Big fish in small pond

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Mar 10, 2020
482
43
Alluded to this the other day.
This is problematic to travel ball where anybody can call themself a coach.
Our family has stayed away from these type of coaches and it is helped our three daughters. We heavily research teams before we join them. Before handing over a check we will watch at least two weekends of softball the coach has entered the team in. After doing this repeatedly we learned the social status totem pole in our area and created a list of who to stay away from.
This is how we would describe one of the pitfalls to stay away from in travel ball.

Big fish who coach in a small pond is a social status trap. Small pond coach develops a reputation where it is limited to that small amount of people who may know that coach in a community.
Little do they know he has no experience beyond his small pond. The coach really doesn't have a reputation in the nationally competitive teams in travel. They may get invited to local Friendly's but those are small pond teams.
These small-minded coaches will discourage anything they are unaware is actually part of the sport because they have limited mind sets. They cannot see beyond their nose. They tend to repeat the same rhetoric trying to abolish what is happening in the big ocean. The big fish coach is the king of his small pond. Creating a false stigmata of self-importance and creating big ego.
When faced with answering to parents questioning things they to try to discourage others by trying to disqualify factual knowledge. They will even say someone else doesn't know what they're talking about even though they may be a D1 coach like a professional coach. They become so full of themselves they become clueless to
what is happening in the big bigger picture because it is not something they are familiar with. If they agreed with it would mean they have been wrong themselves. They do not try to grow out of their small pond because they are the king of their small pond.
And create false sense of self-importance. What becomes of this coach they stay small worse the players on the team stay small.
They cannot get out of their level of play because they have never grown their own coaching ability staying so small-minded.
It becomes a social status trap. Heres the damage it causes, it can fool parents looking for a developmental place for their children. Unknowingly joining small minded coached teams.
This ends up holding players back in their development. Most players on these type of Coach teams won't get beyond average the ones who figure it out leave quickly.
Don't pick a team because your friends are on it only to find out everyone else wants the same social status trap. Sometimes getting out of your own social group will be the best thing to see the bigger picture.
 
Apr 8, 2019
55
18
I appreciate your post. I have been hesitant to start looking for a new team because of all the unknown factors involved. I understand what you are saying about a small minded coach. I'm pretty sure our current coach is one. But it seems like a huge leap from a coach like that to a nationally recognized one. Aren't those coaches fairly easy to find due to their name recognition?

Also, do you have any other tips for getting all the information you need to make a good decision?
 

pattar

A life wasted chasing rainbows
Jun 8, 2016
9,589
113
The coach really doesn't have a reputation in the nationally competitive teams in travel. They may get invited to local Friendly's but those are small pond teams.
Not even sure what this means. Doesn’t get invited to good tournaments or if they do are put on the “back fields”?
Doesn’t have college contacts? Care to explain?

Watching a team in action on the field is always a good idea but usually has nothing to do with discerning “National reputation” of the coach. Those two things that I mentioned can easily be determined without ever watching the coach…
 
Last edited:

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,529
113
We heavily research teams before we join them. Before handing over a check we will watch at least two weekends of softball the coach has entered the team in.

I understand this part and agree with it. I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say with the rest. There are different levels of softball, and everyone looks for a place that's consistent with their goals. Not everyone has the talent or inclination to play/coach at the highest levels. For many players and coaches, that "small pond" works just fine, and some of those coaches do a pretty good job developing players for that bigger stage. Everyone starts somewhere.
 
Mar 10, 2020
482
43
I understand this part and agree with it. I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say with the rest. There are different levels of softball, and everyone looks for a place that's consistent with their goals. Not everyone has the talent or inclination to play/coach at the highest levels. For many players and coaches, that "small pond" works just fine, and some of those coaches do a pretty good job developing players for that bigger stage. Everyone starts somewhere.
Different levels but people don't need to be fooled because of some Joe self titled false ego stigmata coach who doesn't know any better because they have their ego over-inflated. Read the whole post more than just different levels of coaching it's a small pond mentality. Look it up there's lots of information about this in other areas not just sports.
 
Mar 10, 2020
482
43
I appreciate your post. I have been hesitant to start looking for a new team because of all the unknown factors involved. I understand what you are saying about a small minded coach. I'm pretty sure our current coach is one. But it seems like a huge leap from a coach like that to a nationally recognized one. Aren't those coaches fairly easy to find due to their name recognition?

Also, do you have any other tips for getting all the information you need to make a good decision?
When looking for a team. Ask how long has a coach been with the same organization. Coaches who have jumped around with several orgs in the past two or three years show instability. Some coaches will change organizations each year some twice in one year. Ask them why they left the other org. There will usually be an answer that has nothing to do with softball and all about ego status. In California there are a lot of these coaches who will tell you a list of organizations they have coached for.
There is no reason why they keep leaving organizations. The problem is they cannot pick up better players and they blame it on the organization they are with.
Go to another organization to see if they can pick up players. But because they are not a quality substantial coach that can actually develop players they keep fishing in the same small pond. Their name bounces around you might think they are established but in reality are unable to attract quality players. They inevitably keep circling in there same small pond. Parents who are paying attention identify quickly and will leave the team or never join. Big talkers who can't play against quality coaches is the result. Longer-term result coaches you can look up a history with the same organization usually on their website that is not always a qualifier but at least you can see what they have done in the past through Nationals and looking on what tournaments they played and were successful at.
If they don't have a website with their team that you can follow. Pass.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,529
113
Different levels but people don't need to be fooled because of some Joe self titled false ego stigmata coach who doesn't know any better because they have their ego over-inflated. Read the whole post more than just different levels of coaching it's a small pond mentality. Look it up there's lots of information about this in other areas not just sports.

Stigmata??? Look it up? No website is a show-stopper?

What I take from your post is that you don't like "small pond" coaches who you believe are full of themselves. OK...fair enough...they're out there. Sometimes, personalities don't mesh...I've been there. I'm still not sure why it deserves so many words. That coach might not like you, either.
 
Apr 20, 2018
2,661
113
SoCal
When looking for a team. Ask how long has a coach been with the same organization. Coaches who have jumped around with several orgs in the past two or three years show instability. Some coaches will change organizations each year some twice in one year. Ask them why they left the other org. There will usually be an answer that has nothing to do with softball and all about ego status. In California there are a lot of these coaches who will tell you a list of organizations they have coached for.
There is no reason why they keep leaving organizations. The problem is they cannot pick up better players and they blame it on the organization they are with.
Go to another organization to see if they can pick up players. But because they are not a quality substantial coach that can actually develop players they keep fishing in the same small pond. Their name bounces around you might think they are established but in reality are unable to attract quality players. They inevitably keep circling in there same small pond. Parents who are paying attention identify quickly and will leave the team or never join. Big talkers who can't play against quality coaches is the result. Longer-term result coaches you can look up a history with the same organization usually on their website that is not always a qualifier but at least you can see what they have done in the past through Nationals and looking on what tournaments they played and were successful at.
If they don't have a website with their team that you can follow. Pass.
Coaches change orgs usually over .... wait for it........MONEY. Which is directly related to their EGO. Let's say Big Jim has his name attached to 9 teams. I get a kick out of it when there are 3 or even 4 names attached to a team. For example, Bandits Smith/Clark/Jones/Davis. So funny. How much money is little ole Davis making being number 4 on the list? He is probably paying to have his name attached. LOL. The ego is real. Many times a tournament or friendly schedule will be posted and will inadvertently exclude one on the names attached to the team. So, schedule will read Bandits Smith/Clark. And Coach Jones will call TD or friendly organizer and ask/demand his name be added. Ego. Every team pays the org $300 to $500 a month to carry the name and insurance. Then there is kickback money from uniforms, spirit wear and equipment deals too. So Big Jim is approached by a different org head that tells him that if he comes over to his org he can coach the 16U Gold team, bring all his teams over, pay only $300 a month per team (with 1st month free =$4500 value for BJ), and nice kick back on all the new uniforms and equipment. Big Jim informs parent that he believes this is a great opportunity with better exposure, blah blah blah. Oh yeah, dues will be going up $25 more a month but its worth it. More money for BJ.
OR
Big Jim takes the real leap of faith and starts his own org. This year in So Cal we 4 or 5 of those big-name coaches start their own org. Rumor has it another new org is coming soon. It's kinda like a softball soap opera.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
4,641
113
California
Coaches change orgs usually over .... wait for it........MONEY. Which is directly related to their EGO. Let's say Big Jim has his name attached to 9 teams. I get a kick out of it when there are 3 or even 4 names attached to a team. For example, Bandits Smith/Clark/Jones/Davis. So funny. How much money is little ole Davis making being number 4 on the list? He is probably paying to have his name attached. LOL. The ego is real. Many times a tournament or friendly schedule will be posted and will inadvertently exclude one on the names attached to the team. So, schedule will read Bandits Smith/Clark. And Coach Jones will call TD or friendly organizer and ask/demand his name be added. Ego. Every team pays the org $300 to $500 a month to carry the name and insurance. Then there is kickback money from uniforms, spirit wear and equipment deals too. So Big Jim is approached by a different org head that tells him that if he comes over to his org he can coach the 16U Gold team, bring all his teams over, pay only $300 a month per team (with 1st month free =$4500 value for BJ), and nice kick back on all the new uniforms and equipment. Big Jim informs parent that he believes this is a great opportunity with better exposure, blah blah blah. Oh yeah, dues will be going up $25 more a month but its worth it. More money for BJ.
OR
Big Jim takes the real leap of faith and starts his own org. This year in So Cal we 4 or 5 of those big-name coaches start their own org. Rumor has it another new org is coming soon. It's kinda like a softball soap opera.
HaaHAA the trueth in that made it funnier!
 
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