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Thread: Pre-game plate meeting advice requested...

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    I can talk softball all day stephanie's Avatar
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    Default Pre-game plate meeting advice requested...

    I'll try to be brief.
    I missed a game with my DD, who had a migraine. She would've pitched the game.
    The other team came to the game with an attitude and the desire to win, at all cost! It was incredibly ugly. Parents were taunting my kids; players were taunting my kids; coaches were silently idle, unless they were screaming at each other between 1st and 3rd while my girls were in the field.
    I can't tell you the number of texts I was getting at home.
    My parents were more in shock than anything, and didn't know how to handle it...my assistant coaches were dumbfounded by the lack of sportsmanship. Umpires were mute.
    Friendships were ruined over this game!
    This is 10U.
    Rec.

    We play this team Friday in the tournament.
    My parents have had time to get over the shock, and they are P-O'ed!!! This could get UGLY.
    I am telling all my parents at the first game that I expect them to be on their best behavior. Here' s my question..

    How would you guys handle the pre-game meeting at the plate with the other coach and the umps?
    I hate to even shake his hand, although I am better than this, so I will...emotions are pretty elevated over that last game.
    I need advice.
    Thanks!

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    Certified softball maniac CoachKevin's Avatar
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    My advise to you would be to prepare your team to beat them on the field. Nothing shuts up the other team quicker than when you can jump on them and score runs right away, then shut them down.

    As far as the pre-game meeting.... Smile, shake hands, go back to the dugout.

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    Checking out the clubhouse jlambert's Avatar
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    you can't control what other teams do or act like... however you can stress to the parents that you all represent your team and remind them to be the more respectfull team and crowd. i have found that umpires do notice when your team and fans conuct themselves in a good manner. use that team as an example to your team on how NOT to act. good sportsmanship is not an option on my field or in my crowd... the girls will carry that with them anywhere they go... Coach Kevin sounds like he has the right idea... be the bigger person and play ball.

    good luck,

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    I can talk softball all day 2 DD Coach's Avatar
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    I hope you can take this the right way... You had parents in the stands taunting your 10yo players at a rec game, and no one on your staff saw the need to stop the game and address this with the umpire? Sportsmanship is paramount for me also, but I'm not teaching my girls to be doormats and get walked all over in the name of it. We have a code of conduct for players, coaches, and parents, and it is strictly enforced for this reason.

    If this situation was as bad as your post indicates, I would make sure to inform your board before you meet again on friday. It sounds like if this were to get any uglier then it already has, physical altercations are a real possibility. The board needs to be made aware of this possibility, and be given the chance to deal with it. It's amazing what the presence of the Head Umpire standing behind the backstop during a game can do to change the actions of coaches, parents and players.
    TEAMWORK is a bunch of people working together to do what I say.

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    Super Moderator Amy in AZ.'s Avatar
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    I have been there, done that. After our first run in and my own DD getting into it with the other team :{ , everyone in the league refused to play the instigators.
    You can only take so much. From the first slur, you need to stop the game and ask that the ump control the situation.

    Hopefully, you will have adult umpires, as I recall we had teenagers.

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    Certified softball maniac SoftSocDad's Avatar
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    Going to have to agree with all the advice here.

    Obviously, the problem is that you couldn't be there to handle that stuff the moment it began crossing the line, but since you will be there this weekend, you know what could ensue. Prepare to win the game, yes, but also be prepared to deal properly with any potential crowd issues.

    Are your umpires teenagers or adults?

    Our team's parents always cheered good plays by opposing teams and with just a few (albeit notable) exceptions, the opposing team's coaches always cheered and encouraged our players. Getting approval from your own coach is one thing, but receiving kind words from the other coaches was a real treat for our girls. Our league may not have the quality of play that others have, but there have been some outstanding examples of good sportsmanship...mixed in with the bad, of course.

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    Certified softball maniac SoftSocDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy in AZ. View Post
    I have been there, done that. After our first run in and my own DD getting into it with the other team :{ , everyone in the league refused to play the instigators.
    You can only take so much. From the first slur, you need to stop the game and ask that the ump control the situation.

    Hopefully, you will have adult umpires, as I recall we had teenagers.
    Yeah, with age groups that young, we have teen umpires as well, so they're not really equipped to handle any off-field issues.

    If I were in a coaching position and this was going on during an 8u/10u or even 12u game, I'd pull my team off the field immediately.

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    I can talk softball all day Rambler34's Avatar
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    We had a similar situation last summer in all stars. We were playing a team made up of three that both of my parks teams had handled during the regular season. We had beaten them a couple of times in all stars and we were in a tight game for a tourney championship at their park. Their fans were getting loud and had started cheering when our girls struck out. Keep in mind this is 6U coach pitch and they get 5 pitches to put it in play. Then one of the parents started yelling every time one of our girls was about to swing. It would almost make them jump out of the box.

    We shut them up. All it took was a couple of girls smoking the ball and then the entire team started ripping it. Coach Kevin was right. After batting around two straight innings and scoring 14 runs they did not have much to say. Beat them again the next week for the area championship.

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    I can talk softball all day druer's Avatar
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    You demonstrate the behavior you want to teach your players and your teams parents. PERIOD!!!!

    No getting even.
    No figuring out how to make it clear you are ticked off but wearing a smile.
    No being a hypocrite and shaking hands while holding a grudge.

    Forgive them in your heart for your own benefit and the benefit or your players who's spirits have been entrusted to you. Doesn't matter what others do, you are solely responsible for the 6" between your ears.

    Talk to your parents before the game ever arrives and let them know that your team isn't going to be like that. These are 10 year old girls with 10 year old feelings and that you won't tolerate any nonsense from them yelling back or yelling at the other teams players trying to upset them. They are either there like grandparents cheering your players on only, or you will bench their daughter or send them home.

    Then you set goals for what you want your players/team to ahieve and go out and pursue those goals.

    Lastly, have fun ... these are 9 and 10 year old girls.

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    Certified softball maniac Lozza's Avatar
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    If I were in a coaching position and this was going on during an 8u/10u or even 12u game, I'd pull my team off the field immediately.
    I've had a U16 game stopped because of behaviour like this. Our parents refused to let us be subject to what was being yelled. (it was at a State tournament and insinuations were being made about our virtue. Real nasty stuff. Half the team was in tears before one of the dads called time and ordered us off the field)

    I would request that the head umpire be either on plate or at the game. Explain what happened before and show them some of the texts. Make them aware this is purely a precaution. I don't think there is anything you can do at the plate meeting.

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