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I read this article today, “Year-Round Sports: Growing Old and Wearing Thin?”, and felt compelled to write about it.  Those outside of the travel sports (softball) world often do not understand why parents, players and coaches do it.  While the author offers an outsider’s view to travel sports, she does not do so in a condescending manner and brings up some good points and questions.  I would encourage you to read her article before my response.

hayley vsu softball journey

Read more: Year Round Sports Debate

I wanted to share with you some of the things I’ve experienced during my daughter’s college and softball years.  Whether it was her car breaking down, family emergencies, health concerns, bad weather, etc., there will be things that come up during yours and your daughter’s journeys.  Here are some of the things that have been part of our journey.  

hayley vsu 1

Right Fielder Last Year

Read more: Problems You May Encounter During the College Years

I’ve been putting off writing this article for a few reasons. It will likely be misinterpreted by some people, while possibly offending others. Regardless, I can’t put if off any longer. My goal for this post is to help parents make the best decisions for their daughters and families concerning their options on playing travel softball.  I will even share with you how much I paid for my youngest daughter's travel softball career.

First of all, I am a strong advocate for travel softball. Two of my daughters played travel softball at different levels for years. That is where they learned the game, fundamental and advanced skills, how to handle failure and success, how to deal with getting cut, how to earn playing time and to compete against other teams. They did not learn these things in the recreation league and certainly not in school.

hayley asa halloffame

Read more: The True Cost of Travel Softball

If you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t missed many of your daughter’s games. I was fortunate to have flexible jobs that allowed this to be possible. I did what I had to to make it work including going in early, staying late and burning every ounce of time off I had. I even took unpaid time off during her final 2 years of travel softball and the end of the recruiting process.

Crazy, right? Oh I’m sure you can relate. You know how much the game means to your daughter. The hours of practice with the team, all the days in between that she works on her skills, the lessons, keeping up with her studies, the other sports she’s involved in and her social life. She’s a busy girl who wants to succeed more than anything and you know this.

Valdosta State Softball - Softball Journey

Read more: What it's Like to be the Parent of a College Softball Player

***Note***  This article was edited & republished on 7/22/2015.  Feel free to contact me with your questions.

The travel softball tryouts "season" can be a stressful, political and confusing time of year.  You're daughter has approximately a 3 weekend window to make a team for the next year.  And the drama often builds the closer you get to the end of the summer season.  I've been through this several times in two sports (travel soccer too) with two daughters.  It's something as a parent you just want to be over with as soon as possible.

This time of year I am frequently asked for advice concerning tryouts.  I was looking at the local forums on Mlive.com, which in the state of Michigan is a widely used resource for travel softball clubs, teams, coaches, parents and players.  There's a Youth Softball forum and High School Softball forum.  Both are filled with posts from clubs/teams this time of year with their tryout dates and information.  I saw many of the same questions I've been getting asked personally, so I thought I would post this article to try to help you with the process.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions over something not included in this article.

These costs almost always dwarf the team fees.

Mlive Softball Forums

Read more: Travel Softball Tryouts - Common Questions & Answers

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