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General advice for softball parents of talented players

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
4,035
83
This is the first time I've written anything about DD's first semester as a freshman softball player.........first off she made the Dean's list her first semester, which I'm extremely proud of her for doing!

Second, I've never seen her hate softball as much as she does now! She (we) knew it was going to be a grind, and she knew it was going to be harder than anything (team softball related) she's ever been through before! This is D2, and it's a full time job, this coach would have them on the field for 10 hours a day if she could somehow convince the AD to let her do it! She's heard football players and baseball players all say the softball coach is insane with her work schedule!

The seniors and juniors have all said (many times) that this coach has taken the fall semester to a crazy new over the top level they've never seen before. She said in the dining hall a couple of months back, all 6 freshmen were going to quit! She says all her love for the game of softball is pretty much gone!

Of course all this is depressing for me, being a part of her softball journey her entire life..........but at this point, it ain't about me! Me and my wife have told her if softball starts affecting her grades, or her mental health, she'll have to put softball behind her! I can only tell her to suck it up so many times?

Their conference ranking came out today, they're ranked #1 in the conference, 57 game schedule starts Feb. 1st, so it definitely isn't going to get any easier!

Bottom line, she's my daughter, she's a great ball player, and no matter what happens from here on college softball related, I'm damn proud of her for getting recruited and putting herself in this position!

I'll never forget having a team camp in 14U with Mickey Dean when he was at James Madison. He said being a student athlete is the hardest thing you'll ever do!! And at the end of the day you just want some food in your belly and to lay your head on a pillow!

She's working hard, she's lost 17 pounds this first semester (remember she's 5'0" tall), this is without a doubt the fittest she's ever been, and she's fell in love with weight training......so there's that!

I don't know why I decided to share this, I still want to kick her in the butt and tell her to suck it up (again) but more importantly I want her to be happy and to love her college experience!
I'm sorry that it has been a little rough for your dd. I would just say that BB's freshman year was heck as well. In fact, at one point, one of the other players told BB that "coach isn't going to kill you. I promise." That after BB was chosen to set an example for the other girls in the training room. Long story short, at the time, there were other factors including some of the seniors taking cheap shots at her like hiding her equipment. However, there was a method to the madness and eventually BB and the other freshmen came to recognize it. The seniors knew it long before and when the seasons started all 5 freshmen started. If this team is rated so high, there is a reason for it. The coach has bigger goals for this year.
 
Apr 16, 2010
856
28
Alabama
I know it's late in this thread but my best piece of advise for any talented player or parent is do not get caught up in hype of DI. Nothing wrong with it at all but keep your minds open for the best opportunity for your DD. It might be Bama or UCLA or it could be the Juco down the street. I have watched several girls commit this year and it seems some will ignore better options in order to get IG and Twitter likes.

So far DD has visited mid major DI's and a Juco. One of the DI's was her absolute favorite and her dream school since 7th grade. The visit to the JUCO changed all of that. Their facilities are as nice as anywhere we have been and have a much nicer stadium. A lot of parents I have been with on this journey would never have considered this place simply because it wasn't a DI school. I hope she starts her career there and then gets a taste of the big time after two years of growing up and adjusting to life on her own and college.

I have tried to explain to my DD that softball (putting it bluntly) is a means to an end. She loves it and it has been great for her but still her abilities and this game will give her a chance to prepare for the next 40 years of her life in the real world. Honestly what time of our life is the longest if we are blessed to live a full life? Birth until college ends or the time after college?
 
Jul 29, 2013
2,740
113
I know it's late in this thread but my best piece of advise for any talented player or parent is do not get caught up in hype of DI. Nothing wrong with it at all but keep your minds open for the best opportunity for your DD. It might be Bama or UCLA or it could be the Juco down the street. I have watched several girls commit this year and it seems some will ignore better options in order to get IG and Twitter likes.

So far DD has visited mid major DI's and a Juco. One of the DI's was her absolute favorite and her dream school since 7th grade. The visit to the JUCO changed all of that. Their facilities are as nice as anywhere we have been and have a much nicer stadium. A lot of parents I have been with on this journey would never have considered this place simply because it wasn't a DI school. I hope she starts her career there and then gets a taste of the big time after two years of growing up and adjusting to life on her own and college.

I have tried to explain to my DD that softball (putting it bluntly) is a means to an end. She loves it and it has been great for her but still her abilities and this game will give her a chance to prepare for the next 40 years of her life in the real world. Honestly what time of our life is the longest if we are blessed to live a full life? Birth until college ends or the time after college?
Awesome post Rambler!
 
Jul 29, 2013
2,740
113
Long story short, at the time, there were other factors including some of the seniors taking cheap shots at her
See, here's the thing, all the upperclassmen love her! My DD is 5'0" and 132lb, she's a head+ shorter than every other girl on this team and plays as big as every one of them, it's like they all took her under their wing, she has NO problems with any of the girls! In fact she's made some lifelong friends already.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,503
113
Florida
I know it's late in this thread but my best piece of advise for any talented player or parent is do not get caught up in hype of DI. Nothing wrong with it at all but keep your minds open for the best opportunity for your DD. It might be Bama or UCLA or it could be the Juco down the street. I have watched several girls commit this year and it seems some will ignore better options in order to get IG and Twitter likes.
I see so many Facebook 'committed' posts with girls who commit to schools where you just know it is a bad, bad idea and you have to act all excited for them - because it is exciting for them and I genuinely hope it does work out for every single one of them.
 
Feb 26, 2016
279
28
Murfreesboro, TN
I do think a lot of our players are peaking at the wrong time.

I think it is an unintended consequence of the process of recruiting.
I agree with you here, especially with pitchers. Some are so dominating at the 14/16U age groups that have college coaches tripping over themselves to get behind the dugout and watch them, but don't improve as much as some skilled position players as they age up. Just looking at some freshman on SEC rosters now that my daughter played against. Some were very dominate a few years back, but not so much now.

I also see it the other way too, those that you "thought" would be good in college just continue to amaze with how good they are and have gotten better as they have developed in age (and their bodies too).
 
Feb 26, 2016
279
28
Murfreesboro, TN
Bottom line, she's my daughter, she's a great ball player, and no matter what happens from here on college softball related, I'm damn proud of her for getting recruited and putting herself in this position!
Thank you for sharing. I'm glad to hear she made the Dean's list (to my amazement, my DD did also in her first semester).

I hope when the season starts, and all of the work starts paying off, that she will find the love again.
 

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