Baseball season is just around the corner and you may be confused about which league is right for your child. You may wonder if there is really much of a difference.

There are several baseball and softball leagues available to Lake Highlands children and yes, there are some vast differences.

One option is the Spring Valley Athletic Association. Last year 2,578 Lake Highlands children chose to play ball with SVAA.

Why? Unfortunately, today’s children are forced to deal with stress, pressure and competition on a daily basis. It is the policy of SVAA that every boy and girl who registers be assigned to a team based on the school they attend and their grade level. SVAA forms teams regardless of a child’s athletic prowess. Coaches are not involved in team formation.

This is contrary to other local leagues, which typically use combines, drafts and team tryouts, so that the most gifted athletes are given preference. The other leagues also combine two different age groups adding to the level of competition. This kind of competitive environment is fine for a small minority of children, but SVAA feels that most children need a more relaxed atmosphere.

Many Lake Highlands parents agree and choose SVAA because they believe that children’s sports should be fun.

For 27 years, Lake Highlands families have chosen SVAA because SVAA is committed to meeting the needs of the community.

Unlike some of the other leagues, SVAA is not run by a national legislating body. SVAA policies are set exclusively by local volunteers for the community. Policies are adjusted and revised according to needs and desires of the parents and the volunteers.

Many SVAA volunteers are leaders in the Lake Highlands community who you know and respect.

The following men and women, along with many others, served as head coaches last year: Rodney Acker, Steve Baker, Bill Blaydes, John Boynton, Bob Breunig, Dee Broome, Patrick Carlove, Bob Chereck, Steve Conner, Joe Galindo, Chuck Gall, Kerry Goad, David Grinsfelder, Alan Hagaman, Steve Hammonds, Frank Hart, Joel Householder, John Kalny, Bruce Prine, Randy Reid, Ed Reyna, Carlos Sepulveda, John Schumate, Scott Smith and Dan Susie.

When a child is placed on a SVAA team, he or she is guaranteed playing time in every game of the season. All children should be taught that winning is not everything – nor are you a failure if you lose. The essence and heart of the SVAA program is the simple philosophy that it is better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all.

Raising children is a complex task. Sports often add to the complexity. No matter where your child plays ball this spring, remember to emphasize the positive. Be supportive and involved. Encourage great effort and not just winning. Don’t forget that sports are an excellent opportunity to enjoy your child’s uniqueness.