The larger the pool of players, the better chance you have to win. While yes it is nice to win and compete, the real lesson is to get better, work harder and to improve.
There are ways to find teams for which you can beat, but will you improve and get better? No. If a player wants to get better and aspires to play on a bigger stage, they must play better players and learn through losing.
Sure Foothill Little Leagues are smaller than other leagues within District 11's Area 1 pool, but they get the chance each summer to play really great players who are their age. They get the opportunity to see what is possible, how to do things the right way.
Little League baseball and youth sports gives kids the opportunity to grow, learn and fail. Many of life's lessons do not come easy nor do they come when one wins all the time. The lesson to be learned when playing better teams is, how can I do that.
If we were to stay on the hill and win championships would we be setting our children up to be a longer term success?
First we must ask ourselves what is success and at what age do we want to be successful? If we want our kids to peak at 10 to 12 years old, then maybe we would be better off playing lesser teams today. But if we want them to grow and get better so they can compete for a high school roster spot when they are 17, wouldn't we want them to play the best players they can today. Yes there will be set backs, but with set backs comes growth.
If the player really wants it, they will have to work hard, play the best players they can find and do what they do.
While we all like to win games, I'm sure we would all prefer to win seasons over a longer period of time.