Ball Field BurgerWhat a refreshing weekend.  I spent most of it at the ball fields watching my daughter's 18u travel softball team play their first tourney of the summer.  The weather could have been better Friday, but it improved and Fathers Day was beautiful.  We also managed to attend a couple open houses on Saturday.  Although they didn't win the Championship of the World, they played well finishing with a 5-1 record. 

We really enjoyed the weekend getting to know our new team and are looking forward to the rest of the summer.

After 10 years I like to think of myself as a trained professional when it comes to preparations for these long weekends on the road.  I have a large cooler that I keep in the back of my car that is filled with water, Gatorade, sandwiches, fruits, and other snacks.  I have a smaller hand cooler that I carry into the park with the same items.  I'll make several trips to and from my car to refill the hand cooler throughout the day.  It saves a lot of money and we can eat healthy.  There are times that this is not possible or convenient such as when you have to fly across the country, rent a car and stay in hotels.  And of course we always have extra clothing, blankets, chairs, umbrellas, bug spray, sun screen and a first aid kit in the car.

After 7 years with the same club (Finesse) and many of the same players and parents we were the newbies on her new team, the Mid-Michigan Firestix.  So together we're getting to know everybody.  All but two of the girls have either played a year of college softball or are committed to schools they'll be attending in the fall.  Surely that was a factor in why I didn't see anxious parents worrying about every pitch, swing or ball hit to their girls.  The players played hard and enjoyed themselves, while the parents cheered and relaxed watching their daughters play.  Although the umpires could have been better, there were no embarrassing incidents between parents, coaches, players and the umpires.  There was no constant questioning of coaching decisions, player positioning or anything else for that matter.  I can really appreciate that fresh off a season of coaching varsity softball.

My daughter had other offers, but picked this team to play what likely will be her final summer of travel softball. They're a local club in which we knew some of the coaches and players.  Last summer she travelled to Chicago for a tourney with one of her teammates that she played with in high school.  She had such a good time with the parents, coaches and players that she made her mind up then.  She came home and told me she would be contacting the club director and that was that.  She put it something like, "They're all a lot of fun and there's no drama.  I'm going to play with them next summer."  She didn't say anything about what kind of team they were or if she thought they'd win tournaments. 

And as usual, she made a good choice.  There were no crazies around here.  We really enjoyed the weekend getting to know our new team and are looking forward to the rest of the summer.