Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

Big Fish in Small Pound or Small Fish in Big Pound?

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
476
0
Montreal, Canada
Here is an interesting question. You are the parent of a good softball player who dreams of playing college ball. She is athletic and while not the best player on the team, she is mostly a starter.

Would you prefer to be THE big player on a less competitive team (Big fish in small pound) or to be just one of the players on a very competitive team (small fish in a big pound)?

Is it different for position players and pitchers? What are you thoughts?

Personally, at the younger level, I think you need to play more and learn how to be the best and as you get older and mentally tougher, you can look for bigger pounds with bigger fish in it. But it can vary greatly.

Marc
 
May 9, 2008
45
0
Both

I say both if the opportunity is there. My oldest DD is LL age 13 this year. She is going into her freshman year in the fall. She has played LL for 6 years including this year in a comparitively small league. She is in Juniors this year and one of the leaders on the All-Star team. The only way she won't start as the catcher is if she's injured. The head coach acts like she's as valuable to him as the No. 1 pitcher. (Who is very gooooood.) She has been invited twice this summer so far to go play in the Women's league a couple of towns over that is coached by the Varsity HS teams coach. She played 3rd the first game and LF the second. She loved every second of it. Very nervous the first game but settled down after that. The experience alone playing over there has made her even more confident in LL ball. The same for the pitcher, she plays on that team regularly. Her LL AS team just won districts, for the first time for this group of girls, but they've finally realized how good they are together.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,898
83
Dallas, Texas
IMHO, you need to play as much as possible up to 16U (16U meaning the time when the DD can play 16U, which may mean she is 13 or 14), and then you need to find the most competitive team around.

The main competition a kid is going to face in college and HS is with her teammates. If she is the star of a team, she won't have a clue what to do when she has to fight and scrape for playing time.
 
Jun 26, 2008
20
0
Vermont
IMHO, you need to play as much as possible up to 16U (16U meaning the time when the DD can play 16U, which may mean she is 13 or 14), and then you need to find the most competitive team around.

The main competition a kid is going to face in college and HS is with her teammates. If she is the star of a team, she won't have a clue what to do when she has to fight and scrape for playing time.
I agree heartily!! Once a player reaches the 16U level, the competition for playing time and positions becomes much more open. My saying has always been "You can't get better until you see what better looks like". Most of the players on our summer teams play in state DI programs, but we also have kids from DII or DIII programs. Those kids are definitely behind the DI kids - not in ability, but in experience. Playing "up" earns them the experience they need.

Playing time is very important of course, but don't forget to weigh the value of practicing with better athletes day in and day out. I beleive that players learn in practice, then validate what they learned by plying that knowledge in games.
 

KAT

May 13, 2008
92
0
Playing time is very important of course, but don't forget to weigh the value of practicing with better athletes day in and day out. I beleive that players learn in practice, then validate what they learned by plying that knowledge in games.
My DD says this trumps being the big fish theory everytime in her opinion....she would much rather be a small fish then a big fish
 
Jul 22, 2008
1
0
Canton, IL
Same Question - Need help

Our daughter is highly skilled for her age (9) - played 10+ under this past summer; all her friends are moving up to 12+ under next year; she is developing as a pitcher - didn't see a lot of playing time on the mound this summer; other two pitchers did - she did the majority of the catching and did a great job at that - in fact, other coaches commented on her arm and were impressed by the fact that she was only 9 with the arm and maturity that she has. She played against other 9 year olds/10/and some 11 year olds. She hits well.
Our question is - do we move her up next year with her friends - she would probably make the team as she is a really good catcher; she would get some pitching time as she will continue to practice as she is now and through the winter. I'm not concerned about her batting as she does have pretty good batting fundamentals and hits well. We're just not sure what is best for her. We want to see her continue to develop and are comfortable with the fact that she would moving up - if on the stronger team; unsure what kind of skills are coming up from the younger age group that would be playing with her if she stays at the 10+ under group - girls were afraid to play catch with her this year because she throws really well and harder than most. What is a parent to do? What is best for a 9-year old who loves to play softball?
 
I coach both league ball and a travel team , both in the 14-U division. League ball team is decent. Not great but in the ballgames every game. Tournament time this year I had 7 girls show up to play, had two 10 year old girls who both play up @ 12-U level come and play with my team. These girls really came to play and showed my team and parents what coming to play is like. I really believe that given the right kids that they can do the job...
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,898
83
Dallas, Texas
cfranzoni: Since she will be 10 YOA, I would hold her back so she can get as much playing time as possible. She can try out pitching and see if she really wants to pitch or if she would prefer catching. After she decides which she prefers, then you can move up.

If she moves up to 12U now, she probably won't pitch.
 
May 18, 2008
16
0
California
cfranzoni: Something you said set the alarm bell off for me. My dd has a strong arm. When she was playing 12U rec no one on the team could/would catch her throw. She developed this noodle arm thing to slow down her throw. It took forever to get her throw back. Even a year later the noodle would appear. Playing with girls that are afraid to play catch with her might not be a good thing.
 
One thing that I believe to be extremely important is to identify what your DD wants before selecting a team, not what you want as a parent. Once identified, guide her toward reaching her goals.

Questions need to be asked at/around 14 so goals can be set , in place, and working toward them by 16. Does she want to play in college at any level; Yes= these are the things we have to do....., one of them besides keeping the Grades high is being a small fish on a big pond. We need to find a team that you'll be challenged. As Rocket said, "You can't get better until you see what better looks like". No=Be the Big Fish and keep the grades high.

We've had the learning experience of both Fish. Started out being the Big Fish until my DD decided she wanted to play in college. Soon after that decision, she tore her ACL and had ACL replacement surgery and was out for a year. When able to play again, we found a new team where she would be challenged and with minimal friends to limit distraction. Tough at first, but it's what she needed. She started out as caviar and has worked her way to becoming a small fish, she's shown resiliency and rose to the occasion. Mainly, due to the level of play that is exhibited. As a dad, it's been a great experience to watch her grow as a player and learn a valuable life lesson. She makes me proud every day. Even if she changes her mind about playing in college, I'll know she'll take this lesson and be resilent toward anything she sets her mind to do. I'll know she'll be fine once I leave this earth.
 

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
34,122
Messages
495,553
Members
15,682
Latest member
Errin
Top