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Thread: Parent Coaches

  1. #21
    Certified softball maniac FP26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grcsftbll View Post
    That's another thing - often the coaches' kids have been playing since they were 5, have spent hours and hours of free time at the field hitting and fielding (pitching or catching too maybe), and they have at least one parent taking it seriously. They're usually well rounded and know the game better than their peers at the younger levels. You can tell which girls have parents who put in the extra time, coaches or not. By nature, coaches are willing to put in that time so on average, at least through 12U, their kids are better than average, in my experience.
    I remember playing catch with my daughter when she was 5. At that time I could throw a tennis ball 20 to 25 feet in the air (straight up) and she would catch it. At 6 she did the 'tee ball' thing. Many of the other kids, including boys had difficulty catching the lightest toss. At an early age I taught DD one of my favorite games as a child. I would throw a ball onto our house roof and catch it when it came down. I did that for hours as a child and DD did it as well. If I had a $1 for every time I had to crawl on the roof and get balls out of the rain spouting...

    We would also watch a lot of baseball while she was growing up. And she was constantly asking questions; why? why? why? I would always do my best to explain the situation to her and why the team did what they did. This very quickly translated to the softball field. At the rec level there wasn't a single person on the team that understood the game in the same way that she did. That was one of the things that led her to travel ball. Other girls with the same desire that she had. But even then, few truly had the same level of understanding. Honestly, if PIAA tracked records for catching runners with "the look back rule", I'm quite sure DD would either hold the record or would be close.

    I have seen the same thing with my best friend's daughters (twins). He is a basketball coach, and even when they were young, they knew more about the sport than any other kids their age knew. They are now freshmen in high school. And while they may not be as big or fast as some of the older girls, it is very clear that they have a different presence on the basketball court than any other players on the team. It is obvious.

    Unfortunately, unless someone is involved in coaching or truly understands the sport, these are things the average person isn't going to notice. I remember when DD was pitching in rec ball. Most of the parents would always talk about one of DD's teammates and how great of a pitcher she was. Honestly, she had difficulty throwing strikes, and would typically walk at least half of the batters she faced. But she was 6 inches taller than any other player on the team and threw the ball hard for her age. The parents were blinded by this kid's size and speed. By freshman year in high school, she was no longer a pitcher, and by junior year in high school she didn't even play softball anymore.

    I want to thank everyone for allowing me to rant about this subject. I realize there is a lot of poor coaching out there and that many people have been impacted by the "daddy ball" situations. But I know there are also a lot of good coaches out there (parents or non-parents), that do the best they can to make it an enjoyable experience for all the players. They may not make the best or most popular decision in every single case. But they truly have the best interest of all players at heart. I see a lot of ranting about daddy ball in general and don't think some people realize how many actually do try to do the right thing. I also don't know of any solutions. My point for making this thread was just that. If we eliminated parent coaches completely from youth sports, most youth sports would die completely. Not many people are willing to volunteer their time in order to coach youth sports unless a family member or close friend is involved. And not many parents are willing to pay what good coaching is actually worth.
    "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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  3. #22
    I can talk softball all day fuzzy2651's Avatar
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    We're very lucky with the team our 12U DD is on now. Both the HC and AC have DD's on the team, the HC's DD is usually at 2nd, and AC's DD is the 3rd pitcher and splits time between SS and 2nd. HC's DD is probably the smallest girl on the team and usually bats in the bottom of the order. AC's DD is in the middle. Both coaches are Varsity HS coaches and bring a lot of knowledge to the table. The best part is that the two coaches actually coach against each other during the HS season, so it's funny when they mention the plays one or the other might have got them with.

  4. #23
    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    Again, generalizations. True sometimes, but certainly not always.
    We'll have to agree to disagree. I've been around softball for 40 years, and I've yet to see a Daddy coach penalize a player's PT for poor performance--heck, it is rare to even have non-Daddy coach penalize a player. They might move a kid up or down in the batting order, or sit the kid during a meaningless pool game. But, to actually demote the kid? Never. The starting SS on Day 1 is the starting SS on Day 100.

    Daddy coaches are indispensable. Most of them do a great job. But, they are what they are.

    Daddies don't give their players the "real athletic experience"--because the "real athletic experience" is brutal. I couldn't tell a 14YOA girl, "I'm sorry. It was a mistake to put you on this team. You can't play at this level. If you want to be on the team, fine. But, you aren't going to play." But, college coaches do it all the time...

    Whether a Daddy team is "good" or not isn't really the point. My point: a player whose only experience is playing for a warm and fuzzy Daddy team has no clue about how to compete.
    Last edited by sluggers; 12-07-2018 at 11:37 AM.
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  5. #24
    Checking out the clubhouse Momof3's Avatar
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    In my experience, the folllowing sports tend to not have parent coaches, they have either professional or semi-professional young coaches.
    These are individual sports:
    1. Swim (someone mentioned this)
    2. Tennis
    3. Running
    4. Golf
    All the teams sports around us trend towards more parent coaches: baseball, softball, hockey, flag football, lacrosse.
    My friend whose children play tennis cannot believe my stories about softball parent coaches but she also pays a lot more money for her kids to play tennis. The outcomes of tennis, swim, running, and golf are also much more objective. I think I would prefer my kids to play golf, tennis --some have some team aspects of course, and they do some of these, but my kids generally prefer the fun of team sports.
    Last edited by Momof3; 12-07-2018 at 11:37 AM.

  6. #25
    I can talk softball all day uncdrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grcsftbll View Post
    Again, generalizations. True sometimes, but certainly not always. Not even most of the time from my experience, both playing on teams with parent coaches and watching how other coaches do things particularly on higher level teams. Around here the big 3 in 12U all have parent coaches.
    We (parent coaches) certainly sit the weakest players the most, the best players never, and in elimination games field the best line-ups possible.

    But we do purposefully have a very thin roster (10 players) so there's not a ton of sitting. I'm quite glad we don't have 15 girls and then have to deal with more parent griping.

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  8. #26
    Softball Junkie Elk Grove Hurricane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    We'll have to agree to disagree. I've been around softball for 40 years, and I've yet to see a Daddy coach penalize a player's PT for poor performance--heck, it is rare to even have non-Daddy coach penalize a player. They might move a kid up or down in the batting order, or sit the kid during a meaningless pool game. But, to actually demote the kid? Never. The starting SS on Day 1 is the starting SS on Day 100.

    Daddy coaches are indispensable. Most of them do a great job. But, they are what they are.

    Daddies don't give their players the "real athletic experience"--because the "real athletic experience" is brutal. I couldn't tell a 14YOA girl, "I'm sorry. It was a mistake to put you on this team. You can't play at this level. If you want to be on the team, fine. But, you aren't going to play." But, college coaches do it all the time...

    Whether a Daddy team is "good" or not isn't really the point. My point: a player whose only experience is playing for a warm and fuzzy Daddy team has no clue about how to compete.
    There are parts of this that I agree, and parts I disagree. On our last travel team, nobody with any objectivity would have called our head coach warm and fuzzy. She was a former college player, with several older daughters who played, and she most certainly did play favorites who happened to be either her daughter, the assistant coaches daughters, or the one indispensable kid who spent every weekend with one of the asst. coaches families. The favoritism was obvious, as her DD played pitcher or first base despite not being able to throw strikes or catch anything thrown below her waist while at 1st, the 3B couldn't throw consistently to first, and the SS had her free hand on her hip while pitches were being thrown. The other kids played either right field, left field, or left out, got yelled at constantly, got about half the at bats as 1-6, etc. Did they learn to compete? Can't speak for everyone, but based on what I saw and heard they learned that no matter what they did, their PT wouldn't increase, so I think I agree with you on this point.
    Then we had the experience with the coaches who didn't have kids on the team. Keep in mind, most of the ones who claim to be non-parent coaches are being literally honest, but they don't tell you their niece, cousin, or another kid whom they could list as a dependent on their tax returns is on the team. The non-parent coaches aren't immune to the same issues. The kids who didn't have sisters that the organization wanted, or didn't have the size the coaches wanted, couldn't do anything on the field to increase their playing time. One kid was told she didn't play Sundays because she didn't hit. The kid then goes out and tears the cover off the ball on a Saturday and . . . you guessed it, sat all day on Sunday. A pitcher was told she couldn't pitch because the coach didn't want to see "barrels" (meaning the opponents were hitting too many balls off the barrel of her bat.) She goes out the next pool play game and shuts down a well respected team, losing 3-1 when three infield popups fall or get dropped, and earned . . . you guessed it, zero innings on Sunday, while the number 1 did what she typically does and walks 5 in 3 innings while giving up a few of her own "barrels." Did either of these kids learn to compete?Again, based on what I saw and heard, the answer is no.

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  10. #27
    Certified softball maniac GunnerShotgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    Daddies don't give their players the "real athletic experience"--because the "real athletic experience" is brutal. I couldn't tell a 14YOA girl, "I'm sorry. It was a mistake to put you on this team. You can't play at this level. If you want to be on the team, fine. But, you aren't going to play." But, college coaches do it all the time...

    Whether a Daddy team is "good" or not isn't really the point. My point: a player whose only experience is playing for a warm and fuzzy Daddy team has no clue about how to compete.

    That's absurd.

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  12. #28
    I can talk softball all day 55dad's Avatar
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    Well this thread certainly got some folks fired up.

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  13. #29
    I can talk softball all day Gags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post

    The problem is that it does not prepare kids for high level sports specifically and life generally.

    The main competition on professional, collegiate and good HS teams is between teammates, not with the opposing teams.

    At some point, players have to earn the right to be on the field or on the court during the games. Players do that by proving to the coach at practice and during the games that they are better than their teammates. It is a harsh reality...but there are only 9 spots on the field and there are 15 players on the team...
    Sluggers,

    Curious for your opinion of when earning playing time should start?

    I understand it at 14U and above, maybe 12U for competitive/ A-level teams.

    But 10U also? How do you learn the game if you never get to play the game?

    Thanks,

    Gags


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  14. #30
    Allergic to BS Strike2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    We'll have to agree to disagree. I've been around softball for 40 years, and I've yet to see a Daddy coach penalize a player's PT for poor performance--heck, it is rare to even have non-Daddy coach penalize a player. They might move a kid up or down in the batting order, or sit the kid during a meaningless pool game. But, to actually demote the kid? Never. The starting SS on Day 1 is the starting SS on Day 100.

    Daddy coaches are indispensable. Most of them do a great job. But, they are what they are.

    Daddies don't give their players the "real athletic experience"--because the "real athletic experience" is brutal. I couldn't tell a 14YOA girl, "I'm sorry. It was a mistake to put you on this team. You can't play at this level. If you want to be on the team, fine. But, you aren't going to play." But, college coaches do it all the time...

    Whether a Daddy team is "good" or not isn't really the point. My point: a player whose only experience is playing for a warm and fuzzy Daddy team has no clue about how to compete.
    'Daddies don't give their players the "real athletic experience"--because the "real athletic experience" is brutal' is a gross generalization. There are plenty of examples of players reaching the highest competitive levels in all sports who were coached by a parent. In youth FP, most teams are coached by some player's dad, even in the older age groups and at the highest competitive levels. Those kids feed the college rosters and many are successful, so the assertion that dad coaches don't produce kids capable of competing is demonstrably false.

    Most college and even many HS coaches can more easily demote a kid because there is a much deeper talent pool than a youth FP team. It's much easier to "demote" someone who is on a 20+ person roster compared to a group of twelve. That said, I've seen plenty of players benched and even cut on "Daddy" teams. Even on DD's current team, which is not "top tier", players certainly earn their time with flexibility and performance, and poor effort gets a player pulled. DD's HC doesn't hesitate to pull his own kid, even when the reason seems questionable to observers. However, unlike a college team, there aren't a dozen players ready and willing to fill the spot, so it's easier to get off the bench.

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