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General advice for softball parents of talented players

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,145
113
Dallas, Texas
1. The better the team, the less your chid's playing time. If your child plays on one of the premier teams (OC Batbusters, Beverly Bandits, etc.) she is not going to play as much. On the other hand, your child is almost guaranteed a scholarship to a great school. You can't have one without the other.

2. Softball on good teams (and most college teams) is like work. No one is indispensable. If you or your kid are too much of a prima donna, you'll be told to leave and not let the door hit you or your DD on the backside.

3. For 99.9% of the kids, softball ends when they graduate from college. When it is over, it is over. You and your DD will move on. Softball is just something they do for a few years before they get jobs, careers, spouses and children.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2, 2013
210
18
On the other hand, your child is almost guaranteed a scholarship to a great school. You can't have one without the other.
What drives this? Is it the idea that if they are good enough to play for this team then they must be great and coaches weigh that heavily or is the team that much better at placing these girls because of history and connections?
 
Apr 20, 2015
351
43
What drives this? Is it the idea that if they are good enough to play for this team then they must be great and coaches weigh that heavily or is the team that much better at placing these girls because of history and connections?
Both...these organizations have a history of great players playing other great players. Coaches know these kids are already seasoned at facing the best of the best, traveling, time management, working on their own time, etc. Then add in the networking history and it's a good combination for both the organization and the coach, not that every kid pans out but the odds are higher.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
Dec 6, 2019
26
3
1. The better the team, the less your chid's playing time. If your child plays on one of the premier teams (OC Batbusters, Beverly Bandits, etc.) she is not going to play as much. On the other hand, your child is almost guaranteed a scholarship to a great school. You can't have one without the other.

2. Softball on good teams (and most college teams) is like work. No one is indispensable. If you or your kid are too much of a prima donna, you'll be told to leave and not let the door hit you or your DD on the backside.

3. For 99.9% of the kids, softball ends when they graduate from college. When it is over, it is over. You and your DD will move on. Softball is just something they do for a few years before they get jobs, careers, spouses and children.
This is just a statement of facts. There is zero advice here. Change the title to "Softball Truths."
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,533
113
Florida
1. The better the team, the less your chid's playing time. If your child plays on one of the premier teams (OC Batbusters, Beverly Bandits, etc.) she is not going to play as much. On the other hand, your child is almost guaranteed a scholarship to a great school. You can't have one without the other.
Eh... maybe... A lot of the girls playing on those teams have pretty much already selected their college before they get on their premier team. So yeah, you can have one without the other. You don't have to join these teams. You have to have different goals on these teams because the college choice thing has probably already happened.

Plenty of D1 kids are on other very, very strong teams playing without having the insanity of playing for the best teams in these orgs. One of DD's teammates is going to a big SEC team and has never played for one of these teams. One of DD's HS teammates headed to a top 3 BIG10 school got invited to and joined one of these teams after she committed and after a few weeks came back because it wasn't what she wanted.

Also 'great softball school' may not be the same as 'great school'. If you can't follow your major or dreams at your great softball school or you are left with a year or two of more school to graduate just how great was the school for you?

2. Softball on good teams (and most college teams) is like work. No one is indispensable. If you or your kid are too much of a prima donna, you'll be told to leave and not let the door hit you or your DD on the backside.
Perhaps... maybe... Sure it is a lot of time commitment and if you don't love the game or there is a bad coach or terrible teammates, it can become work real quickly. And yeah, you may get kicked off the team or leave on your own because you don't want to play anymore, HOWEVER college isn't like travel - there isn't a pool of other players you can raid from other teams mid-season. You can't have someone 'guest play' for you. What is on campus is on campus. Maybe you can see if one of the basketball girls played softball as well and can come out and help with the team.

And yeah, end of year - they may boot you because they have the opportunity to replace you with transfers and incoming freshman. But mid-season not so much.

3. For 99.9% of the kids, softball ends when they graduate from college. When it is over, it is over. You and your DD will move on. Softball is just something they do for a few years before they get jobs, careers, spouses and children.
And this is still the saddest thing about the USA sporting system. In almost every other country you can play until you want to stop. There are A grade women fastpitch leagues across the world - pro, semi-pro, amateur, veteran, adult recreational. I know 60+ year olds still playing Veterans and C grade games back in Australia. If the USA loses the Olympics it will because of this - the other teams in medal contention are for the most part much older than the USA team will be (and if you took out Abbott and Osterman the USA team would be babies compared to the other teams).
 
May 16, 2016
523
43
Illinois
1. The better the team, the less your chid's playing time. If your child plays on one of the premier teams (OC Batbusters, Beverly Bandits, etc.) she is not going to play as much. On the other hand, your child is almost guaranteed a scholarship to a great school. You can't have one without the other.

2. Softball on good teams (and most college teams) is like work. No one is indispensable. If you or your kid are too much of a prima donna, you'll be told to leave and not let the door hit you or your DD on the backside.

3. For 99.9% of the kids, softball ends when they graduate from college. When it is over, it is over. You and your DD will move on. Softball is just something they do for a few years before they get jobs, careers, spouses and children.
Not sure I agree with number one. Why would you think that the better the team the less playing time the child will have? If your child is one of the bottom 4 girls I could see that being true, but that goes for every team. The top players on these teams play a lot. The Bandits are not one of those organizations that have enormous rosters.
 
Apr 28, 2014
1,474
83
I overheard a college coach talking to a travel coach in Colorado this summer. She said "we don't want girls who love the game, we want girls who live the game". I think the coaches know that the organizations who are at the top of the pile have girls who live the game. I talked to parents in my area about joining DD's org. Most of the them said "I don't think my DD wants to make that kind of commitment to softball". College coaches know who is willing to make the commitment and that usually equates to them doing the work involved.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,145
113
Dallas, Texas
Not sure I agree with number one. Why would you think that the better the team the less playing time the child will have? If your child is one of the bottom 4 girls I could see that being true, but that goes for every team. The top players on these teams play a lot. The Bandits are not one of those organizations that have enormous rosters.
On a lesser team, a kid good enough to play on the Bandits will play almost every inning. They will never sit the bench. My kid played three years on mediocre teams, and pitched almost every inning of every game. She went to a premier team, and she pitched 50% of the games.

The players on the premier teams are very, very good. They are almost interchangeable. They can multiple positions and have excellent skills. The top 3 players on one of the premier teams are not "that much" better than the bottom 3.

As to roster size, the Bandits do a good job of limiting roster at the younger ages.

But, come on...the 18U Bandits Dorsey has 17 kids. You are going to tell me that the kids on that team are going to play as much as the 11 girl roster of the North Lake Sisters of the Poor?

I'm not criticizing the Bandits, the Batbusters, whoever. The teams are ran differently than most parents are used to.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,145
113
Dallas, Texas
I overheard a college coach talking to a travel coach in Colorado this summer. She said "we don't want girls who love the game, we want girls who live the game".
That is the kind of drivel that drives me crazy.

What the college coaches mean: "We want pitchers who throw 70MPH and batters who can hit the ball 400 feet. We want players who will take 12 hours a semester of the easiest classes we can find so that they can practice/train 10 hours a day."

People get starry eyed about college sports. There is no gold at the end of the softball rainbow. The only people making money in softball are a handful of college coaches...and, ironically, half of those are men.

That being said, if a kid enjoys the game and has some talent, for softball, why not play in college? It beats cleaning toilets.
 

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