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Thread: Schedule and avoiding burnout

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    I can talk softball all day Osric's Avatar
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    Default Schedule and avoiding burnout

    I'm curious as to what TB team schedules look like on a year round basis. We are going to be putting together a 14u TB team this next year and found that last year a lot of girls were facing burnout issues playing spring/all-star/fall ball.

    The way our thinking is right now, we'll play in a fall league (Late Aug-Late Oct) and then break until after the New Year before starting on practices. Travel season to start after Jr. High ball ends (so many of the kids will have been playing games starting in March) so figure mid May and continue through end of July/early Aug. That means the next fall ball season starts in just a few weeks after the end of TB season.

    I'm worried that we are going to be facing burn out on what may look to the kids (and parents) as a year round schedule, especially if they elect to play Jr. High/High School ball.

    Also, does anyone do things with their teams in the winter that is non-softball related, but intended to build team unity? My wife suggested doing a day bowling or at a water park instead of practice sometimes, or getting everyone together to see movies and such. Trying to figure out that balance between building team cohesion and losing players because they never do *anything* except play softball.

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    Certified softball maniac nanotech14's Avatar
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    I kind of depends on each players own likes and dislikes. Some players would never stop and others need a break. I think team building is good. Yes, having the girls get together is fine, as long as you remember that some may not make it to every team building event. Life happens sometimes. Good luck

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    Also, does anyone do things with their teams in the winter that is non-softball related, but intended to build team unity?
    I'm not a big fan of this stuff. Kids need to have interests and friends outside of softball. If you are going to play all year round, then the kids need to get away from the team for a while.
    Ray

    Every softball parent keeps a hockey mask and a butcher knife in their car...

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    Certified softball maniac YOCOACH's Avatar
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    Our team is 14u TB located in NE Ohio. We did not play fall ball however we did practice once a week on the field and when the weather went bad, at our indoor facility. Over the holidays, we played an indoor friendly and had our team Christmas party at the same time. Most of our girls are 13 but we have 2 freshman that will be playing for their HS team. We are playing an indoor Spring league which the ending date coincides with our 14yo's end date for HS ball. Then we go into our Tournament season. That is 5 straight weeks of tournaments, one weekend off, 3 more tournaments and then Nationals if we qualify (crossing our fingers).

    We also have 4 multi-sport athletes on the team. You would think that most, if not all of these girls would just be burned out on sports altogether but that's not the case. Every single girl is looking forward to either HS ball or the start of our Spring league. Maybe it was the 3 1/2 month break where we went down to no games/tournaments and one practice a week; I don't know. I can tell you this though, they are just plain fired-up about playing softball and can't wait to get on the field again for 2-3 times a week practices now that the holidays are over...especially DD since she's used to playing year round.

    As far as team building events go, our fundraisers are usually well attended by both the team and their parents. We have also had get-togethers at local restaurants where we can all eat at one table if possible; or at least we get a section to ourselves. We have yet to have the whole team attend any of these events. Usually school sports or life in general get in the way of someone attending. We do what we can but we understand that priorities change in the off-season.
    Last edited by YOCOACH; 01-10-2013 at 12:03 AM.

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    13th Step Softball Addict coach james's Avatar
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    My team is 14u TB... we stay together all year long. Right now we meet every other sat for a two hr practice in a gym. And the girls get one on one batting at my house in the cage for one hr every other week. We will continue this schedule until hs ball starts. However every team is different and comittment levels will vary. Just be clear in your expectations of their progress. For my team... we expect our girls to dominate their hs team (thats the goal) we will start traveling to tourneys as soon as hs ball is over.

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    Certified softball maniac InsidePitch's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of this stuff. Kids need to have interests and friends outside of softball. If you are going to play all year round, then the kids need to get away from the team for a while.
    I concur. You put 12-13 girls in a dugout for 6 months and they need a break from each other AND I need a break from their parents. Some kids will be friends off the field but a number of DDs teammates travel 30-45 minutes for practice. That's not practical for friends.

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    Certified softball maniac Momo'sDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    I'm not a big fan of this stuff. Kids need to have interests and friends outside of softball. If you are going to play all year round, then the kids need to get away from the team for a while.
    I have to agree.

    While I think it's a great idea to do non-softball activities IN season with your whole team, there has to be an extended period of time where everyone (not just the players) gets away from one another.

    DD played and I coached a very long 2012 year. The rec admin stuff is heating up quickly, but I'm still not ready to go back yet. She's been training here-and-there the past 5-6 weeks and her new team will begin workouts this coming Sunday, with play starting mid-Feb.

    Her old team? They've been practicing and their first games will be this weekend.
    Last edited by Momo'sDad; 01-10-2013 at 11:35 AM.

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    Certified softball maniac iMlearning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    I'm not a big fan of this stuff. Kids need to have interests and friends outside of softball. If you are going to play all year round, then the kids need to get away from the team for a while.
    My DD loves her team mates but seems to want to do things with her other friends any chance she gets. They are mostly 14 year olds on a 16u team, but they practice twice a week through Thanksgiving and then a couple times during December. After HS season ends, they get one weekend off a month until the new school year starts, so I think she enjoys spending time with other people.
    In the past at practice though, they have done "Olympic" type games just to have some fun in a relaxed but competitive evening.

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    I'm a fan Coach Fastpitch's Avatar
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    We are in the mid-west, 12A. Since we don't have hs to worry about yet, this year started January 4, 12 tourneys, 1 indoor, no league, through August 1. We go 2 weekends playing tourneys, 1 weekend off starting in May through August. We then take 3 weeks totally off in August after tryouts to let kids decompress, get started strong in school. Fall we play 4 tourneys, no league, practices run until Thanksgiving then we take 6 weeks off. We will play about 110 ball games in a year and spend another 160 hours in formal team practice time. Then the players spend another, depending on position, 50 to 100 hours a year working with hitting/pitching/catching coaches. We will travel/overnight, out of town 3 times this summer

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    Certified softball maniac MsDinosaur's Avatar
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    I think your fall break is good, but IMO you need a break in the summer. How about ending your TB season earlier in July, so the girls can have a week (or two) for family vacations, etc. before school/tryouts start?

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