10 year ago if you had asked me how important winning a tournament with my 12-year-old girls team is I would have said very important. But knowing what I know now if you ask me would I trade tournament wins 10 years ago for who my daughters turned out to be as young women I would say “hell to the no”.
Six years ago I took an under talented, over achieving team of eleven 12u players to Indiana for ASA national championships. We had one pitcher and two girls who we threw out there to eat up some innings and we ended up in the top 10, one late inning hit away from a top 5. What I remember most about that team is their desire and competitive nature to fight every inning of every game. I also remember the parents, who were a little crazy, but very supportive of the program and the process. From that team four players (Danika, Sierra, Taylor, Melissa) of the eleven are at Pac 12 schools and even though the parents were disappointed leaving Indiana I bet none of them would trade a 12 and under national championship let alone a weekend tournament in April for the colleges they are attending (2 at Cal and 2 at ASU) now or the young women who they have turned out to be.
I remember just three years ago me and coach P were coaching our 18 Gold team, of the thirteen players, three were on that 12U Indiana team. We were at PGF nationals in a tight extra inning game and several times we had a chance to win it which would have put us in the top 12. We didn’t get the timely hit and fell a little short of our goal, and although everyone felt disappointment in that moment, we fast forward three years later 11 of the 13 players from that team ended up at the school of their choice and I know not one parent would trade that PGF experience or where it took their kid.
Here is a list of the 11 and the schools they attend: Cal (Lindsey and Zoey), ASU (Sierra and Taylor), UCSB (Lena), North Carolina State (Macauley), Oregon (Autumn), San Diego State (Zaria), The Art Academy (Brenna), Connecticut (Kiwi), Fresno State (Dominique) and although this alone is enough to be proud of you should see who they have become as people!