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Thread: The Moment of Truth

  1. #1
    Certified softball maniac BobInMadison's Avatar
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    Default The Moment of Truth

    Recently, DD 3 dropped what she thought was a bombshell on me, except I had known it for a long, long time.

    DD 3 told me she most likely won't play college ball. At that point she was feeling so burned out she was considering quitting softball.

    This didn't surprise me at all. DD 3 loves softball, but she isn't obsessed with softball. (Her brother is a college rower, and to call him obsessed would be an understatement. He eats, sleeps and breathes rowing). I could tell she didn't have anywhere near the level of commitment her brother has.

    Her options at this point:

    Quit softball

    Play softball, but realize she won't ever play college ball. That may mean going back to a B level team, or else staying with her A organization in a non-showcase team. (Where she is now).

    Play softball but quit pitching. She seems to be of two minds about it. Sometimes she really enjoys it, other times she hates it.


    My take on it?

    I asked all of my kids to at least try some sports in middle school and high school. See if they like it.

    My goal was for the kids to have some fun, and get some exercise.


    DD 3 over the years has tried ballet (fun, but not obsessed), swimming (meh), soccer (hated the game, loved the coaches and teammates), volleyball (fun, but not as much fun as softball), track (great at it, but same season as softball) and cross country (OK, but too much work for too little enjoyment). And softball, which she loves, and is good at.


    Thinking of herself as a possible future college player was just way too much stress for her. Softball is a game. It should be fun. If she plays at a level that IS fun for her, and gets some exercise, then isn't she doing what I wanted her to do in the first place? She doesn't need to try to live out someone else's expectations. That's not fun at all.

    Interestingly, since she told me that she wasn't going to play college ball, she seems to be enjoying softball a lot more. Maybe she will play the rest of her HS years, and have fun with it. She seemed truly happy the other day after practice.

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    Certified softball maniac FP26's Avatar
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    You should be very proud of her decision. And proud of yourself for raising her so that she is capable of making that type of decision. That said, I wouldn't close the book yet. There may still be another chapter left....
    "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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    Let her figure it out. The fact that she's enjoying the game again without the overhead of getting recruited should tell you something. Ask her why she doesn't want to play in college. Some girls are afraid of the process. Others don't get the early nibbles of others and back off to protect themselves from what they view as embarrassment. And some simply know they want to go another path.

    As an 18U coach myself, though, ask her to be very honest with her coaches and travel teammates if she decides to stay on. Some of my favorite players, and players that enjoyed their final run most of all, were girls that decided NOT to try to play in college but loved the game and team and played the string out to the final out. At the same time, some girls/families that we've been closest to and did the most for had no problem working through the winter to get ready for high school ball their senior and then quitting right before the summer season, leaving us short.

    I'm big on letting girls find their own paths. I'm also big on honoring commitments -- in both directions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichK View Post
    Let her figure it out. The fact that she's enjoying the game again without the overhead of getting recruited should tell you something. Ask her why she doesn't want to play in college. Some girls are afraid of the process. Others don't get the early nibbles of others and back off to protect themselves from what they view as embarrassment. And some simply know they want to go another path.

    As an 18U coach myself, though, ask her to be very honest with her coaches and travel teammates if she decides to stay on. Some of my favorite players, and players that enjoyed their final run most of all, were girls that decided NOT to try to play in college but loved the game and team and played the string out to the final out. At the same time, some girls/families that we've been closest to and did the most for had no problem working through the winter to get ready for high school ball their senior and then quitting right before the summer season, leaving us short.

    I'm big on letting girls find their own paths. I'm also big on honoring commitments -- in both directions.
    Some girls make that announcement and then change their minds. My oldest DD did just that.

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    Yes, there may be another chapter. She was feeling a lot of pressure because she wanted to play college ball, but wasn't putting the time into softball that college ball would require. I think she was really going overboard. Her original dream was to pitch for an Ivy League school, and to also be a pre-med. There are very, very, very few people in this world who could handle that. DS knows some people who are, or have been, Ivy League athletes. He said they had no life. From HS on, every waking moment was study or sports, sports or study. DD 3 wants to have the chance to hang out with friends, go to HS football and basketball games and dances.

    As for TB teams, we will decide that as we go along. She works harder than most of the girls in her old B team do, but I would like her to practice more if she stays with the A team. We agreed to take that as it comes. Much bigger commitment, time and $$$$$ for the higher level team. Her A level team's payment arrangements are that all the $$$$$ is paid up BEFORE the first summer tournament, just in case a girl decides to bail.

    My thoughts now -- if she is willing to put in a little more work than she is now, I would be happy to keep her on the A level team. If not, maybe she should drop down to a B level team. We don't have to make that decision until late July or early August, though.

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    She sounds a lot like my DD. She loved softball. Then she got burned out by playing too much, too much practice etc.Then she had spinal fusion and had to stop for a year. Came back as a first year 16U and played that summer. Played high school ball and likes it. This spring will be her senior year. She still likes playing, but the love of the game kind of fell off. She did not play at all this summer. I missed it a lot, and she had times that she did too. She decided a while back that she did not want to try to play in college. She has had a few inquiries from some coaches in the last couple of months, and has thought a little about trying, but not seriously. While I think that she likes the idea of playing, she doesn't want to put that kind of time requirment into it on top of all the classes too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobInMadison View Post
    Interestingly, since she told me that she wasn't going to play college ball, she seems to be enjoying softball a lot more. Maybe she will play the rest of her HS years, and have fun with it. She seemed truly happy the other day after practice.
    She might have been worried you would be disappointed in her, but your support lifted that weight off her shoulders and she's having fun again.
    Donít practice until you get it right. Practice until you canít get it wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobInMadison View Post
    Recently, DD 3 dropped what she thought was a bombshell on me, except I had known it for a long, long time.

    DD 3 told me she most likely won't play college ball. At that point she was feeling so burned out she was considering quitting softball.

    This didn't surprise me at all. DD 3 loves softball, but she isn't obsessed with softball. (Her brother is a college rower, and to call him obsessed would be an understatement. He eats, sleeps and breathes rowing). I could tell she didn't have anywhere near the level of commitment her brother has.

    Her options at this point:

    Quit softball

    Play softball, but realize she won't ever play college ball. That may mean going back to a B level team, or else staying with her A organization in a non-showcase team. (Where she is now).

    Play softball but quit pitching. She seems to be of two minds about it. Sometimes she really enjoys it, other times she hates it.


    My take on it?

    I asked all of my kids to at least try some sports in middle school and high school. See if they like it.

    My goal was for the kids to have some fun, and get some exercise.


    DD 3 over the years has tried ballet (fun, but not obsessed), swimming (meh), soccer (hated the game, loved the coaches and teammates), volleyball (fun, but not as much fun as softball), track (great at it, but same season as softball) and cross country (OK, but too much work for too little enjoyment). And softball, which she loves, and is good at.


    Thinking of herself as a possible future college player was just way too much stress for her. Softball is a game. It should be fun. If she plays at a level that IS fun for her, and gets some exercise, then isn't she doing what I wanted her to do in the first place? She doesn't need to try to live out someone else's expectations. That's not fun at all.

    Interestingly, since she told me that she wasn't going to play college ball, she seems to be enjoying softball a lot more. Maybe she will play the rest of her HS years, and have fun with it. She seemed truly happy the other day after practice.
    Bob, I coached a SS like this. She loved the game but did not want anything to do with college ball. When she finally told her parents, it was like she fell even more in love with the high school experience. With no pressure on her, her stats improved and she became the team leader I though she should have been earlier. I talked to her this past summer and, for her, she made the right choice. She made the decision before she started to hate the game.
    My opinions here are simply that, My Opinions. I'm an ex expert. I no longer care to have to be right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by #7sDad View Post
    She might have been worried you would be disappointed in her, but your support lifted that weight off her shoulders and she's having fun again.
    There might be more truth to that than either of us would ever admit.

    I never expected any of my kids to be very athletic, but most of them are. I was extremely clumsy as a kid, so I had a certain bias. I expected them to be average at best. My least athletic kid, my DD 2, tried cross country and was a little above average. That was about the range I expected for all of my kids.

    I think my DD 3 saw how well my DS has done in his college athletics -- far better than any of us ever imagined. I also think of how DD 1 was more of a rec league softball player, but she felt a lot of pressure when people told her she had a lot of talent, and could possibly even play D-I if she really put in the work. That pressure took a lot of the fun out of the game. I think I kept that in mind when DD 3 was considering quitting softball. I figured if the pressure were off, maybe she could have some fun.

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    Certified softball maniac BobInMadison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonball View Post
    Bob, I coached a SS like this. She loved the game but did not want anything to do with college ball. When she finally told her parents, it was like she fell even more in love with the high school experience. With no pressure on her, her stats improved and she became the team leader I though she should have been earlier. I talked to her this past summer and, for her, she made the right choice. She made the decision before she started to hate the game.
    Very encouraging, Cannonball.

    Thing is, DD 3 doesn't really know I've expected this for a long time. I hope she can enjoy her HS and TB more, without worrying whether she'll play in college.

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