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Thread: Parent Coaches

  1. #51
    Softball Junkie Elk Grove Hurricane's Avatar
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    The number of travel teams and kids not staying in rec ball issue is not going to change any time soon. The day where kids played rec ball until they mastered softball skills is over, the teams still expecting this have to adapt or they're not going to survive. It's like arguing that players are leaving to early for the NBA. While probably true, it isn't going to change, and now it's the NBA coaches' jobs to teach fundamentals. Softball is no different, the market is there, the players are still entering the sport, now they need to be coached up with a lot more patience than was necessary in 2007.

  2. #52
    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FP26 View Post
    We have a ton of travel teams in our area. Some think it is too many, while others continue to build new ones. It was never an issue for us. When DD first started playing travel, it was for a local B level team. Each year the quality of the team continued to increase. We gradually went from a team that was winning half our games to one that was winning 75% to 80% of our games. We then started to spread our wings a bit. Played more A level tournaments. Traveled a bit further (PA, MD, NJ, Ohio, VA). It isn't that difficult to find competition that is similar in level. One of the biggest problems I see is coaches that choose not to do that. They either intentionally play weaker competition so that they can accumulate plastic trophies, or they overestimate their ability and get pounded every tournament. In my opinion neither option helps the players long term.
    I always find it interesting how the TB landscape is different across the country. In CA, all TB teams are "A", even the crappy ones. "B" and "C" are designations for rec leagues based on their size and their level of competition in all-stars. "A" teams cannot play in rec all-star tournaments. There are some A tournaments that draw bigger and stronger fields, and some that tend to be smaller and weaker, but generally we haven't seen a lot of cherry-picking by top-level teams in smaller events. The larger tournaments always tend to be a pretty wide range of very good to very bad teams.
    A TB parent's life...Drive. Write checks. Eat tacos.

  3. #53
    Certified softball maniac FP26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
    I always find it interesting how the TB landscape is different across the country. In CA, all TB teams are "A", even the crappy ones. "B" and "C" are designations for rec leagues based on their size and their level of competition in all-stars. "A" teams cannot play in rec all-star tournaments. There are some A tournaments that draw bigger and stronger fields, and some that tend to be smaller and weaker, but generally we haven't seen a lot of cherry-picking by top-level teams in smaller events. The larger tournaments always tend to be a pretty wide range of very good to very bad teams.
    I agree. The differences are interesting. In my area rec and travel are completely different entities. There is no relationship between the two. Most local rec leagues are actually run by Little League in Williamsport and they don't seem to have much of a taste for travel teams. DD's first travel team had players from 6 different rec teams. Our rec team had 3 girls that migrated to travel ball and they were able to go 15-1 in their last season of rec (12u). The team they lost to in the finals had 8 travel ball players. They were 16-0 on the season. There was one other team that was comparable to ours, with all other teams being extremely weak. DD realized that she needed to move to travel ball in order to play better competition. Rec was no longer fun for her.

    There seems to be very little regulation regarding travel teams. Most register ASA (USA now), but some strictly play USSSA. The coach chooses their letter designation (A or B, there are very few C teams that I am aware of). There doesn't seem to be any review of this. If a completely stacked team wants to register as B, there is nothing to stop them. I remember the very first tournament I was at. We registered as B because that seemed to be the standard. There was one lone C level team in our bracket and they used the word "Elite" in their name. I remember laughing at the time how an "Elite" team could be rated as "C" level, but rapidly learned that it was a trophy hunter. I do think the entire system would improve if there were more rules associated with that part of the process. But I'm not really sure how it would be policed, or if it is even possible. My goal was always to win over half of our games. If we were winning less than that, I believed we were playing above our grade. If we were winning more than that, I wanted to find higher competition. My final year at 18u was quite a challenge. The team has spent years playing at the B level and the parents were reluctant to move to A. That letter seemed intimidating to them, but I knew we were able to compete. I reluctantly kept the team registered as B but then scheduled mostly A level and open tournaments. We finished that year winning over 85% of our games against other B teams and over 60% of our games against A teams. By the time that summer was over, the parents understood what I was trying to accomplish and agreed with me. Now we are playing 23u where there are no levels. At this point there really isn't an A or a B. Every team we play is filled with college players.
    "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

  4. #54
    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FP26 View Post
    In my area rec and travel are completely different entities. There is no relationship between the two. Most local rec leagues are actually run by Little League in Williamsport and they don't seem to have much of a taste for travel teams.
    This is the same for So Cal, but the dominant rec org is ASA/USA. ASA/USA is almost non-existent in TB in our area, hosting a very few low-level tournaments, and every year their influence diminishes. Leagues generally look at TB as an adversary that steals their good players. New TB teams tend to be a group of players from one league (most often an all-star team). The longer a new team survives, is able to draw new players, and has decent success, the wider the dispersion of players across a large area.
    A TB parent's life...Drive. Write checks. Eat tacos.

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    Softball Junkie CoachJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    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...
    High school players are cut from teams all the time, but more than that, you seem to be arguing that players of all ages need to be treated the same and that's pretty obviously not true.

  7. #56
    Softball Junkie CoachJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FP26 View Post
    I remember the very first tournament I was at. We registered as B because that seemed to be the standard. There was one lone C level team in our bracket and they used the word "Elite" in their name. I remember laughing at the time how an "Elite" team could be rated as "C" level, but rapidly learned that it was a trophy hunter.
    Calling your softball team "Elite" is like a food being called "artisan."

    A local HS coach I know, former college player, and someone I enjoy dealing with, started an 18U travel team. They have Elite in their name. And I guarantee all of you could find a 12U team that would beat them by 20 runs. Her intentions are great as she's trying to build the sport in an area where very few grow up playing, and I don't begrudge her efforts. Just pointing out that the word "Elite" doesn't mean anything.

  8. #57
    Certified softball maniac FP26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachJD View Post
    Calling your softball team "Elite" is like a food being called "artisan."

    A local HS coach I know, former college player, and someone I enjoy dealing with, started an 18U travel team. They have Elite in their name. And I guarantee all of you could find a 12U team that would beat them by 20 runs. Her intentions are great as she's trying to build the sport in an area where very few grow up playing, and I don't begrudge her efforts. Just pointing out that the word "Elite" doesn't mean anything.
    Agreed. It was my very first tournament (7 years ago) so I found it ironic. What irritated me more was that they were actually a really good team (won that tournament) but registered as a C team. They beat an A team in the final.
    "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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  10. #58
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball grcsftbll's Avatar
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    DD went to travel in 8U and it was definitely time. She was 5 when she started rec (almost 6), and after getting a taste of all stars - we played over the summer between first and second year 8U, 4 tournaments - she was bored when we went back to rec. I don't even mind when lower level players play travel. Some girls may not be super awesome or experienced, but they love spending the day at the park, forming the kind of relationships with other players and with coaches that you don't really get in rec. At least not the way it is in our county, where coaches can only carry over 3 girls including their own daughter, and the rest are a draw, sometimes blind.

    In an ideal world the teams would all have roughly equal players (at least all on about the same level) and then divisions (A/B/C/all stars) would actually work. Everyone could play travel who wanted to, with the right level of competition. The A level players would play with other A level players against A level players, same for B and C. This is my dream. lol
    Softball Mom

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  12. #59
    Ex "Expert" Cannonball's Avatar
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    In some programs, the term "elite" denotes a different level within the organization. In the program my dd coaches in, they have "prospects," "elite," "Gold," ...
    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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    Certified softball maniac FP26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonball View Post
    In some programs, the term "elite" denotes a different level within the organization. In the program my dd coaches in, they have "prospects," "elite," "Gold," ...
    One team DD played for did it that way. They had one team at each level; 10u, 12u, 14u, 16u, and 18u. Then they took the best players from the 18u and 16u teams that had college aspirations, and called them "Elite" and only played in showcase tournaments. It was that team that helped DD 'believe' that she could play in college one day. It had been her dream, and I always knew it was possible. But actually hearing it from college coaches seemed to make her believe it more than hearing it from dad...
    "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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