Look around and inquire from multiple teams so that you can compare and contrast teams to find the best fit for your daughter and your family.
Here's a few questions to ask to get the ball started.
1. What's the purpose of the team? What is their purpose and goal?
2. What was their fall schedule/record? Winter schedule? Next spring and summer schedule? This will give you an idea of how well organized the coach and team are.
3. What's your practice schedule like for the winter? How many times a week/month? How often do you practice?
4. Can we see some past practice plans for the team? This will allow you to see what the coach is working and focusing on for the girls. If they're unable to provide one, then this speaks volumes for the lack of foresight and preparation he/she puts into the practices.
5. Ask for the most current team financial records showing expenses/income etc.. Again, if they are unable to do so, this a major red flag. With the kind of budgets teams are using now days, it's imperative that teams keep good accounting records.
6. Does any monies go to the organization or does it all stay with the team? If the answer is yes, then what does it include?
7. What are the fees and what does it include? Uniform(s), insurance, tournaments - how many? etc..
8. How many games does the team plan on playing next season?
9. Out of state tourneys? How many?
10. Is the team planning on qualifing and playing in a nationals or world series event at the end of the season?
After you've done the research and you're convinced you'd like your daughter to tryout for a team, ask to have your daughter participate in a practice with the team in addition to a tryout if that's route they'd like to go. This will allow you to see how the coach(s) interact with the team while allowing you to talk to the parents. Don't be afraid to ask tough questions.
Remember, finding a good team is a 2 way street. You need to find a good fit for your daughter while the team needs to find a good fit for their team.
Coach Eric Linton
IN Gators 2002
Very good advise, Eric. This type of guidance should be a sticky.