Last High School Game for a 2022; Need to Vent

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Jun 22, 2019
I’m guessing the coach didn’t realize the impact of pulling her. We’ve dealt with 3 different HS softball coaches that were coaching for the first time and it’s tough to watch sometimes.

Unfortunately, you can’t get the last game/season back, but sounds like she had a good career on a good team. Be thankful for the experience, focus on the good times and let go of the not so good times.
May 6, 2015
I did not say winning does not matter, of course coaches you try to win games. but there are some principles more important, unless you are at a professional level. and many highly successful coaches at many levels in many sports are aware of this, and these are generally the ones who build long lasting successful programs. the ones who put winning ahead of everything else generally do not last long in academic settings, except in some misguided communities where HS athletes get treated like gods. they cut corners, they try to cover of things, and it comes back to bite them in the rear. or they demoralize the athletes to where no one comes out anymore.

hell, if winning is all that matters in HS, why have them go to class, just have them practice all day long while others are in classes, and then go out play games every day after school?

I will say it again, if winning is the only thing that matters in academic athletics, time for them to go, spend money on something more important.
Feb 20, 2020
I think you really have that 100% backwards.
Like I mentioned above, the prevailing opinion is that TB is not about winning but instead about learning and development. HS is pretty much only about winning as is college. Coaches get fired every year for not winning or for not turning a losing program around.

And like Coach pointed out above, there are parents in this very thread that on one hand are complaining about seniors not playing and underclassmen taking their spots and then the others mad that their freshman don’t play even though they are better then the seniors.

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You pay to play travel ball. You have an expectation of playing time, and if you're unhappy, you can leave for another travel program. All it costs you is money.

You can't leave your high school to play for another high school. There are rules against that. If the coach decides you're done, you're done.

High school softball coaches don't get fired, at least no in our area. At the annual parents/athletic department meeting, the AD said they have an average of 2 applicants for any openings they have. There aren't tons of people clamoring for the gigs. For sports like softball, most departments are grateful for what they have, even if the coach is a jerk. A jerk coach is better than no coach, I suppose.

You say obviously better as though it's a measurable. Leadership matters. Experience matters. Does the coach have a metric as to what constitutes better?

As I said before, if you don't see a high school team as part of the community, and only see it as a way for your daughter to show off, then that's the way you see it.
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Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
In GA, we play HS softball in the fall. The first round of State Playoffs began yesterday. For context, our team has won Region for something like 22 years in a row. We were state runners-up in 2019. Then our HC retired. Last year, we made it to Sweet 16.

A little background. DD is a catcher and began at C for about half the games in 9th grade, about 3/4 of the games in 10th grade (our runner-up year) and all games last year. This is our HC's second year. My understanding is that she's never been a softball HC prior to last year. And it shows. She seems not to grasp softball strategy including but not limited to when to bunt to move runners over, how to strategically use the DP/Flex position, and when and when NOT to send runners. There have been numerous blunders over the entirety of the season. The Dad Squad has spent much time over group text bemoaning some of the bone-headed moves and missed opportunities.

Starting around 1/4 through the season, HC started playing DD as the DP and letting a freshman catch. Nothing was ever said to DD as to why she was being edged out. Eventually, DD spoke to her and she said, "Oh I didn't know you wanted to catch. OK, I'll get you some time in." After that conversation, she caught two Region Games where there was never going to be an issue of whether we would win or not and that's it. DH and I tried to stay out of it. But we were not happy. Not just because DD wasn't catching, but also because the girl who replaced her at C was actually very much needed at 3B. The girl playing 3B made a lot of wild throws to first and usually had an error every game or two. The C girl has a much better arm and is more accurate.

Back to last night. Doubleheader. We knew she wasn't going to catch. Still thought the infield would be stronger with DD catching and the other girl at third, but OK. Sure enough, in the first game, 3B makes two errors and two runs are on her. We lose 5-2. The other team has a very strong pitcher and we only had about four or five hits. DD was the first hit and hit it to the fence (I thought it was over at first). Second game, 3B makes one error and they score. We're down 3-2 in top of the 7th. We have a runner on first and 1 out. It's DD's turn to bat. And this HC (insert your own obscenity in front of "HC") pulls DD from the lineup (remember, she's a senior; she hit the crap out of the ball in the first game) and subs another girl in. Girl hits into a double play. We lose. Season over.

I don't quite have the words to express how angry I am about how this whole season went down in general, but pulling her for that last at bat of her high school career just felt like the biggest SCREW YOU of all. She knew DD can hit (and had hit in the first game), the other girl she subbed in hasn't done anything spectacular hitting-wise, and she KNEW that this could be DD's last at bat ever in HS. I'm still beside myself this morning.

And of course DD believes she did something wrong and this is going to sour all four years of HS ball. What a way to end it. Just sad.
'The dad squad'

Much prefer coaches who communicate.
Best thing your daughter performed her task!
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Apr 20, 2015
I'm so sorry this happened to your dd. It sounds like she did everything right even approaching the coach to try to figure out how she could play more. High school coaches have a difficult balance. I personally don't think you should cut seniors, but I also don't think that juniors should play JV unless you are at a huge school that offers freshman, JV and Varsity. If a junior isn't good enough to play Varsity then IMO that's the time to cut them. We have a perennial strong program. Often times we will have an entire team of collegiate bound athletes on the field. Sometimes several going P5. Because of this good players who would be 4 year Varsity players at other schools never sniff the Varsity field at our school. Classes vary in depth and strength. Last year the senior class was deep and talented, junior class was big but the talent pool was weak, sophomore class the same, and freshman class deep and talented. The Varsity starting roster consisted of 5 seniors, 1 Jr, 1 sophomore and 2 freshman. On the bench we 4 juniors 3 of whom barely played, no other sophomores and 1 freshman. It will be very interesting to see how it shakes down this year

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Jan 31, 2011
Well, this topic took a turn for the worse. I feel for your DD. What a bad ending to a high school career. A new coach really needs some feedback. Pulling a senior out of the lineup before her last at bat ever is not cool. Either your coach overlooked it, or did it on purpose. Either way, the coach needs to hear this. Nothing can be done to bring back the season, but maybe the coach can learn something from it.

I coach HS ball and its not easy. Its fun, but not easy. I believe my job is to win games and everything we do is to build the culture to expect to win. The goal each year is to win conference and make it to the state tournament. People can say a lot about me, but I hope they always recognize I play my top 9 kids regardless of age. If you can play, you'll play! Coaches need to learn from their mistakes. I almost pulled that same bonehead mistake your coach made by trying to get a substitute player an at-bat in our last game at state. I almost put the sub in to hit for a senior without thinking! My AC jumped up and stopped me in my tracks. I wasn't thinking of terms about it being the senior's last at-bat ever, I was just trying to get a kid in before the final out of the final game of the season. I dodged a bullet there! As a coach, surround yourself with good people. As a parent, I think you need to (tactfully) give your coach feedback. How else is she going to learn?


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
No intention of writing a letter at this point. But it's hard not to feel like it became personal when your kid (one of only two seniors on the team) is the only kid whose role was diminished from starter to benchwarmer over the course of the season. Last night was insult to injury and people noticed. The other parents were baffled as to why HC would pull her like that. We will move onward and upward, but it hurts, you know? And watching your child sob and sob and blame herself for a s***tty coaching decision is not easy.
You are upset for good reason. But, it is over, You have to help your DD take the experience and learn from it.

This is not the last time your DD will be treated unfairly. It is life.

Your DD should use this as a way to motivate herself, both in and out of sports. Competitors take these kind of experiences and use as a tool to achieve more.
Feb 1, 2021
No intention of writing a letter at this point. But it's hard not to feel like it became personal when your kid (one of only two seniors on the team) is the only kid whose role was diminished from starter to benchwarmer over the course of the season. Last night was insult to injury and people noticed. The other parents were baffled as to why HC would pull her like that. We will move onward and upward, but it hurts, you know? And watching your child sob and sob and blame herself for a s***tty coaching decision is not easy.

Just forget the letter. You will regret that the second you send it.

I however understand your frustration 100%. Unless the HC kept a ringer on the bench the entire game, your DD should get the chance to lead in that moment.

All coaches are 'new' at some point and although your DDs school sounds like they have a great winning legacy, HS sports are where coaches go to get SOME leeway to make mistakes. They either take their lumps and learn, or they don't. It sucks to have your DDs final season be THAT season, but that's the cruelty of life at times.

Its a crappy way to end it, but as you said 'onward and upward' is where you will end up. You can get there as fast or slow as you please.

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