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Cutting a player loose

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,447
48
Mundelein, IL
Had to do something today that I've never done before in all my years of softball. I cut a player loose. The catalyst was her completely blowing off a tournament this weekend. She asked at the last minute if she could attend a concert on Saturday, which I wasn't happy about to begin with. But she had the chance to go backstage and meet her idol so I reluctantly agreed.

She rewarded me for that act of kindness by not showing up at all Sunday. We were scheduled for an 8:00 game, which meant everyone was due at the field ready to go by 7:00 AM for warmups. Her father called me at 8:00 saying he had been unsuccessful in waking her up. (As an aside he must not have tried very hard. I would've dumped my kid out of bed if she wasn't up in time and dragged her into the car physically.)

Enough was enough. She had not attended any of our off-season workouts due to her "homework load." But I would see in Facebook that she had gone to this event or that concert. Seeing as how our off-season sessions were on Sunday mornings it shouldn't have been a strain. They were not mandatory, but everyone else gladly came since we focused on hitting.

She had also not shown up for our Tuesday practice earlier in the week -- no call, no email. As you've probably guessed I'm a pretty lenient guy, but not showing up on a tournament day was too much even for me. When I called to break the news, her father said she had slept until 4:00 PM.

Understand, two other girls on the team went with her to the concert. Both were there for warmups on time and ready to go. One of them broke her nose during warmups and went to the hospital. When she was done, she returned for the rest of the tournament.

So tonight I cut her loose. It just seems like she has other priorities than softball, and now she's free to pursue them. She put herself ahead of the team, and I just can't excuse that.

So yes, even a lenient softie like me has a limit. I didn't like making the call, but I felt it was needed. It's probably been a long time coming.
 
Jan 19, 2009
22
0
The team must come first. This year I had to get rid of one of must best hitters in the pre-season (HS). She blew off a practice to go to a big event one evening. This was the last straw. She was also seen with a beer at the event.

The other players gained a little more respect for me and played even harder. We ended up finishing second in the state- by far the farthest we had ever gone.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
Ken,

You did her a service. Not cutting her would be cheating her out of an important life lesson that will be much more important for her than softball. More than one life lesson really. Sure you have a responsibility to the team but besides that, you did this girl a favor. You can feel good about this one coming and going.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,507
38
Tucson
One of DD's teammates (from when they were in HS) was arrested Thurs. night for "extreme DUI." She was over .15. The law says that she will serve 30 days in jail and have one of those "breath things" on her car.

When she graduated 3 years ago, the paper made a big deal of her going to play both softball and soccer at college.

I asked DD, is this girl had drank in HS and she said "Well, yeah. All of her group did. That is why we all had to be in our own homes by 10 PM on weekends and phone coach."

So, even in HS, the coach knew she was drinking, but she chose to throw a blanket over it instead of address it with all of the parents.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,845
63
Dallas, Texas
All athletes quit the sport. The only difference is that some athletes tell the coach, and others have the coach tell them.

She didn't want to play anymore, but didn't have the fortitude to tell you and her parents. Perhaps her parents were pushing her to play, and she didn't want to. At 18U, some kids are just tired of playing softball, and parents are tired of dragging them to the games.

It is the best for everyone.

Ray
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
3,852
63
All athletes quit the sport. The only difference is that some athletes tell the coach, and others have the coach tell them.

She didn't want to play anymore, but didn't have the fortitude to tell you and her parents. Perhaps her parents were pushing her to play, and she didn't want to. At 18U, some kids are just tired of playing softball, and parents are tired of dragging them to the games.

It is the best for everyone.

Ray
Ray, good post!
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,447
48
Mundelein, IL
Thanks, all. It sure does seem like there wasn't much interest level there. I have not heard anything from her since making the call -- no apologies, no pleas to take her back, nothing.

I hope she does learn from this. It seems like her parents kowtow to her quite a bit. Maybe she'll learn the whole world isn't going to do the same.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,447
48
Mundelein, IL
We are fortunate that there isn't a lot of angst on the team. Over time, the kids who brought that sort of thing either weeded themselves out or were weeded out. I can honestly say I love every girl on our team. Even the one I described here, although I am disappointed with her selfish choice.

The teen years can be trying, that's for sure. But if you get the right ones, and give them an atmosphere where they can feel good about themselves, it sure can be fun!
 

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