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Thread: how to open mind assess your DD ability ?

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    Checking out the clubhouse hacksaw's Avatar
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    Default how to open mind assess your DD ability ?

    seriously. my older girl is a 15u playing on a 18u showcase team. on a team of same aged girls, she is usually the best or close to it , player on the team. including high school where she started as a freshman. she is currently playing 3rd base but is more normally a ss. we have been attending open camps . my kid is very athletic 5-5 and 120 or so pounds. most of the top 3rd basemen seem to be more the typical 1b/3b type than my kid. my DD has a good arm and is quite quick. she is actually a better SS than a 3b where she can be all over the field. but my question is, how does one actually evaluate ones own kid in comparison to other kids that maybe competing against her for scholie money? i don't really know how to phrase the question .

    i will try. my DD is good. runs great, hits, whatever. she can play SS for most any , say 16u team and likely most high schools. can she play D1 college? or, is she better off staying at 3rd and trying to buck the stereo type ?

    in camps she usually looks good. but so do a dozen other kids. where she stands out is in games. playing SS for her last years team, she generated lots of interest from coaches and parents and even umpires. amazing things happen when she is out there. but she got cut from that team as most of that squad moved up to 18u. she was also one of two top hitters. (they cut that other hitter as well whom was also the best outfielder) so now she is back at third base for her new team. what it boils down to , i am trying to make a realistic judgement as to how far my kid can go in softball. without prejudice. bias or whatever. i have another girl coming up in a couple of years as well and my family resources are limited.

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    Checking out the clubhouse hacksaw's Avatar
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    here is another kind of related question. would anyone want to be the best player on a mediocre team? or be a sub for a top rated national team?

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    I don't think I'm capable of it. I've even told DH if he wants to criticize DD to talk to his assistant coaches because I realize he's probably right but I can't help but defend her. Finally this weekend with her hitting I admitted ok, her swing kind of looks like crap right now. He's been saying it for weeks as I argued that her swing was fine and she just had a bad day. haha
    Softball Mom

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    I would ask her coach for an honest assessment. College coaches recruit athletes who can hit. It really does not matter if she plays SS or 3B.
    "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times" ~Bruce Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by hacksaw View Post
    seriously. my older girl is a 15u playing on a 18u showcase team. on a team of same aged girls, she is usually the best or close to it , player on the team. including high school where she started as a freshman. she is currently playing 3rd base but is more normally a ss. we have been attending open camps . my kid is very athletic 5-5 and 120 or so pounds. most of the top 3rd basemen seem to be more the typical 1b/3b type than my kid. my DD has a good arm and is quite quick. she is actually a better SS than a 3b where she can be all over the field. but my question is, how does one actually evaluate ones own kid in comparison to other kids that maybe competing against her for scholie money? i don't really know how to phrase the question .

    i will try. my DD is good. runs great, hits, whatever. she can play SS for most any , say 16u team and likely most high schools. can she play D1 college? or, is she better off staying at 3rd and trying to buck the stereo type ?

    in camps she usually looks good. but so do a dozen other kids. where she stands out is in games. playing SS for her last years team, she generated lots of interest from coaches and parents and even umpires. amazing things happen when she is out there. but she got cut from that team as most of that squad moved up to 18u. she was also one of two top hitters. (they cut that other hitter as well whom was also the best outfielder) so now she is back at third base for her new team. what it boils down to , i am trying to make a realistic judgement as to how far my kid can go in softball. without prejudice. bias or whatever. i have another girl coming up in a couple of years as well and my family resources are limited.
    Few things to consider:

    What she did/does in High School is irrelevant since that is basically rec ball with an abundance of team spirit. 98.62% of all college coaches could care less about High School ball. The question is how does she do when compared to others her age who are seeking college scholarships? If you want to lose all credibility during the recruiting process crow about her accomplishments in High School.

    Statistically speaking she will probably not play SS in college, where many of the players on the team were stud short stops back in the day. With the exception of pitchers and to a lesser degree catchers, most kids will play a different position in college. At 5-5 she is on the low end for SS. Expand her horizons and have her also learn to play on the green portion of the field.

    She can most certainly play D1 as the size and funding of a program does not equate to high quality. If playing D1 is important to you for bragging rights back home while tipping some cold ones then I am sure you find a D1 program that will pay her to play ball. Suggest you focus on finding her the best program given her skills and look beyond D1, D2, etc. FWIW one of the smallest JUCOS in the nation is Chiploa College in Marianna FL. So far in the fall they have wins against Mississippi State, FSU, and a few other "D1" programs. They were beating LSU until the last inning and lost by one run. It is not the size of the dog in the fight it is the size of the fight in the dog. Find a program that absolutely loves your kid, not one where she is just part of the pack.

    As @JAD mentioned it is all about hitting. If she can hit that is what matters. Her abilities on defense are gravy. Even if she is a great SS in TB she will need to learn to play the position in college. If she can hit they will find a spot for her. If she can't it hit her abilities with her glove do not mean much. Biggest mistake you can make is developing her as a SS/3B. As I said earlier she better learn to play outfield since all things equal if she is competing with another player the kid who plays 5 positions wins every time over the one who only plays 2.

    Finally understand that what she can do now is not as important as to how she projects as a player in the future. She can be all that an a bag of chips in TB but if a college coach does not see a player that can develop into a college player who can help their program in the future, they have no use for her.

    One of the smartest things you can do is get her to straight up ask college coaches where they see her playing. Coaches talk to each other quite a bit. And if she is not top 10 material they may know of a program that is a perfect fit. I know of several kids who found out they were not SEC players and then found great homes in other programs through the help of coaches in their previous program.
    Last edited by riseball; 11-14-2017 at 10:31 AM.

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    Pure gold:
    Find a program that absolutely loves your kid, not one where she is just part of the pack.
    Realistically:

    Your DD hasn't been recruited yet. Therefore, she is not one of the top players at her age level in the country. This does not mean she isn't a good softball player...she just isn't one of the best. (My DD wasn't either.)

    You need to have a realistic talk with your DD about softball.
    1) Does she want to play college softball? There are, believe it or not, some talented kids who say "Its been fun, but its not been real fun" and hang up the cleats at the end of HS.
    2) She isn't going to play for Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma or UCLA. Not very many people do. Get over it.
    3) When her softball career is over, she has to find a job. What does she want to do after college? (You always have to take this with a grain of salt...she is 15YOA, after all. But, she needs to start thinking about this.)
    4) What are her goals as to softball and life? Some kids are remarkably focused on life after softball. They see softball as simply a fun activity while they get their college diploma. Other kids are head over heals in love with the game.
    5) There is a difference between *PLAYING* and sitting. At some schools, your DD is going to sit the bench and watch someone else play for 2 or 3 years. At other schools, she will start playing from Day 1. What does your DD want to do?


    Then, you need to start looking at the options...

    1) You have to go out and sell your DD. No one is is going to come to your door with a pile of money. You have to go out and make contacts with the coaches.
    2) D2, D3 and JUCO schools. I had 2 DDs play sports in college. DD#1 played on a very good juco team, and then had a good career playing on a D1 team. DD#3 played on a D3 team. Ten+ years later, and both are still very happy with where they played...different people and different goals. What was right for DD#1 would not have been right for DD#3.
    3) Start visiting schools. Get an idea of what your DD wants.
    4) Your DD really has to get involved with this process.
    Last edited by sluggers; 11-14-2017 at 11:49 AM.
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    Lots of great advice given above and I know it's not necessarily pertinent to OP's title and question but it still remains relevant since their DD is of that age. I would like to add a few things.

    #1 Your DD is in her Sophomore year I'm assuming. Now is the time for her to start taking charge of her own collegiate future whether she wants to play in college or not.

    #2 She needs to start looking now. She needs to figure out a geographical area she wants to stay within whether its an hour and half drive of home or a 4 hour flight.

    #3 Select 20 colleges within that geographical area and visit them if possible personally. If not personally, many college websites offer virtual tours. Cross them off as your DD gets a feel for the type of college campus she likes as well as the size of the campus and student body. Once this is determined, open the number back up to 20 or so colleges and visit them as well if possible.

    #4 As your DD decides on the several things she might want to study, and if she wants to play college ball, start contacting the college coaches giving them her TB itinerary and make sure she attends their college camps. Yes, a majority of them are fundraisers but have your DD make sure to go up to the HC at the end if possible, introduce herself and thank them for a wonderful camp or clinic. A few days later, have her send a handwritten letter thanking them again and mentioning how much she enjoyed herself as well as how much she learned. A handwritten letter will usually garner the time of reading it as opposed to the 1 second of pushing the delete button of an email. Most importantly, don't discount the other colleges on the list unless DD has made the decision that she absolutely doesn't want to go there. Have DD continue to keep constant contact with those college coaches as well. If doesn't want to play at the collegiate level, still keep them on the list since your DD will probably switch career choices 5 times or more between now and the time she graduates.

    #5 Make sure that the level of play is commensurate with the level of her degree. By that I mean, many D1's will put sports first if they're helping to pay the way. I personally know several of my players that went D1 and no longer play due to them having a very demanding major such as pre-med. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, just that few students have that type of time management skills as Freshman and many struggle. This is also true of all levels of the collegiate softball world no matter the level of play whether D1, DII, DIII and NAIA; many Freshman struggle which is why most of the DI's and DII's offer superior tutorial programs, required study times etc, etc, That said, from our experience, most Major and Mid-Major D1's were sports first if they were supplying funding. The smaller D1's were split about 50/50 among the coaches between sports and academics first that offered DD as well as the DII's. DIII's aren't allowed to offer Athletic Scholarships but many did offer my DD substantial Academic scholarship money to attend and hopefully, play. However, the Academic Scholarships were only enough to make them comparable to the DI's and DII's that were chasing my DD if she had to pay full price to attend. i.e. the largest offer she received from a DIII was $22,000 a year. The tuition was 50K. The DII college my DD is attending now is 28K as an out-of state student including room and board after a $2500 Academic Scholarship and it was her absolute first choice.

    #6 DD chose the college for her major first, the campus second and the size last. The college's reputation for that major, which is in the top 10 in the country for that program, which is why she chose it and For her, playing SB was a bonus.

    Just something to look at over the next few years.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by YOCOACH; 11-15-2017 at 06:31 AM.
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    I would also like to add a message emphasizing @sluggers post about girls REALLY wanting to play in college. A lot of girls love playing TB when they practice once a week for a couple of hours and play games every other weekend. When your DD plays softball in college it is 3+ hour/day EVERY DAY. It is a grind - DD was lucky in that she got a taste of the grind playing HS ball. When you factor in that most players are on fractional scholarships, your DD really needs to LOVE playing for her to stick with it.
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    Playing softball in college is not an activity, it is a lifestyle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YOCOACH View Post
    Lots of great advice given above and I know it's not necessarily pertinent to OP's title and question but it still remains relevant since their DD is of that age. I would like to add a few things.

    #1 Your DD is in her Sophomore year I'm assuming. Now is the time for her to start taking charge of her own collegiate future whether she wants to play in college or not.

    #2 She needs to start looking now. She needs to figure out a geographical area she wants to stay within whether its an hour and half drive of home or a 4 hour flight.

    #3 Select 20 colleges within that geographical area and visit them if possible personally. If not personally, many college websites offer virtual tours. Cross them off as your DD gets a feel for the type of college campus she likes as well as the size of the campus and student body. Once this is determined, open the number back up to 20 or so colleges and visit them as well if possible.

    #4 As your DD decides on the several things she might want to study, and if she wants to play college ball, start contacting the college coaches giving them her TB itinerary and make sure she attends their college camps. Yes, a majority of them are fundraisers but have your DD make sure to go up to the HC at the end if possible, introduce herself and thank them for a wonderful camp or clinic. A few days later, have her send a handwritten letter thanking them again and mentioning how much she enjoyed herself as well as how much she learned. A handwritten letter will usually garner the time of reading it as opposed to the 1 second of pushing the delete button of an email. Most importantly, don't discount the other colleges on the list unless DD has made the decision that she absolutely doesn't want to go there. Have DD continue to keep constant contact with those college coaches as well. If doesn't want to play at the collegiate level, still keep them on the list since your DD will probably switch career choices 5 times or more between now and the time she graduates.

    #5 Make sure that the level of play is commensurate with the level of her degree. By that I mean, many D1's will put sports first if they're helping to pay the way. I personally know several of my players that went D1 and no longer play due to them having a very demanding major such as pre-med. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, just that few students have that type of time management skills as Freshman and many struggle. This is also true of all levels of the collegiate softball world no matter the level of play whether D1, DII, DIII and NAIA; many Freshman struggle which is why most of the DI's and DII's offer superior tutorial programs, required study times etc, etc, That said, from our experience, most Major and Mid-Major D1's were sports first if they were supplying funding. The smaller D1's were split about 50/50 among the coaches between sports and academics first that offered DD as well as the DII's. DIII's aren't allowed to offer Athletic Scholarships but many did offer my DD substantial Academic scholarship money to attend and hopefully, play. However, the Academic Scholarships were only enough to make them comparable to the DI's and DII's that were chasing my DD if she had to pay full price to attend. i.e. the largest offer she received from a DIII was $22,000 a year. The tuition was 50K. The DII college my DD is attending now is 28K as an out-of state student including room and board after a $2500 Academic Scholarship and it was her absolute first choice.

    #6 DD chose the college for her major first, the campus second and the size last. The college's reputation for that major, which is in the top 10 in the country for that program, which is why she chose it and For her, playing SB was a bonus.

    Just something to look at over the next few years.

    Good Luck!
    Love your first four points. Great advice!

    I’m sure there are D1’s that just want to win and encourage their kids to major in basket weaving. My experience with D1 softball and majors has been vastly different. Not just with DD, but with others she knows playing from mid-major D1’s to the SEC. Coaches were up front about how much work and dedication is involved for certain majors. None were told they can’t have a specific major. The only thing DD was told she couldn’t do is the study abroad program. She’s played for three different coaches now and ALL stressed academics first. In fall especially it’s common for girls to miss practice and even some games because they were in class. If kids get caught skipping class the punishments are severe. I’ve see it range from “motivational workouts” for the entire team to players being suspended. We had a girl get cut last year in part for skipping class and she was possibly the most athletic girl on the team.

    I agree completely about freshman struggling with time management and being overwhelmed at the demands of playing softball and keeping up with their classes. TBH I’ve been rather shocked at how many drop softball after a year or transfer to less rigorous academic/softball schools. As you and others have alluded to, girls really need to know what they’re getting into and decide if college softball is for them. The benefits and rewards are incredible. It’s definitely not the typical “college experience” that most kids think of though.
    Relax and enjoy the ride

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