Being best player on bad team, or bench player on good team?

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Nov 18, 2013
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To be honest i'd shoot somewhere down the middle. You don't learn a ton or improve a ton on the bench. If the other org has a great training program that is one thing, but if not, can buy a bunch of plastic trophies for about $20.00.

edit: and about the D1 thing, it's pretty over rated outside of the top 30-40 teams. Rest of it is pretty much a wash. My DD had offers to go D1 she is smarter than me and gave them a no thanks and will play at a top D3 school.
i wouldn’t say it’s overrated outside the top 40. The football money of any P5 and many mid majors provides athletic and educational benefits most schools at other levels can’t come close to matching. I think it’s great your DD was lucky to have the option of choosing the level that’s right for her. That doesn’t mean D1 is a bad choice for others.
 
Oct 4, 2018
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I think it's strictly a pride thing. She sees other girls she knows committing D1, some of them she thinks she's better than(maybe she is). With that said, there's some very good D3 schools on the east coast who have been in contact with her and a couple seem very interested. There's a D3 team in the midwest who has promised her merit based scholarships which would be close to a full ride(she's a 4.0 student and can qualify for these). She's only a sophomore, so these offers should be increasing I would imagine.

I'm going to do my best to encourage her to take the best offer to a school that fits her, regardless of what she thinks she wants because I've been through the process and learned from my own mistakes. I was a D1 athlete, I went to a team that was top 3 in the nation because of the same pride she has. My choice was a mistake and I'd like her to not make the same mistake.

Part of joining a top team is to get noticed. Seems she's getting noticed. And as a sophomore, that's pretty impressive.

Personally I don't think either option you present is ideal. Can you get more options?
 
May 18, 2019
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My daughter is 15, she is currently the starting MIF and leadoff batter for pretty non-competitive 18U team, (as far as southern Cal is concerned at least). She has an invite to join a top 18U team this summer, she'll be competing for 2nd base position, but may spend a good amount of time on the bench and likely bat bottom of the order (which isn't so important to us, but the few extra at bats she gets batting leadoff are a nice perk).

She's a pretty good player, one of the top 3 players on her HS team and she's just a Sophomore, she's getting some D3 interest, and not even sure if D1 is right for her, but she seems to really think D1 is the only way to go, and if that's the case, she'll need to go to the new team. Here's the thing, my daughter hates sitting the bench, she's miserable when she does, so I hate leaving a team where her position is set, because once you leave, you burn that bridge.

Anyone else been in similar position?
If she's in socal, there has to be a more competitive team where she could start or at least play a lot. I'd go there unless she has a lot of untapped potential that can be developed to get plenty of playing time on the elite team...also, does she play SD or OF also? More options than one position could also influence the wise course.
 
Mar 8, 2017
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spoke to a member on the phone yesterday and got some great insight and a new perspective.

For those suggesting there's other teams we could pick, you're absolutely right, I guess I left out that I do really respect the coaches of her current team, so if we left, it'd have to be a unique opportunity, and the team she joins would have to be a type of situation you can't say no to, even if it meant being on the bench and playing less.

For now, the plan will be to play out the spring and early summer schedule with her current team and maybe they'll pick up some players and be more competitive, and hopefully that's the case because I wouldn't mind her staying. My girls played travel since she was 9 years old and one the things you do learn in this, is the grass isn't always greener.
 
Last edited:
Sep 13, 2021
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We're in SoCal too and play on a good team that includes a girl similar to your daughter. It's been tough on her and her family. She's an OF and gets a few innings of OF time and a few ABs in friendlies. In tournaments, she doesn't hit or see the field at all and only occasionally pinch runs. She's good, but what she had to do to get time out of the gate was mash the ball as soon as she showed up. She didn't, and the net result is that there is a roster full of girls that are better options than her on both O and D when the games count. When the games don't count, i.e., friendlies, she gets developmental opportunities, but not a lot because she's one of 5-6 other girls that play OF and need innings.

My bet is that if your daughter hits, she'll play and if she doesn't, she won't. 2Bs with great gloves are not uncommon in high level travel and fielding in general doesn't get you on the field unless you're an unbelievable catcher, SS or CF. Conversely, if you hit, you can have a cast iron skillet for a glove, especially if you hit for power.
 
Mar 29, 2023
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We're in SoCal too and play on a good team that includes a girl similar to your daughter. It's been tough on her and her family. She's an OF and gets a few innings of OF time and a few ABs in friendlies. In tournaments, she doesn't hit or see the field at all and only occasionally pinch runs. She's good, but what she had to do to get time out of the gate was mash the ball as soon as she showed up. She didn't, and the net result is that there is a roster full of girls that are better options than her on both O and D when the games count. When the games don't count, i.e., friendlies, she gets developmental opportunities, but not a lot because she's one of 5-6 other girls that play OF and need innings.

My bet is that if your daughter hits, she'll play and if she doesn't, she won't. 2Bs with great gloves are not uncommon in high level travel and fielding in general doesn't get you on the field unless you're an unbelievable catcher, SS or CF. Conversely, if you hit, you can have a cast iron skillet for a glove, especially if you hit for power.
Valuable perspective, and honestly just sounds so unfun for that girl.

When kids' window for playing competitively stops so soon for most athletes in the world, it feels extra painful to watch time go by without playing.
 
May 13, 2021
644
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We're in SoCal too and play on a good team that includes a girl similar to your daughter. It's been tough on her and her family. She's an OF and gets a few innings of OF time and a few ABs in friendlies. In tournaments, she doesn't hit or see the field at all and only occasionally pinch runs. She's good, but what she had to do to get time out of the gate was mash the ball as soon as she showed up. She didn't, and the net result is that there is a roster full of girls that are better options than her on both O and D when the games count. When the games don't count, i.e., friendlies, she gets developmental opportunities, but not a lot because she's one of 5-6 other girls that play OF and need innings.

My bet is that if your daughter hits, she'll play and if she doesn't, she won't. 2Bs with great gloves are not uncommon in high level travel and fielding in general doesn't get you on the field unless you're an unbelievable catcher, SS or CF. Conversely, if you hit, you can have a cast iron skillet for a glove, especially if you hit for power.
That is the very reason I always say hitting has to be your #1 position then whatever other position you play is #2 only exception being for some older age group pitchers. "If you can hit you can play"
 
Sep 13, 2021
47
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Valuable perspective, and honestly just sounds so unfun for that girl.

When kids' window for playing competitively stops so soon for most athletes in the world, it feels extra painful to watch time go by without playing.

It’s not uncommon for rosters in 14s and up to consist of 17-25 girls. There’s only so many innings and ABs to go around so a lot of talented, veteran travel players sit a lot. If a new girl joins a team and she’s a known stud hitter (everyone knows each other at this point), if she gets an immediate spot in the order and time on the field, it’s not going to raise too many eyebrows. If, on the other hand, an “outsider” with no track record comes in, she’s going to have to validate with the bat to show she deserves ABs and field time, otherwise the coach risks creating a chemistry problem and pissing off girls and fams that he’s ridden with up to that point. The pitchers on good SoCal travel teams at 14s and up are no joke and the better the team is, most likely the better the opposition pitching will be. It’s hard for a girl to hit that kind of pitching immediately if she’s coming from a lower tier travel team. We see that every time we play one of those teams.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Mar 8, 2017
78
8
The pitchers on good SoCal travel teams at 14s and up are no joke and the better the team is, most likely the better the opposition pitching will be. It’s hard for a girl to hit that kind of pitching immediately if she’s coming from a lower tier travel team. We see that every time we play one of those teams.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
My girl has played on good teams before, her 14u team was a PGF premier team, top 10 in Alliance. Even the team she is on now, plays some good competition once in a while, and her HS team faces a lot of D1 committed pitchers. My girl can definitely hit, but she doesn't have HR power, her game is laser singles and doubles, with ability to slap, but not elite speed. It wouldn't be the competition being too big for her, just the fact that unless your girl is elite, they sit the bench a lot on these types of teams. I think I already have my decision, I'll let her go to the tryout and if she gets offered, I'll try to explain that to her (while quietly trying to persuade her to stay with her current team), and just let her decide her fate at this point.
 

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