Thinking about jumping in the fray and creating your own team?  It is both very simple and very difficult - depending on your perspective

For starters, here are the things you will need to consider

  • Pick a team name.  The most fun part of the process

  • Choose team colors and make a logo.  www.fiverr.com is a great source for the logo

  • Source uniforms.  Plenty of different options.  Try to control it yourself as best as you can.  Kids will come and go; your initial purchase will not last the entire season.  If you buy some expensive, custom made thing, you will cause yourself problems down the line

  • Don't forget hoodies and bat bags.  Most teams match with these.  Bat bags probably are not super necessary, but teams that warm up in frigid weather in the winter months and all the kids are wearing mismatched sweatshirts look super sloppy

Okay, now you have your basic concept and infrastructure in place, so move on to the next step - finding ballplayers.  Here is a strong piece of advice; if you don't have a core of kids already in place, think very, very hard if you want to do this.  Every year there are countless looking for player advertisements placed, and most of those teams never come to fruition and hit the field.  There was this guy who came in full ball buster style advertising his brand new program - Diamond Power, I believe it was.  He was going to field teams from 8u-18u with AA and majors at every level.  He had this training facility, was going to do private instruction, hire countless coaches, etc.  He had a fancy website, it all looked pretty sharp.  I never saw a single Diamond Power team in a tournament and he eventually disappeared.  Moral of the story is you can't just build it and expect them to come

But let's say you have a handful of kids and you are ready to add a handful more so you can compete.  Your next step is to advertise your team.  There are a few places you want to contact to get your information out to the public

Keep your ad short and sweet.  Highlight why parents would be interested in your team.  Don't oversell it, be honest.  You will get some responses, but your phone won't start blowing up

If you take nothing else from this blog entry, remember this:  do not hold an open tryout.  Only the big daddy's can host an open tryout and get numerous kids to show up.  If you do it, you will be fortunate to get one kid to attend.  You will be embarrassed and frustrated.  Much better to simply invite kids out to a practice for an evaluation when they contact you

Eventually, if you persevere, you will get your ten kids and be ready to get this going.  Here are your next steps

  • Purchase insurance for your team.  It costs around $125 or so for the full year.  www.playncs.com and www.usssa.com are good sources.  Remember, too, that at various times you will need to add additional insured to your policy.  This is kind of a pain in the rear, but a necessary evil.  Keep in touch with your insurer because you will need their assistance

  • Utilize a team organization app for your messaging purposes.  TeamSnap and Sports Engine are good ones

  • Sign up for Game Changer.  You can still use the old version, or switch to the new team manager version.  A great deal of teams use Game Changer and your fans and opponents will appreciate you when you are on it.  There are other scoring apps, but Game Changer is pretty amazing and very inexpensive.  There is a reason it is so popular

  • Collect copies of birth certificates from all of your players.  At this time, USSSA is the only dinosaur that still requires physical birth certificates at check in, but you will need them if you play their events

  • Important.  Make a ledger for yourself that has every players parent email along with each kid's birth date, graduation year, and uniform number.  You will need this information when you have to enter your team in every single tournament companies website.  Have it on hand, so you don't have to keep digging for the info later

  • Find fields to practice on.  In the summer, it is simple, because many fields are wide open to be used.  It becomes far more difficult once daylight savings end and you need lights.  At this point, you need to rent fields and purchase lights.  This is accomplished either through County, City of Las Vegas, or Henderson.  It would be an entire separate blog to go through this convoluted process, but feel free to email for more information

  • Keep in mind, too, that Little League has priority over club ball teams because it is non profit.  They control many of the fields during the spring and fall season so that limits your practice options even further

Now you've been practicing, you are confident you are ready to play your first tournament.  It's time to consider your tournament schedule

  • Learn all of the major players for events both locally and nearby

  • Do not plan out your entire tournament schedule in the first two weeks.  While we all want to get out in advance of these things to give families plenty of planning time, not every tournament pans out how you hope.  You need to understand your team.  Do not continue to enter tournaments when you don't have suitable competition.  Do not continue to enter tournaments where you get your butt whupped.  Always check the "who's coming" list.  You will learn the teams.  Sometimes you may want to push your team, sometimes you may want to play some easier competition.  The point is, you need to play it by ear to a certain point so don't get too ahead of yourself

  • Make sure you plan a couple out of town tournaments.  Many teams have been playing out of town over  the past year, but as things get back to normal with local play, don't forget the importance of the travel tourney.  It is a great way for families to hang out and bond, and it creates a memorable experience for the kids