Have to choose a team...again.

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Aug 12, 2018
46
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HI all was hoping for some advice...

The background. DD is a Pitcher 1B. She joined a higher end B team (Probably should have been moved to A) last fall where she fit in nicely and split innings with two other pitchers. The coaching staff was good, her teammates were friendly and welcoming and a great set of parents. All that, and they were pretty good too!

The issue. Three of four coaches left with their kids taking 1 of the three pitchers, three of the best hitters, the entire left side of the infield and a seriously good center fielder. My concern is less about the players leaving, although they will certainly be missed, it's more about the coaching staff leaving. We came to this team for two reasons: 1) We felt the coaching staff was excellent - and they turned out to be as good as we thought; and 2) the team was better and the players were going to challenge DD to get better - it worked.

The question. Now we face a scenario where a completely new coaching staff is being brought in - including them asking me to fill an assistant role...presumably because DD is a pitcher <-the cynic in me.

DD has informed me that she doesn't want to leave because the loves the girls that remain. She also informed me that she doesn't want to go back to the way it was before joining this team...that is not developing, pressure on her to be one of only two pitchers, very little in skill development.


For reference, she is moving into her 16U season and has an interest in making a run at some kind of college program. It feels horrible to look elsewhere and potentially leave the team she's grown to love. That said, it's really no longer the team it was when she joined it. Any advice for a bucket dad who's never gone through this before?
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
6,643
113
California
First point it is not the same team she knew. That is the past. Some of the teammates may be the same but it's not the same team anymore.

Imo that is not a situation where you can just say yes to without evaluating it the same as you would any other team you would try out for. So my suggestion

Check out what the NEW coaches have to say. ASK questions about their ability to showcase the team and players and what their schedule will be. Do new coaches have experience showcasing? Includes talking with the players and getting everyone on board emailing with player bios . That schedule will be important for 16u.
Go to and participate how they run a practices,
while you go to tryouts for other teams.

In an opposite perspective
In my opinion it is a mistake for coaches to come into a new team situation thinking everybody immediately would want to stay.
Simply because, Everybody should be doing an assessment for a good fit.
 
Last edited:
Apr 20, 2015
963
93
If dd seriously wants to make a run at college ball she needs to realize it’s not about loving her teammates anymore. It’s about the end goal and the team that’s going to get her there. That doesn’t mean playing for terrible people or terrible teammates but it does mean looking at the situation objectively with that end goal in mind


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Top_Notch

Screwball
Dec 18, 2014
476
63
If she plans to play in college then she needs to play the highest level she can where she will be challenged but not overwhelmed. My daughter, also a pitcher/1B, plays strictly PGF and is pretty good and it's still difficult to get college looks. She has had some interest at all levels (a D1 saw her play twice and wants her) but some D3 are luke warm in their response. Recruiting is challenging.
 
Oct 4, 2018
3,405
113
If dd seriously wants to make a run at college ball she needs to realize it’s not about loving her teammates anymore. It’s about the end goal and the team that’s going to get her there. That doesn’t mean playing for terrible people or terrible teammates but it does mean looking at the situation objectively with that end goal in mind


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

So much this.

People shared this good advice with me years ago, when my 11 year old daughter needed to choose between playing with friends or moving up to her level of talent.

We're both so very glad she chose the latter.
 
May 7, 2015
714
93
SoCal
Totally agree with the sentiment posted above.. It really seems like recruiting is getting harder and harder. At 16u she needs to play with a team that has visibility with the schools your DD is interested in as well as the highest level of competition.

Good luck with your decision!
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,943
113
Dallas, Texas
DD has informed me that she doesn't want to leave because the loves the girls that remain.
She has to lose this attitude if she wants to play college softball. Playing college softball is a job--yes, its fun, but its a job. players get "fired" and players "quit" all the time. If she gets too emotionally attached to players or coaches, she will have problems.

Find a team where she can become better, not where she "loves" her teammates.
She also informed me that she doesn't want to go back to the way it was before joining this team...that is not developing,
She is not going to develop just because she is on a TB team. Players at this level (16U-A) develop by working independently of the team. She has to work (1) on her own time (2) with a real pitching coach.

She needs to be throwing *ON HER OWN* 3 to 5 days a week for an hour a day. She needs a PC who really understands pitching.

pressure on her to be one of only two pitchers
This is a little tough love---are you sure she wants to pitch?

Good pitchers want the ball *ALL THE TIME*. The only reason a good pitcher doesn't pitch all the time is because a coach pries the ball from her fingers.

"Pressure" is what pitching is all about. If she doesn't love pressure, she needs to stop pitching and work on hitting.

It feels horrible to look elsewhere and potentially leave the team she's grown to love.

Life lesson time.

Have you changed jobs? Did you have a job where the business changed and it no longer fit?

Explain your life experiences about work with her. Let her learn from you.
 
Aug 12, 2018
46
18
I'll bite. If she likes the coaches and you liked the coaches, why didn't she leave with them?
If this were an option, she/we would have.

Head Coach stepped down to spend more time with his family - no daughter on the team. Remaining coaches stepped down because their daughters went to different teams independently - they were acting understandably on behalf of their kids first and foremost.. Coaches will now be parents on the side moving forward rather than in the dugout coaching...big change for them.
 
Aug 12, 2018
46
18
She has to lose this attitude if she wants to play college softball. Playing college softball is a job--yes, its fun, but its a job. players get "fired" and players "quit" all the time. If she gets too emotionally attached to players or coaches, she will have problems.

Find a team where she can become better, not where she "loves" her teammates.

She is not going to develop just because she is on a TB team. Players at this level (16U-A) develop by working independently of the team. She has to work (1) on her own time (2) with a real pitching coach.

She needs to be throwing *ON HER OWN* 3 to 5 days a week for an hour a day. She needs a PC who really understands pitching.


This is a little tough love---are you sure she wants to pitch?

Good pitchers want the ball *ALL THE TIME*. The only reason a good pitcher doesn't pitch all the time is because a coach pries the ball from her fingers.

"Pressure" is what pitching is all about. If she doesn't love pressure, she needs to stop pitching and work on hitting.



Life lesson time.

Have you changed jobs? Did you have a job where the business changed and it no longer fit?

Explain your life experiences about work with her. Let her learn from you.
On playing with friends, this is a lesson she is rapidly learning.

On the tough love, does she really want to pitch? For now the answer is yes; however, agree I need to explore the question more. And she wants (and gets) the ball but going into a 7 game weekend (we typically go deep on Sunday) with two isn't appealing - we've been there and it didn't work out well. With respect to pressure, she handles it well and is often complimented for her composure in the circle...no issue there. I know throwing upwards of 1000 pitches in a weekend is done but I don't buy the argument that if you're not begging for that you don't really want to be a pitcher.

On development away from the team, no problem there. Currently seeing what we consider the best PC in our area, a true IR coach that has done it herself as well coached others to success. A hitting coach, and lifts three times a week. Does she pitch 3 to 5 times a week? Yes, is it always her idea? No. Half time time its her, half the time its me reminding.

On the life lesson, great perspective...in fact I've started to go down that path...what we've learned here is that it's time to be crystal clear about goals: Do you want to play in college? Do you want to pitch? The answers here determine our (and a bunch of other peoples) direction so lets buckle things down more. As a parent, what I've learned is that maybe I've allowed her to taka a hedged position and that's not going to work anymore.

Great post. Grateful.
 
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