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First year 14's plus middle school sports

Mar 7, 2016
123
18
If you are practicing once a week on Sundays right now during fall/winter that might be all you can expect assuming its a three hour practice plus sounds like at least pitchers are also working one day during week, if you are committing two days a week to a sport during the off season don't know what else to expect considering they are probably committed 5 days a week to Vball, cross country, Basketball.....etc.

Biggest issue should be communication when you got the team together did you set expectations?? it doesn't sound like it.
I did set expectations at our end of the season meeting for fall ball however it was not given much weight as they know talent in our area is VERY thin and my hands are tied.
 
May 2, 2018
30
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Central Virginia
we are an independent team and finding replacement players of any caliber in our area is a stretch at best. There was a team meeting discussing fall practices and one to two times a week was discussed with no more than one during the week so this isnt a surprise for them. We have been together going on 6 years, this is the first year though we have ran into this most years going 3 times a week during fall ball.


I encourage multiple sports but also realize to have a team we need some practice outside of those Sundays.

I do have a daughter on the team and she does play volleyball. She does play club vball and made A team as a 7th grader in a school with a combined 7/8 A team and over 70 girls trying out. She does take hitting lesson as well as play in a hit trax league on Sundays evenings for softball. When i hear her a few other girls after last weeks practice say "we need to practice more before our next tournament or we are going to get slaughtered if we play like this" is what prompted me to suggest another practice.
Honestly the best thing you could probably do is to set a highly encouraged but optional weekly practice 1-2 nights per week and allow the girls that want to come work the opportunity. If it is just a few girls/families (I assume most of this is on the parents) that can't/won't attend, then so be it.
 
Apr 20, 2015
283
28
we are an independent team and finding replacement players of any caliber in our area is a stretch at best. There was a team meeting discussing fall practices and one to two times a week was discussed with no more than one during the week so this isnt a surprise for them. We have been together going on 6 years, this is the first year though we have ran into this most years going 3 times a week during fall ball.


I encourage multiple sports but also realize to have a team we need some practice outside of those Sundays.

I do have a daughter on the team and she does play volleyball. She does play club vball and made A team as a 7th grader in a school with a combined 7/8 A team and over 70 girls trying out. She does take hitting lesson as well as play in a hit trax league on Sundays evenings for softball. When i hear her a few other girls after last weeks practice say "we need to practice more before our next tournament or we are going to get slaughtered if we play like this" is what prompted me to suggest another practice.
I would argue that you don't need practice outside of Sunday. Your players should be doing work on their own but your team doesn't need to be together. My daughter plays 14u for one of the top organizations in the country with players from all over and we only come together once a week on the weekend to even every other week. It never ceases to amaze me how some coaches think the only place to learn is in practice. My daughter goes to school, goes to soccer, does homework and then if there wasn't a soccer game does tee work or has a hitting or fielding lesson. Your team will be as good as they want to be and you can't do it for them. Have your practice during the week for whomever wants to show up and work on whatever is appropriate.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
Apr 28, 2019
832
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How do other coaches go about putting priority on Softball during the fall in this situation. I am getting a ton of backlash from parents and school sports/homework schedules anytime i attempt to schedule anything during the week. These families did not come from sporting backgrounds so practice every day until 5:30 for school vball then leaving for a 6:30 softball practice ONCE A WEEK is not something they can handle. Of the 4 pitchers on my team 3 are working with a pitching coach during the week and of the 2 catchers 1 is working with a professional coach. My number 2 pitcher and number 1 catchers families tell me they are too busy to do anything else and dont want to burn their daughters out. Our first tourney is the 14/15 and I scheduled a turf practice inside the 11th and you would have thought i ran over the family dog with the replies i got. Of my 12 girl roster all are multisport athletes and a few softball will be their focus and even college careers from. I am afraid that the teams overall attitude towards softball vs school sports will push a few of my star players to seek more committed teams.

Am i expecting too much here as a coach? 13O team coming off a 40-13 season, and I dont want to see us regress due to lack of commitment
MS & HS sports are getting ridiculous. There is no reason why they need to practice every day.
I would schedule a Sat/Sun practice if I was in your shoes. One team practice a week and pitchers should be expected to get their reps in on their own.
I don’t like Fallball/ Winter ball. I would prefer the girls play their Fall sports and then get back to Winter softball training in Nov/Dec.
Unfortunately I’m in the same boat you are. My DD is a freshman starting on Varsity volleyball team and they practice/scrimmage 6 days a week. Our 4 hr team practices are on Sunday’s. She is a pitcher and just doesn’t have time to practice pitching. Sucks.
 
Mar 7, 2016
123
18
I would argue that you don't need practice outside of Sunday. Your players should be doing work on their own but your team doesn't need to be together. My daughter plays 14u for one of the top organizations in the country with players from all over and we only come together once a week on the weekend to even every other week. It never ceases to amaze me how some coaches think the only place to learn is in practice. My daughter goes to school, goes to soccer, does homework and then if there wasn't a soccer game does tee work or has a hitting or fielding lesson. Your team will be as good as they want to be and you can't do it for them. Have your practice during the week for whomever wants to show up and work on whatever is appropriate.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
thats great that your daughters plays for a top tier polished team.... one question though how did the players get to that level?
 
Apr 20, 2015
283
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thats great that your daughters plays for a top tier polished team.... one question though how did the players get to that level?
Honestly she's played for this team since she was 10 yrs old on a weekly practice plan. She does hitting and fielding on her own. I have a younger daughter going through now who is 7 and at that age the value in the team practice is higher, IMO with a 14u team weekly team practice should be enough. If they aren't capable of working on their own then they're casual players who don't want the same things the coach does.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
May 29, 2015
882
93
Two points I would like to pull out and comment on:

MS & HS sports are getting ridiculous. There is no reason why they need to practice every day.
I think I agree with this. Just speculating here, but I think the reason teams do practice every day they can is that the scholastic seasons (in some sports) are extremely short. I posted the middle school softball schedule in a thread a while back ... they basically have a week (maybe two?) between the first allowable practice and games beginning. Then games only run about 6 weeks. I don’t like it or agree with it — just speculating on why.

If they aren't capable of working on their own then they're casual players who don't want the same things the coach does.
This is a theme that has come up repeatedly in this thread. You aren’t going to build the individual pieces in a team practice. If players are not working on their own, you certainly won’t be able to get them there in team practices.

This fully depends on how much time you want to sink into it, but maybe consider breaking your practices down to groups. Tuesday is for outfielders; Wednesday for infielders; weekend is full team. That offers the players some flexibility and gives you better quality time to focus.
 
Apr 28, 2019
832
43
Two points I would like to pull out and comment on:



I think I agree with this. Just speculating here, but I think the reason teams do practice every day they can is that the scholastic seasons (in some sports) are extremely short. I posted the middle school softball schedule in a thread a while back ... they basically have a week (maybe two?) between the first allowable practice and games beginning. Then games only run about 6 weeks. I don’t like it or agree with it — just speculating on why.



This is a theme that has come up repeatedly in this thread. You aren’t going to build the individual pieces in a team practice. If players are not working on their own, you certainly won’t be able to get them there in team practices.

This fully depends on how much time you want to sink into it, but maybe consider breaking your practices down to groups. Tuesday is for outfielders; Wednesday for infielders; weekend is full team. That offers the players some flexibility and gives you better quality time to focus.
No matter what age blue you need rest and recuperation time. These aren’t pro athletes that can get a massage or ice bath after every practice session. You can’t do that when you practice everyday. All your doing is burning kids out and asking for injuries. Extend the amount of time before the games start so you can have a reasonable amount of practice time. Gee I wonder why youth sports are losing so many participants.....
I love sports but honestly there is no sport I want to play every day.
My girls both play 3 sports but are dropping down to two because the time demands are so great. No basketball this season. This sucks because all that running in B-ball gets them in good shape for other sports.
 
May 29, 2015
882
93
Oh, I am 1000% with you MadBandit! Sorry if my post came off otherwise. I was pointing out one reason, not advocating for it.

I actively try to discourage the concept of the same sport year-round for a kid. Multiple sports (with appropriate down time) not only benefit kids, but I think is crucial for proper development. Without that variety in both the mental and physical routines, a kid will quickly lose passion for the game and become more prone to injury.

The battle I fought with my middle daughter was that she wanted to do multiple sports, but wanted to do them all at the same time. Softball and volleyball started to become almost year round. We finally had to put our foot down and say “this is X season and that is Y season; if you want to do Z, you have to give up something (lessons, practices, club/travel teams).”

Unfortunately she is still this way. She went off to college trying to be a full-time student, two sport collegiate athlete, and work a full time job. She drove herself to a self-destructive collapse. Now she is back home, but she is trying to be a part-time nursing student, work full time (3rd shift), and be a part-time coach. Plus a serious boyfriend and friends.

I don’t know where she gets it from ... 😗
 
Last edited:
Apr 28, 2019
832
43
Oh, I am 1000% with you MadBandit! Sorry if my post came off otherwise. I was pointing out one reason, not advocating for it.

I actively try to discourage the concept of the same sport year-round for a kid. Multiple sports (with appropriate down time) not only benefit kids, but I think is crucial for proper development. Without that variety in both the mental and physical routines, a kid will quickly lose passion for the game and become more prone to injury.

The battle I fought with my middle daughter was that she wanted to do multiple sports, but wanted to do them all at the same time. Softball and volleyball started to become almost year round. We finally had to put our foot down and say “this is X season and that is Y season; if you want to do Z, you have to give up something (lessons, practices, club/travel teams).”
Understood. That’s we’re we are at now. I don’t like Fall ball or Winter ball for softball. I prefer Winter training starting in Dec and then Spring/Summer season. This way you can play V-ball & B-ball with the amount of dedication needed.
Unfortunately as girls get older expectations grow and time becomes shorter. Softball requires year round training at advanced ages if your goal is to play in college. Necessary evil it seems.
 

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