Do you wish your DD never started playing softball?

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Oct 14, 2019
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My DD loves softball. She falls asleep every night watching old games on YouTube. Her team gives her a community of friends. She was having a hard time with 9th grade this year feeling kind of lost at a big school, but now that softball practice has started she is having an easier time knowing that she can be with her new softball friends after school. I think it is important for kids to have a community they can be a part of, whether it be sports, theater or whatever. And I’m guessing in almost every activity there is favoritism, hurt feelings and bad behavior.
 
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Aug 23, 2016
329
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I'll be honest, there was a time when DD had a terrible coach when I thought our lives would be easier without softball.

DD (who is now 13) has always been the wiser one. On one team where DD got almost no playing time, my husband and I were ready to pull the plug on softball but DD just decided to work harder. The coach noticed, told us how proud he was of DD's work, but he couldn't make playing time decisions based on work ethic because there were certain players he needed to take care of. (Those players were the daughters of his buddies and/or ACs,)

Fast forward to now and DD just tried out for a team that she had to work for - the practices are intense, and more than one kid was scared off after the tryout. But after she made the team, DD told me that she's glad she knows how to work and that she feels like she'll have an advantage over kids like her former teammates who never had to prove themselves to get anything.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,815
113
LOTS of generalizing here...to be polite. Most everyone here has had a bad experience along the way, but you capture the sum of those worst experiences in three paragraphs. You've either had a run of exceptionally bad luck, you're easily offended, or you're exaggerating.

Coaches in all sports sometimes yell...there are valid reasons and a line that they should stay behind, but some parents think that anyone raising a voice to their little precious, regardless of reason, is unacceptable. Benching, or even cutting a player, is a common and usually valid part of sports at all levels except Rec. There are many legitimate reasons this can happen. In my experience, the most common proponents of dirty play are the grandparents watching the game.

This statement really stood out...
I think the worst are the coaches that happen to have a DD on the team.
Clearly, you have some more experience to gain. Even the best coach can have some undesired baggage. Over time, you figure out what you can live with to get the good parts. Favoritism can exist regardless of who is coaching, but there is usually a greater degree of commitment to the team with a parent-coach than the non-parent. Parent coaches also often raise pretty good players. I've seen plenty of yelling and ineffective coaching from non-parent coaches...typically 20-something ex-players.

The availability of kid's sports in general, and softball in particular, would be a small fraction of what it is currently without parent coaches. Perhaps you should try it yourself. The biggest jerk and least effective coaches DD ever played for hardly ever raised their voices. The guy who did occasionally get mad, yell, and bench players (including his own kid) held most of the same team together for years because of some obvious personal commitment and investment in their development as players and people.
 
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Jul 22, 2015
749
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I often find myself lamenting about getting my DD involved in Softball (and other sports for that matter). My DD has never been interested in gaining a scholarship and plays sports merely for the love of the game and competition. My DD is 14 and it makes me sad to see the garbage that she has witnessed playing sports.

Sadly most of this comes from coaches (yes I know this will be an unpopular statement on this board). So many yelling and screaming at young girls is atrocious. She has witnessed coaches encouraging girls to cheat and/or play dirty (in the name of trying to win). My DD is fiercely competitive but refuses to do anything that could be deemed as cheating or just wrong. She has witnesses coaches horrible treatment of girls on the bench (threatening to bench them, calling them out in front of other girls, or in one coaches case give a girl the silent treatment). I think the worst are the coaches that happen to have a DD on the team. She saw the best pitcher on her team get cut because coaches DD was also a pitcher and he wanted his DD to be #1.

For me personally as a parent, I am always asking myself about the life lessons that she is learning through sport. She has certainly learned that life isn't fair and that politics play a role in almost everything. Sadly, I also look at how she is taught to sit down, shut up and not say anything or heaven forbid disagree with her coach. She has seen girls (parents even) labelled as troublemakers for simply having an opinion. She even said to me at one point that coaches think they run the world. That just made me sad. In this day and age with #metoo movement, it disturbs me to think that girls sport is not evolving and not allowing girls the safety to stand up and question things or have an opinion. Part of me hopes that she will quit all her sports fairly soon and just focus on school.

OK - I am off my soapbox.
I wouldn't trade what my dd learned through softball for anything. The girls that make it all the way through are simply tougher mentally and physically than their peers that didn't play a competitive sport and it will serve them well in life. They learn many life lessons, some positive and others negative, that are invaluable. All I can say about your experiences with poor/negative coaching is that anyone can be fooled by a coach, but when you realize who they are it is your fault if you stay. There are plenty of teams out there with coaches who care and don't treat people like that. I'm afraid that some parents are teaching their girls that this type of treatment is acceptable and I hope it doesn't harm them later in life.
 
May 24, 2013
12,447
113
So Cal
I think the worst are the coaches that happen to have a DD on the team. She saw the best pitcher on her team get cut because coaches DD was also a pitcher and he wanted his DD to be #1.

Your experience is not true for everyone. Of the 4 teams my DD has been on during her 8 years of playing TB, 7-1/2 of those years were with parent-coaches. Some of the coaches'-kids have been good players. Some, not so much. Zero times were the coaches unrealistic about the abilities of their kid, or given them undue favoritism. Is there bad daddy-ball out there? Sure, but it's not always the case. Keep in mind that, many times, if parents weren't coaching, there wouldn't be a team.
 
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marriard

Not lost - just no idea where I am
Oct 2, 2011
4,156
113
Florida
I wish my daughter had more time to play more sports; that most sports are over for people in the USA between the ages of 14 and 23 is totally stupid.

Pretty much every other country in the world you can play the sport (and sports) you like and love until you can't any more. And you can take up a new sport at any age.,
 
Oct 15, 2013
608
63
Seattle, WA
Did you try to extrapolate or did your brain shut off as soon as you heard the dreaded phrase? (Hint: Abuse and empowerment..)
I don’t care about the phrase. I’m still not seeing a connection. Me Too was about sexual abuse and demands. Abusive a-hole coaches exist in boys sports as well. Nothing in the OP has anything to do with Me Too.

Perhaps you’re more open minded on the subject and its interpretation, but you shouldn’t be so open minded that your brain falls out.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,918
113
Dallas, Texas
She has witnessed coaches encouraging girls to cheat and/or play dirty (in the name of trying to win).
Cheating is not acceptable.

"Play dirty" has a lot of meanings. E.g., baserunner slows down in front of SS to hinder fielding of grounder. Is this"playing dirty" or "playing smart"?

If "play dirty" means "intentionally tripping a player rounding a base", then that is definitely not acceptable.

My DD is fiercely competitive but refuses to do anything that could be She has witnesses coaches horrible treatment of girls on the bench (threatening to bench them,
Coaches bench players for failing to meet expectations. It is part of athletics and life. The coach shouldn't be yelling at them while doing it, but coaches have to bench players.

calling them out in front of other girls, or in one coaches case give a girl the silent treatment).
This is unacceptable.

She saw the best pitcher on her team get cut because coaches DD was also a pitcher and he wanted his DD to be #1.
I doubt that was the situation.

Coaches will often cut the #3 pitcher because a coach has a pitching daughter. Cutting the #1 pitcher? Rarely, if ever.

Sadly, I also look at how she is taught to sit down, shut up and not say anything or heaven forbid disagree with her coach.
Depends upon what she has an opinion about. If she has an opinion about the color of the uniforms, where to eat for lunch...great!

If she has an opinion about where she should bat in the order, then not so much.

She has seen girls (parents even labelled as troublemakers for simply having an opinion.
It is not "having an opinion", it is voicing the opinion, and loudly, in order to disrupt the team.

Yes...there are bad coaches out there. But, there are a lot of kids and parents who think they should run the team.

If you don't like the coach, find someone else. There are lots of teams.
 
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