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Youth Sports: Playing Softball in Las Vegas




Iconic sign welcoming all visitors to fabulous Las Vegas Nevada.

There are many reasons to travel. Sometimes it’s for vacation, sometimes it’s to visit relatives and sometimes it’s even for work. One of the biggest reasons we travel in my family is for youth sports - softball in particular. We were pretty stoked when we found out that our daughter’s travel team was going to do a tournament in fabulous Las Vegas. We booked a hotel, flight and rental car through Costco Travel, of course! The long weekend was fantastic and exhausting, as is every weekend when your child does travel sports. Here are some tricks and tips we used, not only to get us through the weekend, but also to take advantage of the location.

    Leadoff single for the girls in game two.

    Arrive a Day (or Two) Early

    Arriving a day or two early ensures that you can spend some time enjoying the destination, in addition to acclimating your athlete to a potentially different environment than they usually play in. Plan to go to a show or do something you can only do in that destination. We decided we wanted to go to a celebrity chef’s restaurant that we would not be able to go to normally, and it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. We also used our extra day to walk The Strip, hitting every shopping opportunity from the Fashion Show mall to the MGM Grand.

      Arrive a Day (or Two) Early

      Arriving a day or two early ensures that you can spend some time enjoying the destination, in addition to acclimating your athlete to a potentially different environment than they usually play in. Plan to go to a show or do something you can only do in that destination. We decided we wanted to go to a celebrity chef’s restaurant that we would not be able to go to normally, and it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. We also used our extra day to walk The Strip, hitting every shopping opportunity from the Fashion Show mall to the MGM Grand.

        Leadoff single for the girls in game two.

        Intense on the base path, ready to jump! Photo by fellow softball parent Jennifer Cook.

        Choose a Car You Know

        When we got to the rental car location, we gravitated towards a vehicle make and model that we currently drive at home. While it can be fun to test drive something different than what you normally drive, it can also be really stressful to try and figure out how to adjust the mirrors, locate the climate controls, or get the lights turned on while simultaneously trying to figure out where you’re going. We also knew for a fact that the particular make and model we selected could easily fit all of our daughter’s softball gear and our luggage, as we are getting pretty good at playing “gear Tetris.”

          Plan to Be Back to Your Hotel Early

          In Las Vegas, this one is not an easy ask. There are things to do everywhere, all the time. Giving your athlete the best possible tournament experience means having to make sure they get the rest they need. For example, we had a 6:30 a.m. start time, which means that we had to start waking up around 4:30 in the morning. Fortunately, there was a 24-hour restaurant in the hotel where we could pick up breakfast to go before heading over to the fields. Most hotels in Las Vegas have at least one 24-hour restaurant… take advantage of it!

            The team congratulating a team member on a home run... one of two for the weekend! Photo by Jennifer Cook.

            During the Tournament

            The early morning games were cold, so we layered our clothes. The afternoon games were sunny and 70 degrees, so we simply peeled off the layers and remained comfortable throughout the day.

            Bring snacks for both the athlete and the family. A quick bite between games can make a huge difference in the attitude of your athlete. No one likes to be hangry after all, and you can’t really rely on a ‘snack shack’ at the field, as there may not be one available. With that, also make sure you have plenty of water. We forgot and had to run to a fast-food restaurant to purchase multiple bottles of water.

            Last, but not least… remember to have fun! Umpires are not perfect. Kids strikeout, or make mistakes. The coach is going to make substitutions that you might disagree with. Ultimately, your child is only going to be doing travel sports for a very short time, and when you look back on it, you won’t be thinking about that umpire, strikeout or even the coach. You’ll remember the look on your kid’s face when they catch a ball in the outfield, hit that surprise double (or homerun) or when their team wins a hard-fought game by one run.

              During the Tournament

              The early morning games were cold, so we layered our clothes. The afternoon games were sunny and 70 degrees, so we simply peeled off the layers and remained comfortable throughout the day.

              Bring snacks for both the athlete and the family. A quick bite between games can make a huge difference in the attitude of your athlete. No one likes to be hangry after all, and you can’t really rely on a ‘snack shack’ at the field, as there may not be one available. With that, also make sure you have plenty of water. We forgot and had to run to a fast-food restaurant to purchase multiple bottles of water.

              Last, but not least… remember to have fun! Umpires are not perfect. Kids strikeout, or make mistakes. The coach is going to make substitutions that you might disagree with. Ultimately, your child is only going to be doing travel sports for a very short time, and when you look back on it, you won’t be thinking about that umpire, strikeout or even the coach. You’ll remember the look on your kid’s face when they catch a ball in the outfield, hit that surprise double (or homerun) or when their team wins a hard-fought game by one run.

                The team congratulating a team member on a home run... one of two for the weekend! Photo by Jennifer Cook.

                Iconic sign welcoming all visitors to fabulous Las Vegas Nevada.

                There are many reasons to travel. Sometimes it’s for vacation, sometimes it’s to visit relatives and sometimes it’s even for work. One of the biggest reasons we travel in my family is for youth sports - softball in particular. We were pretty stoked when we found out that our daughter’s travel team was going to do a tournament in fabulous Las Vegas. We booked a hotel, flight and rental car through Costco Travel, of course! The long weekend was fantastic and exhausting, as is every weekend when your child does travel sports. Here are some tricks and tips we used, not only to get us through the weekend, but also to take advantage of the location.

                  Leadoff single for the girls in game two.

                  Arrive a Day (or Two) Early

                  Arriving a day or two early ensures that you can spend some time enjoying the destination, in addition to acclimating your athlete to a potentially different environment than they usually play in. Plan to go to a show or do something you can only do in that destination. We decided we wanted to go to a celebrity chef’s restaurant that we would not be able to go to normally, and it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. We also used our extra day to walk The Strip, hitting every shopping opportunity from the Fashion Show mall to the MGM Grand.

                    Arrive a Day (or Two) Early

                    Arriving a day or two early ensures that you can spend some time enjoying the destination, in addition to acclimating your athlete to a potentially different environment than they usually play in. Plan to go to a show or do something you can only do in that destination. We decided we wanted to go to a celebrity chef’s restaurant that we would not be able to go to normally, and it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. We also used our extra day to walk The Strip, hitting every shopping opportunity from the Fashion Show mall to the MGM Grand.

                      Leadoff single for the girls in game two.

                      Intense on the base path, ready to jump! Photo by fellow softball parent Jennifer Cook.

                      Choose a Car You Know

                      When we got to the rental car location, we gravitated towards a vehicle make and model that we currently drive at home. While it can be fun to test drive something different than what you normally drive, it can also be really stressful to try and figure out how to adjust the mirrors, locate the climate controls, or get the lights turned on while simultaneously trying to figure out where you’re going. We also knew for a fact that the particular make and model we selected could easily fit all of our daughter’s softball gear and our luggage, as we are getting pretty good at playing “gear Tetris.”

                        Plan to Be Back to Your Hotel Early

                        In Las Vegas, this one is not an easy ask. There are things to do everywhere, all the time. Giving your athlete the best possible tournament experience means having to make sure they get the rest they need. For example, we had a 6:30 a.m. start time, which means that we had to start waking up around 4:30 in the morning. Fortunately, there was a 24-hour restaurant in the hotel where we could pick up breakfast to go before heading over to the fields. Most hotels in Las Vegas have at least one 24-hour restaurant… take advantage of it!

                          The team congratulating a team member on a home run... one of two for the weekend! Photo by Jennifer Cook.

                          During the Tournament

                          The early morning games were cold, so we layered our clothes. The afternoon games were sunny and 70 degrees, so we simply peeled off the layers and remained comfortable throughout the day.

                          Bring snacks for both the athlete and the family. A quick bite between games can make a huge difference in the attitude of your athlete. No one likes to be hangry after all, and you can’t really rely on a ‘snack shack’ at the field, as there may not be one available. With that, also make sure you have plenty of water. We forgot and had to run to a fast-food restaurant to purchase multiple bottles of water.

                          Last, but not least… remember to have fun! Umpires are not perfect. Kids strikeout, or make mistakes. The coach is going to make substitutions that you might disagree with. Ultimately, your child is only going to be doing travel sports for a very short time, and when you look back on it, you won’t be thinking about that umpire, strikeout or even the coach. You’ll remember the look on your kid’s face when they catch a ball in the outfield, hit that surprise double (or homerun) or when their team wins a hard-fought game by one run.

                            During the Tournament

                            The early morning games were cold, so we layered our clothes. The afternoon games were sunny and 70 degrees, so we simply peeled off the layers and remained comfortable throughout the day.

                            Bring snacks for both the athlete and the family. A quick bite between games can make a huge difference in the attitude of your athlete. No one likes to be hangry after all, and you can’t really rely on a ‘snack shack’ at the field, as there may not be one available. With that, also make sure you have plenty of water. We forgot and had to run to a fast-food restaurant to purchase multiple bottles of water.

                            Last, but not least… remember to have fun! Umpires are not perfect. Kids strikeout, or make mistakes. The coach is going to make substitutions that you might disagree with. Ultimately, your child is only going to be doing travel sports for a very short time, and when you look back on it, you won’t be thinking about that umpire, strikeout or even the coach. You’ll remember the look on your kid’s face when they catch a ball in the outfield, hit that surprise double (or homerun) or when their team wins a hard-fought game by one run.

                              The team congratulating a team member on a home run... one of two for the weekend! Photo by Jennifer Cook.


                              About the Author: The above piece was written by Penny Anderson, mother of two young athletes, and Merchandising/Ecommerce Manager at Costco Travel. Penny has been a Costco employee for 23 years, 15 of these years at Costco Travel.


                               
                               
                               
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