hard”.  But you can’t really get dirty in an artificial turf field.  We noticed several girls were not able to slide because of too much friction.  One of the teams we played against actually had to carry their player when she tried to steal home and hurt herself sliding.  This is probably a reason we haven’t played at this facility much in the several years we have played travel ball.

Lastly, even though the Stadium restaurant was great, when we ordered chicken strips, our chicken was pretty raw in the middle. Thank goodness, we broke the chicken strips apart by hand in order to cool if not the kids would have bit into raw chicken.  When I took it back to the cashier, they did however apologize and give our money back.  Hopefully, they will have a way to cook chicken thoroughly in future.

A few more good things were, they actually did have at least a few healthy options to eat like chicken salad and yogurt cups with cut up strawberries and blueberries which as you may know if you live in the softball fields during weekends that is a very rare thing in a typical snack shack loaded with crappy and fried foods.

The sports complex was actually great for the parents to sit in the air-conditioned restaurant and watch the kids games.  There were also several shady spots behind the seating area with ceiling fans where parents could escape the heat while watching their little players roast in the heat.

Oh and I think dogs are allowed in this park also as we saw a few 4 legged furry friends visiting.  This may be a great ballpark for the adult leagues but in my opinion, it was just okay for fast-pitch softball.

Here is a list of their menu items. I had to break it into 2 since the menu board was too long.

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