“Victory is in having done your best. If you’ve done your best, you’ve won”
Prospects, Futures, Gold, and National: We see these attached to select/travel ball softball teams all around. What do they all mean? What are the advantages/disadvantages? Are they needed?
If you notice when organizations form teams, it is very common to have to have the team name with nothing behind the name except the Coaches last name or birth year of the team (ex: Lady Gators 02, Lady Gators 14U, Lady Gators – Johnson). As organizations expand, you will later find them add teams in the same age group. One team will then be a National or Gold team while the other team(s) will be a Prospects or Futures team(s). A National/Gold team is a team that competes at a national level. These teams are considered the elite teams that represent the organization.
Prospect and futures can be used interchangeably for softball teams. The word “Prospect” means a probability or chance for future success based on present work. The advantages of having these types of teams in an organization is; if organized properly, a player that plays on a prospects/futures team has a chance to play on the Gold/National team if they keep training and developing. It is very fitting and advantageous to have this type of set up for your younger age groups (10U and 12U) for developmental purposes.
I find it very interesting to see these types of teams in older age groups in Class A select/travel ball (14U and up). I am even seeing 16U National/Gold teams and 16U Prospect/Futures teams in the same organization. There are even times while watching, the Prospect and Future teams are better than the Gold or National Teams in the same age group representing their organization. I can see advantages and disadvantages to having this. From a recruiting standpoint, your National/Gold team is going to get the most attention based on it being called the Gold/National team. What does that mean for your prospects/futures team? These are valid questions to ask when playing on these types of teams. Are they like the B team or will they get the same attention? Parents make sure that the organization has a fair, non-political plan in place for your daughter to advance or tryout for the National/Gold team when playing on future/prospects teams. Make sure that it makes sense and not cents. Actions speak louder than words.