To the OP...I've been coaching 16 years now. I can tell you that what you are saying is true of approximately 50% of most TB parents, if not a little more. I would say, if that's the way you feel, then it may be time to cut your losses and quit while you're ahead. Teams with teammates that feel as if they are family, have a much better chance of winning games because they feel that they don't want to let their "family" down. Teams that feel as if they're family will give more as a general rule when it comes down to the final innings and losing. Teams that feel like family will pull out wins that they had no business pulling out but still managed to do so.
There is no I in the word team and those very same teams that have individual players only playing for themselves as opposed to a team or family, often lose games they absolutely should have won if they had the extra incentive of team or family to win for. That's why we do what we do. If you disagree, that's fine. Just realize, I, personally, would rather have a lesser team player to "coach up," than a player that doesn't want to participate in team bonding exercises. Most college coaches I know would agree with this.
Just 3 weeks ago, before college finals, DD's college coach sat all 24 players at a family Christmas style dinner. He then tied their hands together and said eat! They had to figure out how to eat a meal while all of their hands were tied to their teammates on either side. In other words, their left hand was tied to their partner on the left and the right to their teammate on the right. It's an annual thing but just one of many team building exercises throughout the year that he does with them. If college coaches recognize the need for team camaraderie why are you fighting it?
Last edited by YOCOACH; 12-29-2018 at 08:56 AM."Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."~ Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
I've always found it very cool how softball bonds people from all walks of life. We have a very diverse team right now in terms of race/ethnicity, socio-economic level, geography and (probably) political orientation (although I would never talk politics/religion with teammates' parents). And, here in the South, it's also a big deal that we can have parents with loyalties to different SEC football teams as well! I think it's kind of special how 14 sets of parents with seemingly little in common other than softball can bond the way we do (not just our team, this happens on many teams). Parents look out for each other's kids, especially on trips when maybe some parents have to work and can't come. We will feed an extra kid if she doesn't have money for concessions or is out of water, we will provide first aid if the family doesn't have Band-Aids/Tylenol/ice/whatever, and we will cheer for ALL the girls on our team, not just our own. Our team's motto is We>Me, and I think it's such an important life lesson for the girls. I am an introvert too and understand the discomfort of socializing with unfamiliar people, but I'm happy to do it for my kid's sake and for the sake of team unity.
DD has celiac, severs, migraines, she is a mess. Anyone want a 17u Dd?
Teammates will bring stuff sometimes, cupcakes, they airways go out their way to take care of her..
So nice, they need to go out of their way for her.
So, I see a few different opinions here. Let me throw this out and ask a question. How does this "family" work when a large percentage of girls move to different teams every few years?
I've mentioned it a few times, but my family is pretty much made up of introverts. We want to be with each other. Family time is near "Holy" to us. Our best friends are few and far between, the rest are "acquaintances". My daughter can really only call one girl on the team somewhat of a "friend". She doesn't want to be around any of the other girls, outside of practices or games, period. She tried once on a traveling weekend. She got excited when they wanted to go to the weight room. Once in there, they all wanted to post selfies to instagram and complain about their bodies. That was it. She knew they were nothing like her so she never tried again. We do not attend "team outings". That being said, when it's practice and game time she's 100% GO. The team knows her strengths and she theirs. They work together in their positions well. I believe they won around 70% of their games in the spring and fall season. So that being said, is my daughter and our team wrong?
Now, let me loop back in that first point. In the spring season the team had 9 girls. However, they were a part of a very strong org in the state. Only strong teams were ever asked to be a part of the org. If you played a team from this org, you knew you were in for a fight even if you had never seen them before. After the spring season was over, our #1 pitcher left. Every other stayed. My DD didn't leave. We picked up a few new girls, but no strong pitchers. The team was very strong on athletes, weak on pitching. After the fall season was over, we had lots of girls wanting to be on the team. Going into next spring, we're at 14 players with two new very strong pitchers. Those 8, including my DD, still remain. Why is my DD able to make it work without being "family"?
Because, IMO, just like the term friends there are different definitions of "family". You alluded to your friends as best friends and acquaintances but I would submit to you that many people would simply lump them together under the term friends even though they think of them in the terms you described. I know I do.
Believe it or not, my family and I are the same way as you and yours. Our family time is extremely important to us. Our best friends are few and everyone else I would term acquaintances. However, during a discussion, when bringing up an acquaintance, I would say something along the lines of, 'I have a friend who's a mechanic. You might want to give him a call.' And not call him an acquaintance.
I think the term "family" is the same way. There are different types of families out there. My family on my Mother's side is all Italian. We are all extremely close but live roughly an hour and a half away. We do everything we can together as often as possible which is usually 5-6 major get togethers throughout the year and we visit individually with a cousins family usually once or twice a month. OTOH, my wife is Korean by nationality (born in the states but parents came over from Seoul fleeing the war in the 50's) and their are 4 brothers on her Dad's side. Up until 5 years ago when DW started setting up Family reunions for the family, the only time they would see each other is at weddings or funerals. The first family reunion was the first time in 14 years that the 4 brothers had been together as a family. When they got together, you'd think that they'd never been apart. They picked right up where they left off.
There are teams that do everything together from the time they start in August until the time they end their season in July. Then there are teams such as yours, that do it differently. Again, I would submit to you that both could be considered family. Learning each others strengths and weaknesses, learning the trust implicit in making the team a success, i.e. making a throw when no one is covering the base but making it anyway because they knew the SS was on her way and trusting she would get there in time, wanting everyone to hit well, rooting for each other, etc. etc., is what we used to call a team. Now, just like the English language is changing (i.e. pleaded instead of using the word pled) many of the definitions of traditional words are being expanded.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."~ Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
You spend SO much time on the field with travel softball that the family feel they keep talking about can either keep you on a team or have you running for the hills.
One of our biggest regrets was leaving a team where the girls and families were all great. However, we wanted a higher level competition and more training.
When we moved to a more competitive team, we missed the camaraderie we had shared. There were no arguments or problems, but we never felt part of the team. We left at the end of the season.
In my attempts to expose my daughter to a higher level game, I inadvertently ruined the love and joy of the game for her
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My DD's current 12U team has great parents, a great group of girls, and I really hope a majority, if not all, come back next year. We hang out, drink a few beers, and there's no drama, divas, or anyone that's a giant PITA. I'm hoping this year never ends, but sadly it's already halfway over...