First and foremost ask the player what they want. What are their goals and aspirations as it relates to softball? Do they want to travel a lot, what skills do they want to enhance, improve or learn? These all fit into the equation. Parents have the best of intentions generally, but we have all seen how some lose sight of the fact that sports should be what the child wants, not what the parents want. The game should be fun and if the player is not committed or only doing it because their parents want them to then they most likely will not enjoy it. If we do not enjoy things we tend not to get the most out of them or give the most to them.
Next, define those goals and look at what programs can help the player achieve them. Some players want to eventually play at the college level, some want to play with their friends and simply enjoy the game etc… With so many options available there is a pretty good chance you can find what you are looking for. Take the time to evaluate the strength and weaknesses of a program and their coaching staff and philosophy. Example, let’s say your daughter is a slapper. Are their coaches at the organization that can actually help them or will you have to seek out help from private lessons?
Costs will and should also play into that decision. They range from very expensive to very affordable depending on what direction you go. In business, we focus on ROI and it is something that should also be considered when picking a club. Maybe not directly in the dollar and cents but more in the idea of can I get more out of it with my investment of time and money.
Take the time to do your research and speak to current and past players. Contact the coaches and lay out your goals and see if they match up with that programs or coaches goals. It can be a daunting task, but if you take some time on the front end you can hopefully find the right fit.