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High School vs Travel Ball

Jul 17, 2008
65
0
in the dugout
around here high school softball is a joke. i put together a 18u travel team this summer and the girls were so unprepared coming out of their high school seasons that i was simply amazed. we were really up against the wall against the travel teams that had played together for years. the team grew leaps and bounds and if i can get them together next year, they will be very competative.

all of the pitching we faced were the top pitchers in the state. these girls had only seen pitching like they faced this summer a time or two, at the most, during their entire high school season. it took me almost the whole summer to get the stunned look off of their face and get them to swing the bat. it was a difference of facing 45 to 50 mph pitchers to facing 60+.

is this the norm throughout or is high school softball that far behind here? i think the girls would be farther ahead to not play high school and spend that time training for summer ball.

there are 5 public high schools and two large private high schools here in the city (this doesn't include the dozen or so schools in the surrounding towns) that play KHSAA (state tourney eligible) softball. there are only two pitchers in these seven schools that can pitch over 50-53mph... seriously... and one of them is my dd and she doesn't plan on playing high school this year.
 

May 15, 2008
429
16
Eastern Long Island
Yep, high school ball in my area is weak also, except for a few schools where the coaches put together their own travel teams and use a lot of their HS players. In general the strength of high school team depends upon the number of travel players that it has, especially the pitchers. Your daughter will have to balance the value of training against the value of game experience that HS ball will provide. There are so many situations that can only happen during games, those instances where quick, almost instinctive decisions must be made, you can't train for them. It's game experience vs training.
 
Jul 28, 2008
1,088
0
50-53 is bad for high school ball pitchers, period. Our local HS had a freshman (14U) pitcher throwing 61 this year.

My 2nd year 12U's are throwing 50-52 right now and we're figuring on them throwing around 55 consistently as 1st year 14's at the beginning of the spring season. We'll see how they progress, though.
 
Jul 17, 2008
54
0
Troy, Illinois
HS ball in our area is fairly good. Of course, you'll run into some weak programs. However, you'll get your lunch handed to you if you play the better schools. Speed? Don't know but my dd throws it well. 11-0 in HS this year as a freshman on varsity. Still, growing and was not the best around by a LONG SHOT! Of course travel teams are really all star teams for the most part. If you take any team and have it comprised of a hs team, you could be in trouble. We did just that this year and her team is currently 41-23. Not bad for the competition we play. ASA Class A. Half of her team, including her, could have played 14U.
 
May 5, 2008
358
0
High school ball in Hawaii is can be VERY competitive. Of course we have weak teams too, but ALL our travel ball players are on various high school teams. Of course, now that our high school season has switched over to the spring (used to be a winter sport), I'm not sure how it's going to affect the hs/travel ball teams.

It seems that different areas of the country have VERY different softball "environments" when it comes to hs & travel.
 
R

RayR

Guest
HS softball coaches in my area are handcuffed so to speak. You cannot coach more than 5 players at one time in the off season and are not allowed any one on one instruction. You get 14 days of practice before the first game. Oh and let's not forget that coaches have to be senstive to the fact that a parent (whether in the right or not) can cause all sorts of problems and cost you your job in a heartbeat.

So, lay off the HS coaches.

BTW, I have been to enough travel tourneys to know that the coaching is not that spectacular either. It does go both ways.
 
Jul 16, 2008
1,415
38
Oregon
BTW, I have been to enough travel tourneys to know that the coaching is not that spectacular either. It does go both ways.


While you are correct, don't forget that the HS coach is paid (not much I know, but still), and 95% of Travel Ball coaches are volunteer.
 
R

RayR

Guest
While you are correct, don't forget that the HS coach is paid (not much I know, but still), and 95% of Travel Ball coaches are volunteer.
Sure, we get paid. Point is that there are good and bad coaches on both sides. Just tired of the HS coaches suck threads. I have to unteach some of my players coming in from travel as well. Especially, the garbage hitting instruction most of them get...
 
Jul 17, 2008
65
0
in the dugout
Sure, we get paid. Point is that there are good and bad coaches on both sides. Just tired of the HS coaches suck threads. I have to unteach some of my players coming in from travel as well. Especially, the garbage hitting instruction most of them get...

hey mts, sorry about any indications in my thread that high school softball is behind here because of the coaching. that is not what i am saying at all. i blame it on the girls and their lack of willingness to work during the off season months to improve and the culture of being okay with being behind other areas of the state in softball. the reason travel ball far out exceeds high school in competition here is because this is where the dedicated players play. this is why three 18u teams didn't field teams here this year and i still had trouble putting one together.

the lack of pitching is because no one seams to want to put the time into it. i certainly don't expect a high school coach to develop a pitcher. if she can't pitch by her freshman year, it probably isn't going to happen. i feel sorry for the poor high school coach here that has to try and field a team with one pitcher and she's a freshman.

when i put my team together i went to a high school coach and asked him to help me because of the world of experience he has coaching. i have nothing but respect for anyone willing to coach a high school team.

here softball starts roughly six weeks before the season starts and with the exception of a few weeks during a summer dead period they can coach with travel teams as well. three HS coaches here had travel teams and a fourth had two. of course when school starts they have to stop coaching until season starts.

the bottom three HS teams out of my dd's region of 16 schools were all three schools from our city and they had a combined record of 9-75. it is a local problem starting much younger than high school but unfortunately that's where they end up. my team grew leaps and bounds from the high level competition they faced, not from my coaching. it's hard to become a better hitter when you rarely face a decent pitcher. it's hard to become a better pitcher when you very rarely get challenged by hitters.

again sorry, i didn't mean to offend any HS coach... you have my complete respect. go easy on us travel coaches too... speaking for myself, i coach because i love the game and being around a great group of players. i could write a book on what i don't know about fastpitch but i'm willing to put in the time to learn.
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
I also coach both and softball is a hobby to me. I know everyone talks about speed, but here is a web page that lists a study on national average pitching speeds. PitchSoftball Home Page PITCH SOFTBALL: Valuable softball pitching advice for girl softball pitchers
I know I have seen very few kids in high school break 60. bgecoach has some good points. I coach hitting so I see some coaches bad on both sides. It all depends on how hard the coach wants to improve his knowledge of the game. This is a hobby for me so I spend as much time as a can learning and going to clinics. Many coaches don't and they are teaching kids what they taught many years ago. I also see baseball coaches now trying to be softball coaches in high school. . It is a different sport. Just take slapping, most coaches have no clue how to teach or coach it.
 

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