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Apr 3, 2009
Greetings! I am hoping to get some help with a problem our team is having. ETIQUETTE! Instead of playing as a team, we have a group of individuals. I believe there are certian etiquette rules for softball. Such as: stretching as a team, warming up as a team, showing up prepared to play, not eating in the dugout, etc.
If anyone has some etiquette advice I can pass along to my team, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks! :)
Dec 28, 2008
I'm inferring by your comments that you yourself are a player and that the nonsense your coach is allowing is upsetting to you. Here are some suggestions:

1. Warmups - You can step up as a leader with 1 or 2 other girls that you have a good relationship with. Ask them to show up early since coach doesn't request warmups and warmup with you. I'm sure that a few other girls will show up at some point earlier than the 5 minutes before game that coach asks for and will say "hey what are you doing." "Oh just getting ourselves ready to be the best we can be and spank the other team." Hard to argue with that right. "Hey Suzie if you want to we are going to meet 1 hour before the next game too if you want to warmup with us so you are ready to be the best you can be."

2. Batting - Have your mom/dad buy a batting T for you so that you can also practice hitting before games. Take the time with at least 1 other girl to learn how to effectively do side tossing to each for drills.

3. Read - Marc has a ton of great examples about nutrition and warmups on this site and on his softballperformance.com site. Take the time to read those things, put some of them into your own words and share them with your friends, or text them the address to read it for themselves.

4. Eating in the dugout - I'm not so worried, or offended by a girl eating a big thing of nachos with cheese in the dugout and sucking down a Monster Energy drink. What I care about is the fact that doing that is probably at odds with our ability to get to the last game of the day and win it. She isn't "studying" the game we are in to learn from it if she's shoving nachos/cheese in her face, nor is she encouraging her teammates. Not only is she hurting herself, but as the coach I'm drooling over the Snickers bar she is eating and thinking about the one I'd like to go get, instead of thinking about the game as well. Might just be me :) Avoid doing it yourself, and try to encourage girls (when they do that) to join you at the fence and cheer for others at bat rather than eating. You don't have to say "Amy you fat pig quit eating that hot dog and get up here." Just say something like "Amy help me do that cheer "blah-blah-blah" so that we can encourage Catherine to really crush the ball so we can win this game." If she joins you, she joins you. If she doesn't, you can't force her to care, but don't stop trying the next time.

The more you step up and take ownership of yourself, the more that others will also step up. Whether they respect you and do it with you, or whether they do it because you start leaving them in the dust and they want to compete with you doesn't really matter. If you step up as a leader, the rest of the team will also step up.
Dec 3, 2008
"The more you step up and take ownership of yourself, the more that others will also step up. "

Amen. Start with yourself!


Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
Montreal, Canada
Interesting thread. I think how you handle this depending on the age group you are coaching and your philosophy as a coach.

Two key points:

1) warm-up is to get you ready for the game. As long as what you do helps you get ready - it doesn't really matter.

2) In the dugout - the most important thing to do is to get ready to step on the field as a batter or a defensive player.

Now, with a fairly young team 14U or younger, I would probably emphasize the team aspect in a warm-up.

However, since I come from an elite level, I tend to like to let players do their own thing to get themselves ready for game.

For example, I am new coaching a 16U team this year and I let them wear their iPods for warm-up (it helps many of that new millenial generation focus). They take them off when they start throwing to each other. I don't mind if they are not doing everything as a team as long as 1) they are focus on their preparation 2) they are not wasting time

For eating, I totally agree with eating in the dugout but not things like nachos, burgers, fries, chips, etc. But, the young ladies are physically active and if you factor in the warm-up and the length of games, you can easily go 3 hours... so if they ''snack'' on the bench by eating healthy stuff that will help them (without exagerating), I am all in favor of it.

I want the players to be accountable, to take responsability for their preparation and performance and getting ready to perform and making sure they have enough energy to do so, I have no problem with individualized warm-up or eating good stuff on the bench but...

They have to be serious in their effort to be ready and not fool around.

Now this applies more to elite level and older players.

Coaching a younger team, the warm-up thing would be a team thing. The eating, however, would be tolerated as it is actually a ''good thing'' to eat a little during games if you are hungry.

My 2 cents.

May 7, 2008

Since you are an advocate of active (dynamic) warmup, I presume you are saying that you let your 16s do their own thing for warmup, but within the parameters of what you expect in that regard?


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
The need for team etiquette rules depends on the skill level and experience of the girls.

E.g., a 16U player on an elite team doesn't need to be told how to warm up. She will arrive and do it. She already knows that "If you show up for practice on time, you're 20 minutes late." On the other hand, a bunch of 12U girls on a rec league team won't have a clue how to warm up. So, those girls have to be taught about running and stretching. A group warm up makes sense simply because it is easier to organize and oversee.

The same goes for "team building". Players on an elite team are going to be polite, helpful and supportive of their teammates without a coach doing much. On the other hand, if you are coaching a bunch of 12U girls who've never played on a team before, then you are going to have establish rules so that you don't end up with "clique wars".

My rules for a 12U elite team were:

(1) Only water and sunflower seeds in the dugout.
(2) Once a tournament starts, girls travel in groups of no less than 3 for the entire weekend.
(3) No player was ever to be alone. If she was, then the whole team ran--because it was her fault as well as the team's fault.
(4) We warm up together.
(5) Coaches and parents don't touch a bat bag, equipment bag, water cooler or rake.
(6) At the end of the game, the dugout was to be cleaner than when we arrived.

One girl come up to me years later when she was an adult and said, "Playing for you was the most fun I ever had playing softball."
Apr 3, 2009
Thanks for all of the advice. As an experienced 'A' ball player, I am trying to politely share my experiences. I believe there are probably 4-5 of us who are truly 'A' ball players, whiile the others are either 'B' or still caught in the Rec ball mentality. I have spent the last 2 years with private pitching, hitting and training coaches to make myself the best I can be. I really just want to see the rest of the team take it as serious as I do. My parents have paid a lot of money for me to be on this travel team, I feel it's only fair that I give ALL of myself.

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