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8u players

Jun 2, 2019
4
1
Tennessee
Do any other 8u coaches struggle evaluating potential? Does anybody have any tips?
Last year was our first year and we ended up being very successful. It was rough at first but we ended being one of the better teams in our area. I look at where we ended up vs what we have coming in and there is an obvious gap. Now part of that is these girls being young and not having the reps, maybe some are just getting into softball. Our previous team having 7-9 months worth of practices and 50 games to work on things.I would love to think it’s all a credit to coaching but im not that arrogant. We ended up light years ahead of where we started. I’m having a hard time with whether to take girls or not. I don’t want to be too picky but I don’t want to cut us short if we can get some better talent. Which is another issue at times, is just simply finding girls at this age group.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 
Oct 4, 2018
905
63
We look for general athleticism at that young age. And focus/desire/hustle.

Our 8U team got better in part because they had fun and were friends. I'd try to keep that best you can at this age.
 
Mar 22, 2016
304
43
Southern California
Do any other 8u coaches struggle evaluating potential? Does anybody have any tips?
Last year was our first year and we ended up being very successful. It was rough at first but we ended being one of the better teams in our area. I look at where we ended up vs what we have coming in and there is an obvious gap. Now part of that is these girls being young and not having the reps, maybe some are just getting into softball. Our previous team having 7-9 months worth of practices and 50 games to work on things.I would love to think it’s all a credit to coaching but im not that arrogant. We ended up light years ahead of where we started. I’m having a hard time with whether to take girls or not. I don’t want to be too picky but I don’t want to cut us short if we can get some better talent. Which is another issue at times, is just simply finding girls at this age group.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Is this a travel team, or a team with little roster change over? Or is it rec where rosters change every spring/fall?
 
Jun 2, 2019
4
1
Tennessee
Travel team, my daughter was only 6 so I have another 2 years. I have 3 returning girls. I’ve got 7 girls right now and I plan on having 11 total. It’s very hit and miss on getting girls to come tryout. It’s been a little better this year now but not great.
 
May 6, 2015
1,113
63
what is your plan, to have DD play 8u until she ages to 10u, or to have her play up at 10u as well. I would keep an eye on the birth year of my players, because when it is time for DD to move up, you do not want to have the dilemma of a team full of girls moving up not ready, or leaving a large number behind and starting over.
 
Jun 2, 2019
4
1
Tennessee
The plan is to keep her here until she ages up to 10u. I lost most of my team to 10u this year. I’ve got 4 girls that I’ll have for the next 2 years. I’m not too worried if I end up with a roster full of 2012’s. If we had to take some L’s early we can work through that. I’d actually love to have a group I could keep together for years to come.
I just don’t know where to draw that line as far as this girl is good or not and trying to factor in how much they’ll grow over a season. I’m not overly concerned with wins and having to be championship A level team but if your not at least competitive you know how long and frustrating of a season that becomes.
I also find it hard to get girls. I’ve talked to dozens of parents and it’s always well they do this or that, and it seems like a lot people have no clue that travel ball is available at this age. Our local little league is rough for softball and I feel like our area would have a lot to offer but I cannot for life of me find the kids and get them out here. I get 6-8 and then I’m back in the position of taking borderline girls and trying to figure out if they’ll develop.
 
Oct 4, 2018
905
63
Just a piece of advice that you can take or leave...

I'd try to keep 2/3rd or more of the team the same birth year.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
731
43
I just don’t know where to draw that line as far as this girl is good or not and trying to factor in how much they’ll grow over a season.

I also find it hard to get girls. I’ve talked to dozens of parents and it’s always well they do this or that, and it seems like a lot people have no clue that travel ball is available at this age. Our local little league is rough for softball and I feel like our area would have a lot to offer but I cannot for life of me find the kids and get them out here. I get 6-8 and then I’m back in the position of taking borderline girls and trying to figure out if they’ll develop.
So, you're being picky, but also have trouble finding enough to try out? Something needs to give there.

IMO, 8U "travel" is silly, but if you're going there, having kids and parents willing to go along for that ride overrides the unknowns about their ability to develop. There are so many kids who might have been taken over my DD at a 8U tryout who weren't even in the game four years later...she's entering her 13th season.

At that age, they are really a blank slate, and most can become competent with enough work. If the parents are willing to do that work with the kid, and are shown how, it's nearly impossible for that kid to not get better.
 

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