This is one of the toughest things… It sounds funny, but I know from personal experience, it’s TRUE! So, here’s what I suggest for those parents that are in search for a team, not just any team, but the right team.
First, understand that this might take longer than you think.
Make sure you allow yourself time to get this done.
Second, be prepared to spend a lot of time researching.
This is where the meat of the work is. If your son or daughter is looking to play on a select team, it might take you a full season of research!
A good starting point is contacting the local AAU office and finding out where some of the local leagues play or information about local tournaments.
Then make plans to go to some of the league and tournament games and start taking notes of local teams that you seem to like. Keep track of the teams and get the name of the coaches. Also, see if you can catch the coach and get some contact information from them too. Now be ready to narrow down your list to at least three teams. From there, start contacting the coaches to see if you could come by and watch a practice or two. Just let them know that you have a child that might be interested in trying out at some point and you’re checking out several teams. As part of that discussion, you should also ask them when they normally have try-outs for their team. This will give you all the information that you should need to get a good start.
The big thing is spending time going to league and tournament games! Get to know the coach; find out how they coach during a game and how they treat the players on the team. Do they yell at the players or are they teaching and correcting. This is where the up front time really pays off, because ultimately, you want to find the right fit for your son or daughter… The more time you spend in doing this, the more satisfied you’ll be in the end result. Just remember though, you might end up having to travel a bit to find just the right team! Unfortunately, that happens a lot.
Note: For those that are just looking for Rec. level teams, the local Parks & Recreation organizations should be able to help!