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Help! Do I say anything or not? (long read sorry but needed)

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
290
43
Looks like the program as a whole is suffering unter current AD..

Tryout number's down and other programs are now putting your HS on notice. The TB players want to play but don't want to get sucked into current coaches negative style of gloom and doom.

Can't believe this is going to get better by letting it freewheel as is. AD looks like they don't care or unwilling to take action. AD is probably willing go to the mat for the HC as they placed her there. Is a school that's always competitive ok with average?

If current parents or former players start complaining to the AD and you still can't get the better players to go out for HS Softball equals subpar program until a change is made. Are you ok with this?

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
Until this settles itself out the best thing I can/will do is coach the players I get to the best of my ability.

IMHO I learn more about softball every off-season than the year before. I work at getting better I view videos and read up on high level throwing, Kobata, Antonelli softball. The rest of the coaches......well same old, same old.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,310
113
California
But I keep thinking that I owe an effort to bring back the TB players to the 2 guys who took a chance on me






and the 2 guys who the VHC fired all of whom took the program to the top. I don't pretend to be the savior of the program. I just want the truth to come out the open because you cannot fix a problem until you admit it exists.
Hmmm?
If you originally posted this sentence as the reason for your desire to FIX THIS high school situation...
My observation~
Sounds like you have some healing over the loses of your coaching friends to restore you first.
Then take a seperate look at if trying to restore the h.s. program is actually your job or not.
Best wishes to you @NBE!
 
Jun 26, 2019
70
18
Say something? Yes, but i would go a different direction than you talking to the A.D. i would probably simply encourage parents amd players who have issues with the coach to take their concerns to the A.D. themselves.
You could go to the AD and tell them what you heard, but this could go wrong in a few ways. Maybe the AD has some indication already there may be cause for concern, maybe not. I would not like to be in the middle of ot if i were you
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
4,180
113
NBE, I've been a HC and and AC. In reading your OP, I do understand the loyalty questions. I also understand a HC wanting to change the coaching staff and did so myself when I became the HC if four different sports. Now, I am back to being an AC. After being the HVC, I became the HJV in softball for a few years but I am also the AVC. I do both teams and we practice together and then, can split V and JV. We do have excellent facilities with two full 70 foot cages. I type this because I want to give you a perspective of where I come from. You need to make a choice and if you go to the AD, you will be released. I would do that if you bypassed me to go to the AD.

While I realize that I am in a unique position where I coach, I look at the HC, other AC and myself as a team and we discuss everything. I have the HC look at video of hitters I like, I pretty much run all of the hitting. I take new drills both on offense and defense and discuss them. I look at my team as a feeder team and we make sure that when the V needs a player or players, they can slide in right away into a game. That includes things like offense philosophy, the running game, the bunting game, ... The includes game strategies. For example, our philosophy of "get an out" when we have a lead and want to refocus the team after the other team has had a good offensive series. (Outs come one at a time. Don't panic, take the outs as they come and your team will be in the dugout soon. This is a part of our mental game.) I guess what I am saying in such a poor way:

  1. Improve you communication with the HC so that she will be open to later suggestions.
  2. Share your knowledge in ways that don't show her up.
  3. Invite the HC to go with you to a TB game or two. You can suggest this as a way of having a day to try to talk about building the program.
  4. Never be critical of the HC in public or to your players. That often leads to dissent and can get you fired. I removed an AC due to this. That AC never put in the time to help in a V practice and then was critical of what we were doing. Of course that AC wanted to be the HVC.
  5. You need to assess your role in why the program has gone down. While this might sound like I am attacking you, I am not. In HS you get what you get. You have to make those players better and in some critical positions a lot better. You might have to change how you do stuff. For example, I had a good pitcher on JV but she was not ready for V. I took BP and had her wrap up her workouts each practice by throwing BP to four or five hitters in game situations. Sometimes with runners on bases. I changed counts. I put pressure on this young lady. Change was dramatic. (I am not an advocate of just running a pitcher out to throw BP. In this case, I had a plan and the pitcher threw to a limited number of hitters.)
Finally, if you feel that you are becoming disloyal of that the HC and you can not do the above, you need to resign. JMHO!
 
Last edited:
Feb 20, 2020
216
43
As I've read this and the responses, both yours and others, I'm convinced you're looking at the wrong villain, and are closing in on the wrong solution.

I'm going to preface this by saying, as I've detailed in other threads, that I dislike my DD's HSHC. I think she is cruel, unfair and fundamentally a bad coach, and to a degree a bad person. We are parents who went to the AD, then the Principal, then the District to discuss her behavior. I was a sportswriter who covered a lot of high school coaches, and I understand their limitations as sometimes their unpleasant inclinations. I am not someone to take their side on very many issues.

With the said, think the issue here is not with the coach but with the TB community in your area, and if you want to be a part of rebuilding your school's program, it's going to start with rebuilding that connection. I say that because there's not a lot of reasons for a prolonged boycot of a high school program for top players in an area. Kids cycle through -- so even if the coach was not supportive of a senior -- or even an entire junior class -- those kids would be gone by now. Like you said in your OP, there's a story that's going around your community about your head coach and her program. It's a story that's being passed around in tournaments and between parents and girls, more based on hearsay than anything tangible and if you want to rebuild the program you're going to have to actively combat the potentially unearned reputation your HSHC has, and to do that you're simply going to have to change the narrative that is being told about her.

Look at it this way: she's been on the job 4 years. Let's go under the assumption that she replaced a beloved and successful HC, one who knew he game but also obviously knew how to work the community,. When he left (sorry, I can't remember if he died or not), the assumption would also be that one of his long-time assistants would take over -- someone the community already knew, trusted, and had built inroads with. Wen the AD went in another direction, my guess is those guys quit. It may have been a "she's hired and you can either work for her or quit" situation, but my guess is they were unhappy with the AD's choice and left, and in the process have been less than supportive of her in the local softball community.

There are lots of good reasons for the AD to make that move. Not the least of them is having a woman coaching HS girls is a good thing for role modeling and opportunity presentation. There may have been a feeling of inappropriateness with a bunch of old guys constantly being around a bunch of young girls -- sometimes these gender decisions are highly suggested by the district or the state. Maybe the AD thought the program had become too integrated with the local TB community to the exclusion of the community at large. These are all things that happen in high schools.

But the local TB community -- like all TB communities -- expects there to be at least some degree of HS payoff for years of work they've put in. We may denigrate HS ball when compared to TB, but high school is a bigger part fo most communities than a TB club. A letterman's jacket is more prestigious to wear around school than a tournament T-shirt. A HS country, regional or state title means more than a tournament win to the community -- a parent is more likely to get "recognition" from a successful HS program than a club one. Like it or not, parents have a stake in their child's high school successes.

There's motivation for high school age girls to want to play for the high school. There may be some exceptions -- the stud who's going to Alabama, or the girl who wants to focus on her studies half the year while playing ball the other half. But for the most part, kids want to play for their high school. They've planned about it, they've talked about amongst themselves. They think they know how it's going to be.

But then you have a new coach coming in who has no experience in the program, hasn't been seeing these girls and their sisters for years and doesn't have the relationships the old staff has. Plus a bunch of former coaches -- still a part of the SB community -- pissed off she's there. She does things differently, maybe doesn't give some of the TB girls the preferential treatment they (and their parents) think they've earned. So at some point three or four years ago, they all quit (or, more likely, one or two decide to quit and pressured the others to follow). But they need an explanation or justification for abandoning the local high school. So the narrative begins that the new coach is a jerk (and maybe she is). They get backup from the other former coaches, and a reputation is born. It gets passed on from travel team to travel team, and now that's the reputation of the program and the coach. The coach may suck or the coach may be awesome in a different way or she may just be like most coaches, average but trying, but the prevalence of the narrative -- and the widespread avoidance of the HS team -- is much beyond anything she COULD have done. There are people and groups actively working against her and the school, and that's the reality you need to face.

With all that said, what do you do? Reading your posts, I get the feeling you want to fix it -- you want to make a stand that will make everything better. That's admirable, but not your job. But if you want to try anyway, undoing this needs to be done by attacking the narrative. I assume you watch her practices and her games, and I also assume you don't see the things that are complained about, at least not in the scale that they were described to you. Tell parents that. If you're at a game and someone says something about how awful she is, counter act it. Talk to the parents of the younger kids about the benefits of high school ball, how the HSHC has experience and has a coaching style and has empathy, and let those parents and kids hear that maybe it's not as bad as others present.

You're already doing a good job of coaching up the girls skills -- coach up their perspective. Be an advocate for the program and the head coach. Combat the narrative. Because in truth, no one who is currently high school eligible actually ever played an inning for her. All they know is a reputation passed on by people who had non-her reasons to dislike her. If you want to help the program, start by helping too diminish that reputation.

Again, I want to point out this ain't your job or your responsibility. But also to remind you that it's unlikely to change. She was hired for a reason; she's been kept on for a reason. Those reasons won't just disappear because some parents said some bad things. So you can either ride the wave as it is, help the girls you can, accept that the rest you can't and enjoy the game for what it is. Or, if you want to make a change that probably will go unrecognized, start telling your version of the your school's story. Sooner or later it will probably catch on.
 
Last edited:

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
290
43
As I've read this and the responses, both yours and others, I'm convinced you're looking at the wrong villain, and are closing in on the wrong solution.

I'm going to preface this by saying, as I've detailed in other threads, that I dislike my DD's HSHC. I think she is cruel, unfair and fundamentally a bad coach, and to a degree a bad person. We are parents who went to the AD, then the Principal, then the District to discuss her behavior. I was a sportswriter who covered a lot of high school coaches, and I understand their limitations as sometimes their unpleasant inclinations. I am not someone to take their side on very many issues.

With the said, think the issue here is not with the coach but with the TB community in your area, and if you want to be a part of rebuilding your school's program, it's going to start with rebuilding that connection. I say that because there's not a lot of reasons for a prolonged boycot of a high school program for top players in an area. Kids cycle through -- so even if the coach was not supportive of a senior -- or even an entire junior class -- those kids would be gone by now. Like you said in your OP, there's a story that's going around your community about your head coach and her program. It's a story that's being passed around in tournaments and between parents and girls, more based on hearsay than anything tangible and if you want to rebuild the program you're going to have to actively combat the potentially unearned reputation your HSHC has, and to do that you're simply going to have to change the narrative that is being told about her.

Look at it this way: she's been on the job 4 years. Let's go under the assumption that she replaced a beloved and successful HC, one who knew he game but also obviously knew how to work the community,. When he left (sorry, I can't remember if he died or not), the assumption would also be that one of his long-time assistants would take over -- someone the community already knew, trusted, and had built inroads with. Wen the AD went in another direction, my guess is those guys quit. It may have been a "she's hired and you can either work for her or quit" situation, but my guess is they were unhappy with the AD's choice and left, and in the process have been less than supportive of her in the local softball community.

There are lots of good reasons for the AD to make that move. Not the least of them is having a woman coaching HS girls is a good thing for role modeling and opportunity presentation. There may have been a feeling of inappropriateness with a bunch of old guys constantly being around a bunch of young girls -- sometimes these gender decisions are highly suggested by the district or the state. Maybe the AD thought the program had become too integrated with the local TB community to the exclusion of the community at large. These are all things that happen in high schools.

But the local TB community -- like all TB communities -- expects there to be at least some degree of HS payoff for years of work they've put in. We may denigrate HS ball when compared to TB, but high school is a bigger part fo most communities than a TB club. A letterman's jacket is more prestigious to wear around school than a tournament T-shirt. A HS country, regional or state title means more than a tournament win to the community -- a parent is more likely to get "recognition" from a successful HS program than a club one. Like it or not, parents have a stake in their child's high school successes.

There's motivation for high school age girls to want to play for the high school. There may be some exceptions -- the stud who's going to Alabama, or the girl who wants to focus on her studies half the year while playing ball the other half. But for the most part, kids want to play for their high school. They've planned about it, they've talked about amongst themselves. They think they know how it's going to be.

But then you have a new coach coming in who has no experience in the program, hasn't been seeing these girls and their sisters for years and doesn't have the relationships the old staff has. Plus a bunch of former coaches -- still a part of the SB community -- pissed off she's there. She does things differently, maybe doesn't give some of the TB girls the preferential treatment they (and their parents) think they've earned. So at some point three or four years ago, they all quit (or, more likely, one or two decide to quit and pressured the others to follow). But they need an explanation or justification for abandoning the local high school. So the narrative begins that the new coach is a jerk (and maybe she is). They get backup from the other former coaches, and a reputation is born. It gets passed on from travel team to travel team, and now that's the reputation of the program and the coach. The coach may suck or the coach may be awesome in a different way or she may just be like most coaches, average but trying, but the prevalence of the narrative -- and the widespread avoidance of the HS team -- is much beyond anything she COULD have done. There are people and groups actively working against her and the school, and that's the reality you need to face.

With all that said, what do you do? Reading your posts, I get the feeling you want to fix it -- you want to make a stand that will make everything better. That's admirable, but not your job. But if you want to try anyway, undoing this needs to be done by attacking the narrative. I assume you watch her practices and her games, and I also assume you don't see the things that are complained about, at least not in the scale that they were described to you. Tell parents that. If you're at a game and someone says something about how awful she is, counter act it. Talk to the parents of the younger kids about the benefits of high school ball, how the HSHC has experience and has a coaching style and has empathy, and let those parents and kids hear that maybe it's not as bad as others present.

You're already doing a good job of coaching up the girls skills -- coach up their perspective. Be an advocate for the program and the head coach. Combat the narrative. Because in truth, no one who is currently high school eligible actually ever played an inning for her. All they know is a reputation passed on by people who had non-her reasons to dislike her. If you want to help the program, start by helping too diminish that reputation.

Again, I want to point out this ain't your job or your responsibility. But also to remind you that it's unlikely to change. She was hired for a reason; she's been kept on for a reason. Those reasons won't just disappear because some parents said some bad things. So you can either ride the wave as it is, help the girls you can, accept that the rest you can't and enjoy the game for what it is. Or, if you want to make a change that probably will go unrecognized, start telling your version of the your school's story. Sooner or later it will probably catch on.
First of all thanks for taking the time read the OP and to post a well thought out reply.

We are in a suburban area of a larger city so while there are 3 TB programs in the HS city there are literally dozens in the area and even more over the nearby state line. The girls who play HS and those who choose to not play are scattered between upwards of 30 teams in 20 orgs. From early June to the end of July I make sure to try and see as many of these HS eligible players as I can. Some parents recognize me and we talk, always positive about their DD and looking forward to having her play HS. No one ever says sorry we're not playing because of the HC. I've had parents tell me she wants to play soccer, she has a job, AP classes, Drama club, etc. I always tell them I understand and end those conversations with "If you have any questions about HS softball I try to answer them. If you change your mind we would welcome you".

I understand the pluses of running both V and JV programs alike so that you can drop the new player right in and have her feel comfortable. As a staff we talk about V needs and who could be candidates to move up. I have played girls out of position so that they got used to playing the position at game speed before we moved them up. I've continually lost my best players to the V during the season over the last 4 years. And I do play to take the outs as they present themselves .

I'll keep talking up the program and see if I can increase the numbers.
 
Feb 20, 2020
216
43
I understand all that you’re saying. But there’s been a change In turnout. A former player parent says it’s because girls don’t like the HC, and then tosses in a if you get rid of her girls will come back.

That means they are talking. And they don’t even have the decency to talk to you or her. They’re just bitching and conspiring.

if you want to recruit, work the 12s. It’s hard to do in a COVID world, but maybe remind them of what’s great about high school sports — every game matters, no tournaments, scores on the announcements. Tell them you’re building something special, and then don’t ask, tell them you’re looking forward to coaching them in high school. They are too good to not show off with their friends.

Maybe talk up 7-inning games, getting to really develop rivalries with girls they know.

Or, just as good, coach up the girls who want to play. That’s probably a lot more fun than having to make a pitch. :)
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,310
113
California
First of all thanks for taking the time read the OP and to post a well thought out reply.

No one ever says sorry we're not playing because of the HC. I've had parents tell me she wants to play soccer, she has a job, AP classes, Drama club, etc. I always tell them I understand and end those conversations with "If you have any questions about HS softball I try to answer them. If you change your mind we would welcome you".

I understand the pluses of running both V and JV programs alike so that you can drop the new player right in and have her feel comfortable. As a staff we talk about V needs and who could be candidates to move up. I have played girls out of position so that they got used to playing the position at game speed before we moved them up. I've continually lost my best players to the V during the season over the last 4 years. And I do play to take the outs as they present themselves .

I'll keep talking up the program and see if I can increase the numbers.
"No one ever says sorry we're not playing because of the HC"

Hmmm?
People know you when you walk up, and comfortable talking to you, good!
They share with you have reasons they are saying no h.s. softball.
Thats the answer.
They have another plan.
Dont take it personally.
Things change and shift.
Think another poster commented people/players go in cycles.

Your loyalty and efforts to go connect with younger families and players is admirable!

Does the VHC do any face time drawing players like that?
Did she ask you to do that?

Just thinking this through a bit...
Do you think top players in travel would rather have
the Varsity coach approaching them?
Or the Jv coach?

BTW the head coach you're speaking of has been with the program for 4 years. That's long enough that if whatever is going on there... if it were that obnoxious... could have been fired/let go already.
 
Last edited:

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
290
43
"No one ever says sorry we're not playing because of the
"No one ever says sorry we're not playing because of the HC"

Hmmm?
People know you when you walk up, and comfortable talking to you, good!
They share with you have reasons they are saying no h.s. softball.
Thats the answer.
They have another plan.
Dont take it personally.
Things change and shift.
Think another poster commented people/players go in cycles.

Your loyalty and efforts to go connect with younger families and players is admirable!

Does the VHC do any face time drawing players like that?
Did she ask you to do that?

Just thinking this through a bit...
Do you think top players in travel would rather have
the Varsity coach approaching them?
Or the Jv coach?

BTW the head coach you're speaking of has been with the program for 4 years. That's long enough that if whatever is going on there... if it were that obnoxious... could have been fired/let go already.
Thanks for the response.

Replying to your points:

Several families have had DD's go through the program years ago so we can talk.

I hope this is the bottom of a down cycle in player participation in HS. But the other HS is not seeing this. Maybe it's yet to come.

Regarding face time the VHC is a teacher and has several of the incoming TB players as students

About TB player being approached, I think it's better if the VHC talks to them. It may give them some comfort in that the VHC knows who the player and allows for questions and answers.
 

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