Some frown upon you, mainly adults, but you know that the doubt will fade away once you stand on that field, under those hot lights, in front of all those spectators. Forcing those creatures to battle gets you fired up like nothing ever could.
Charmander. Pick. Charmander. The only other acceptable choice is Totodile, because Feraligatr is practically a blue Charizard without wings. And 'Surf' is the water-type's 'Fly'. There is nothing scarier than seeing a mouthful of sharp, gleaming teeth chomping up from the depths or plummeting down from the heavens. One thing you want to keep in mind is that you're going to want to preorder your Charmander. When you wake up on your tenth birthday and stroll down to your local professor, the last thing you want is to have to pick a turtle or a frog with some weird fungus growth on its back.
But not the gay ones, they will only slow you down. There's a reason you won't see a Caterpie in the Johto League; it's weak, slow, and frankly kinda resembles a string of beads. Sadly enough, having only one badass fire/water dragon at your side isn't enough. Because, despite the fact that fire is basically death incarnate, a fire Pokemon is still susceptible to physical harm. You're going to need an entire menagerie of elemental monsters to compete with everyone else that isn't a cop, nurse, or daycare runner. Though it may be frustrating at times, because those asshole Pokemon may not want to stay in the damn ball when you first throw it...or the next twenty times... but you must push on, comrade.
Your Pokemon are to be trained intensely with a sparing use of approval, assuring that they will be on their own, futile, constant quests to reach your impossibly high standards. This process is not for the faint of heart, for it may take days, weeks, . To make sure as they're as strong as they can be, you gotta give 'em the right "nutrients", if you know what I mean... teach 'em some "TM's", if ya catch my drift. Steroids may also help.