Just a rant

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Oct 26, 2019
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If playing multiple sports is important enough to coaches and families, then they will make time for it. Of the 12 girls on my 14U team (all 8th graders), 10 of the 12 play at least one other sport for their middle school team. We have basketball players, field hockey players, volleyball players, and one that plays baseball for her middle school since they don’t have softball.

Maybe one of them will play another sport other than softball at the next level like my wife did. She played travel soccer and school basketball. Then decided to try field hockey as a sophomore. She was an all-region standout in field hockey in college. It was her “3rd sport”.
 
May 27, 2013
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^^This!

Dd has had college teammates that played more than just softball. One played volleyball and the other does track.

The problem is specializing too early may push an athlete away from other sports they potentially could have excelled in, even more so than softball. I still think dd should have ran track or played lacrosse because she is so fast.

I have no problems with the player themselves wanting to specialize in one sport. However, I don’t agree with coaches telling their players/parents they “have” to specialize or else they can’t play for them. If the player isn’t missing that coach’s practices or games, then it’s really none of their business what a player does on their own time.

Some HS require their students to participate in a sport 2-3 seasons each year. DD’s did. She enjoyed playing tennis and basketball because they weren’t stressful to her because they weren’t “her” sport like softball was. The nice thing about it was she made a lot of friends outside of softball, and it was fun to watch her just having a great time on the court or supporting her teammates.

It is definitely doable to have the multi sport athlete do well in school and also do well in their #1 sport. Not all kids want to play D1 where specialization is probably necessary in order to excel.
 
Feb 16, 2024
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My DGD competed in ski racing and plays TB. She is the catcher, her ability to squat and lunge for multiple games is incredible. The stamina from the year-round leg work has been great. I taught her to ski and this last season she decided to ski for fun instead of the competition. It made me a little sad, but the winter time TB practice and ski racing practice and events were too much. It was her decision, and I got to ski with her more.
 
Oct 26, 2019
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The book that I referenced by Epstein on the first page of this thread is a great read. There is a small window of opportunity to build athleticism between the ages of 8 and 14.
 
Oct 11, 2018
47
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Atlanta
The key is for coaches to decide ahead of time (before forming a team) and then communicate to parents and players clearly their expectations and consequences around attendance. There is nothing wrong with bring a coach that encourages players to be engaged in many activities and doesn’t require softball to be the top priority. There is nothing wrong with being a coach that is looking for players who will always prioritize their softball team activities. What doesn’t work too well is having a team that has a mix of families from both groups AND, having not set any expectation, the coach then chooses to go one route or the other.


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Jan 31, 2011
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As a HS coach in a small school, it is important for kids to play other sports for programs to be successful. We need those athletes to play multiple sports. I'm lucky, TB is a huge priortity for a bunch of my kids/families. Our softball program benefits from it. Without solid players, its a tough season.

It would be easy for me to pressure kids to specialize in softball, but that isn't best for the school or the kids. Besides, be careful when you pressure a kid to make a choice... You may not like their decision!
 
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Aug 5, 2022
397
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As a HS coach in a small school, it is important for kids to play other sports for programs to be successful. We need those athletes to play multiple sports. I'm lucky, TB is a huge priortity for a bunch of my kids/families. Our softball program benefits from it. Without solid players, its a tough season.

It would be easy for me to pressure kids to specialize in softball, but that isn't best for the school or the kids. Besides, be careful when you pressure a kid to make a choice... You may not like their decision!

This! We were so blessed with coaches that understood softball came first for dd. She gave 110 percent at every moment she could attend and worked on her own when she couldn’t be at something. Because of this she was able to earn 12 varsity letters and help her teams earn 2 conference championships that no one saw coming along with numerous personal honors. She learned so much about leadership and work ethic in those other sports


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