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Thread: Voluntary Practice Held By Assistant Coach

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    I can talk softball all day chardrok's Avatar
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    It's the not informing you that I see as the red flag. I'd just ask them to keep you apprised of any "practices" they might be having, and what their plans or goals are. HC to AC is a really short communication chain, and there shouldn't be any unknowns happening. You never know if it's just someone taking initiative and making that extra effort without thinking, or if they're recruiting for their own purposes, or just trying to push one girl ahead of another on the roster. Also that jealousy monster could creep into your team chemistry if it's not being handled fairly and out in the open.

    I'm also curious.. Why one girl? Is she the best player or is she a girl that could use extra work on her game? Is this something to get individual practice time for each girl so it's maybe another girl next week. Or is this something that's going to build resentment among the players that don't

    Unfortunately, the grooming thing is real and a real concern for any organization. No one on one time with any coach and girl that's not their daughter. Keep multiple adults around at all times if you can. I've had a lot of training with a lot of different organizations on what to look for, and that's a biggie. One accusation or even suspicion, founded or unfounded and the damage to both sides is unrecoverable.

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    I can talk softball all day uncdrew's Avatar
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    As an AC of a 10U travel team, I hold voluntary practice sessions often. I post the time my DD and I will be at the field, what I'm working on with her, and invite the entire team to attend (via a chat function of the communication software we use). HC often comes with her DD, players come when they can.

    Open communication is always the best. The team should be on the same page with development of all the girls as the main goal (along with love of the game).

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  4. #13
    I can talk softball all day chardrok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncdrew View Post

    Open communication is always the best. The team should be on the same page with development of all the girls as the main goal (along with love of the game).
    ^^ This ^^

    If you're in a partnership with these guys, and you feel "suspicious," how do you think everyone else will feel?
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    Certified softball maniac FP26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chardrok View Post
    It's the not informing you that I see as the red flag. I'd just ask them to keep you apprised of any "practices" they might be having, and what their plans or goals are. HC to AC is a really short communication chain, and there shouldn't be any unknowns happening. You never know if it's just someone taking initiative and making that extra effort without thinking, or if they're recruiting for their own purposes, or just trying to push one girl ahead of another on the roster. Also that jealousy monster could creep into your team chemistry if it's not being handled fairly and out in the open.

    I'm also curious.. Why one girl? Is she the best player or is she a girl that could use extra work on her game? Is this something to get individual practice time for each girl so it's maybe another girl next week. Or is this something that's going to build resentment among the players that don't

    Unfortunately, the grooming thing is real and a real concern for any organization. No one on one time with any coach and girl that's not their daughter. Keep multiple adults around at all times if you can. I've had a lot of training with a lot of different organizations on what to look for, and that's a biggie. One accusation or even suspicion, founded or unfounded and the damage to both sides is unrecoverable.
    I agree with the grooming thing. How sad is it that this must be something we have to be concerned with, but it is real. My biggest challenge was when I was still a rec coach. There were some parents (two families in particular) that would drop off their daughters for practice and were nearly always late coming to pick them up. I would specifically provide a practice end time for all parents, and these two would consistently show up 30 to 45 minutes late. I typically asked my one assistant coach (female) to stay with us until these parents arrived, but there were times she had to leave. So it was down to DD, myself, and a player or two waiting for their parents to pick them up. The last thing I wanted to do was leave them alone at the field without someone looking after them, but it created an uncomfortable situation. As a hitting instructor, the younger students were typically brought to practice by an adult, and I always asked that adult to stay. It became a little more complicated when the players started driving themselves. At that point I only used public places for practice.
    "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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    I can talk softball all day Laphoneman's Avatar
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    I may get slaughtered for this. But to all HC’s out there what gives you the right. Your in charge of your team when your team is assembled as a team. As a parent I hold voluntary practice for teammates or anyone else that wants to improve on their game. I have never felt like I needed to ask the HC for their permission. If you are really that good of a coach no one would be able to steal your players. If AC is holding extra practice for players he obviously sees a need so why aren’t you trying to help also. (For anyone who might have problem with AC). I have had a HC ask me before why I didn’t tell him I was going to have a practice. 1 st off It’s none of his Buisness what I do with my DD. But what actually happened was I was looking for live batters for her pitching practice so I just posted on our team group message DD would be pitching at 5pm at Park if anyone wants to come hit. I never feel obligated to ask anyones permission to practice. If your scared of possible sexual predators at the ball field please stay with your players during practice.

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    Checking out the clubhouse codeman9's Avatar
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    The main reason Iíd like to know about extra practices as a head coach is because I would feel terrible if a player was injured for any reason. I plan practices and seasons so that kids donít get injured. If the kid is doing other things outside of my practices thatís fine, but Iíd like to know so that I donít push them too hard back to back and increase their risk of injury.


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    I can talk softball all day uncdrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laphoneman View Post
    I may get slaughtered for this. But to all HC’s out there what gives you the right. Your in charge of your team when your team is assembled as a team. As a parent I hold voluntary practice for teammates or anyone else that wants to improve on their game. I have never felt like I needed to ask the HC for their permission. If you are really that good of a coach no one would be able to steal your players. If AC is holding extra practice for players he obviously sees a need so why aren’t you trying to help also. (For anyone who might have problem with AC). I have had a HC ask me before why I didn’t tell him I was going to have a practice. 1 st off It’s none of his Buisness what I do with my DD. But what actually happened was I was looking for live batters for her pitching practice so I just posted on our team group message DD would be pitching at 5pm at Park if anyone wants to come hit. I never feel obligated to ask anyones permission to practice. If your scared of possible sexual predators at the ball field please stay with your players during practice.
    All we ask is that you communicate. It takes 20 seconds and it's the right thing to do. It shows the girls and parents that it's a cohesive coaching team that works together. It lets the coaches discuss weaknesses and areas to work on, share drill and practice strategies, etc. etc.

    And honestly, in the situation you describe you did communicate.

    You and your daughter -- you're expected to be working outside of team practices. She has a friend over and you work with them both, no biggie. But when it gets to be many girls it's best to check in. It's being a good coach, and keeping the HC in the loop. No one likes to be surprised by things like this.
    Last edited by uncdrew; 02-12-2019 at 01:13 PM.

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    Softball Junkie CoachJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laphoneman View Post
    I may get slaughtered for this. But to all HC’s out there what gives you the right. Your in charge of your team when your team is assembled as a team. As a parent I hold voluntary practice for teammates or anyone else that wants to improve on their game. I have never felt like I needed to ask the HC for their permission. If you are really that good of a coach no one would be able to steal your players. If AC is holding extra practice for players he obviously sees a need so why aren’t you trying to help also. (For anyone who might have problem with AC). I have had a HC ask me before why I didn’t tell him I was going to have a practice. 1 st off It’s none of his Buisness what I do with my DD. But what actually happened was I was looking for live batters for her pitching practice so I just posted on our team group message DD would be pitching at 5pm at Park if anyone wants to come hit. I never feel obligated to ask anyones permission to practice. If your scared of possible sexual predators at the ball field please stay with your players during practice.
    If you're gathering the team (or part of the team) and it's not your team, you should probably talk to the person who runs the team to make sure it's OK. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the biggest one is that you don't run the team, so you don't have the authority to just decide when the team practices.

    I'm going to assume you see the difference between practicing with your DD (and any friends who may be around) and organizing a secret practice for only a couple girls.

    Let's take the daughters out of it since that wasn't even mentioned in the OP.

    If one of our high school girls went up to one of our ACs on a day I'm not at the school and asked to work on X after school and the coach said sure and then another player joined her and they did a little private lesson, fine. I have no problem with that.

    If one of my ACs is messaging a handful of girls without my knowledge, organizing some kind of special practice that I and the rest of the team don't know about, then I have a problem with it. I don't necessarily have a problem with the workout. I have a problem with being shut out of what's going on with the team I run. I have a problem with certain girls apparently getting special treatment. And yes, I'd be suspicious about the whole situation.

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  12. #19
    I can talk softball all day chardrok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laphoneman View Post
    I may get slaughtered for this. But to all HC’s out there what gives you the right. Your in charge of your team when your team is assembled as a team. As a parent I hold voluntary practice for teammates or anyone else that wants to improve on their game. I have never felt like I needed to ask the HC for their permission. If you are really that good of a coach no one would be able to steal your players. If AC is holding extra practice for players he obviously sees a need so why aren’t you trying to help also. (For anyone who might have problem with AC). I have had a HC ask me before why I didn’t tell him I was going to have a practice. 1 st off It’s none of his Buisness what I do with my DD. But what actually happened was I was looking for live batters for her pitching practice so I just posted on our team group message DD would be pitching at 5pm at Park if anyone wants to come hit. I never feel obligated to ask anyones permission to practice. If your scared of possible sexual predators at the ball field please stay with your players during practice.
    Posting on the team message board as a parent where everyone can see it is communicating. It's non-communication that causes issues. It's not about begging permission.

    Often we have girls that are friends and practice together all the time. That type of thing doesn't bother me.

    Now an AC should be in touch with the HC about most things team related just to stay on the same page and so the HC is informed if questions come up.

    Being secretive only breeds bad emotions. People are by nature suspicious. Suspicion leads to fear. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to the dark side.

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    Jon in Texas

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