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Choosing a new org

Jul 14, 2018
536
63
Hello all! Long-time reader, first-time poster.

It's that time of year, and DD is considering two organizations to play for in her second year of 12U. The first is a big name team that has traditionally focused on showcase teams on the 14-18U level. They have a good reputation and a very strong, professional coaching staff with years of college coaching experience. They're just now starting to build a 12U team to work into their pipeline. The fact that they're new to 12U (and expensive) means that they don't have the best quality players and have had some trouble fielding a full team this summer.

Team two is a more established group that has worked out a charter with a national organization. They have great facilities and a dedicated group of parents. They've been aggressive about hiring new coaches, but the caliber is definitely a step below org #1.

So here's my question to the softball minds of DFP: Do you choose to play on the weaker team (right now) that has great coaching and an established showcase/recruiting pipeline, or go with the stronger team that is basically a startup but has big plans?

DD is a decent player, a #2 or #3 pitcher and a solid infielder. Bottom half of the order hitter. It's tough to gauge, but I'm feeling like she'll get more playing time with the big name org at this point (the other team has an established group in place).

All opinions welcome. Thanks to the DFP community for all of the advice I've already gotten just from reading the boards!
 
Jun 12, 2015
3,848
83
IMO the organization doesn't matter nearly as much as the coaching especially at 12U. Choose the team with the best coaching.
 
Jul 13, 2014
48
8
^^^^^^^^This x 1,000
Agreed that the org isn't as important. In addition to coaching, you need to find the best fit for your daughter. What 12U players need are game reps; especially pitchers. Better to be on a lesser team where she gets playing time both at pitcher and her secondary position than a higher level team or a team with too many players where she has less opportunity.

My older daughter played on a team with 12 players her second year of 12U, was by far the best pitcher, but usually sat if she didn't pitch (too many players needing playing time). She didn't develop a secondary position, and by 14U, was too far behind others that she ended up being relegated to only pitching.
 
Feb 16, 2015
934
43
South East
Get her on the team with the better talent. Allow her to compete against the best completion available that goes for strength of schedule and strength of teammates. I would not be worried about recruiting in 12U, since the rule change there has been a noticeable decline in coaches attending 14U games across the board no matter what level it is. I would have to think that it will be even less in the years to come also. I would start looking for that recruiting pipeline team at the end of 14U in MHO.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,069
113
My older daughter played on a team with 12 players her second year of 12U, was by far the best pitcher, but usually sat if she didn't pitch (too many players needing playing time). She didn't develop a secondary position, and by 14U, was too far behind others that she ended up being relegated to only pitching.
If you want to guarantee max playing time, become a competent and enthusiastic outfielder. DD grew up as an infielder, and her best game is still there, but because of various factors, she's been needed in the OF more. Some of her most memorable plays have happened there this year, and on the rare occasion when the coach tries to sit her, invariably something happens that puts her back into the game. For good outfielders, the bench where they sit has a big coiled spring on it.
 
Jun 11, 2012
511
43
DD left a big name organization to play for a smaller but well respected organization with better coaching 3 years ago and it was the best decision we ever made. Her confidence is at an all time high because the coaches help players become better as opposed to cutting them down when they make a mistake.
Play for the best fit for her and your family.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,441
113
Dallas, Texas
Rick, focus on making your DD "good". Unless your DD is good, no college is going to recruit her.

What makes your DD good? Good coaching and playing in a lot of games.

Go with the team that offers the best coaching and the best opportunity to play. (As an FYI, it is doubtful your DD is going to stick with the same organization for more than a couple of years anyway. )
 
Nov 29, 2009
2,912
63
I've coached in one of the biggest named organizations in the country. Here is my advice. Look long term. Where is THE best place for your DD to be in 4 years? It should be with the big name organization who draws the attention of the college coaches.

You said they have the best coaching staff. That's the important thing at 12U. Hopefully they will teach strong fundamentals. If the team is average and she is a stronger player she'll get plenty of reps. She'll also learn to compete for time. I'm sure the the big name organization will bring players in to evaluate them. Just like they do in college. If your DD never has to compete for playing time she'll be lost in college when she has to.

Remove the need to win at 12U from your equation and the answer will become clear.
 

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