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Maddie - The HS journey begins...

Dec 2, 2013
901
18
Texas
It's been a while since I updated this, so here we go...

We are down to the last couple of game of the HS season, and it's been a pretty rough journey. The wide range of skill/talent level, and having only a few TB players, has lead to some challenges in putting together a consistent and effective defense. Likewise, hitting abilities range from good to terrible. All that said, the team isn't the worst in the league. There are two teams that are a big step down from ours, including one where their only pitcher is consistently in the low-30s. One the flip side, the top teams are stacked deep with very good travel players, including some that are committed to D1 schools. Those teams easily curb-stomp us (worst loss was 26-0). There is a middle team that we think we can beat if we play a good game. The previous meeting was an 8-4 loss with all 8 of their runs being unearned. We play them on Tuesday.

One of the things that has really stunned me is the seething negativity that constantly pours out of a few parents. They rip the coach, the players, and a couple of other parents. They are also the parents of some of the better players on the team. There's also a guy that constantly criticizes his DD, even when she does a good job, He's also the one coaching the whole team from outside the fence all game long. This is - by far - the worst group of parents I've been around.

The coach is new to HS ball, and has had all his previous experience in rec ball. He leaves a lot to be desired in some areas, but he has a good heart, gives it his absolute best effort, and is open to learning. As many things as I would do differently, I keep my mouth shut about it. He was willing to take on the task, and I wasn't. Without him, there wouldn't be a team. The school was very late in hiring him, and he has no AC. From time to time, the HC and I have had lengthy phone conversations about players, lineups, and game strategies. I appreciate that he confides in me, and I think I've been able to help him in a couple of areas. Next year, I expect him to be a little better, especially if he can get someone to help him.

Some good things...Maddie loves her teammates, likes the HC, and is liked and respected by all of them. She has gotten a very large majority of the innings behind the plate, and has been the #3 or #4 batter in every game. She leads the team in nearly every offensive category (AVG .436, OBP .542, SLG .769, 2 HR, 15 RBI), is one of the top 3 freshmen players in the league, and top-20 overall. She also was the first player on her team to hit an OTF bomb.

The team is on pace to equal the most number of league-game wins that they've had in the last 10 years (maybe longer). Next year, if all of the top players return, we expect an improvement in a couple of areas with some of the incoming freshmen, including a very-talented SS/CF with fantastic speed and a good bat. She will be a difference-maker in an area that has been a weakness - mid IF.

Most importantly, Maddie is having fun, learning more about the game, and making new friends. However, she really misses having a full team of players around her that play at her level, and is excited for the re-start of her travel team next weekend.

Maddie's HR...
Maddie's team sounds exactly like my DD's team!
 
Jul 16, 2013
2,947
48
Pennsylvania
Glad to see she is doing so well Eric! Maddie seems like a great kid. Your comments about the parents do not surprise me. Someone posted in another thread that rec ball parents tend to be far worse than travel ball parents in regards to drama. I agree with that. And when DD was playing high school ball, she was one of the few travel ball players on the team. We had the same type of drama that you are experiencing and it was caused by a few of the parents of non-travel ball players. Essentially, the high school team was their version of rec ball... There were aspects of high school ball that DD enjoyed, but she always looked forward to travel ball. In fact, our running joke was that high school ball was "pre-season". Best of luck for the rest of her season!
 
May 24, 2013
9,493
83
So Cal
Glad to see she is doing so well Eric! Maddie seems like a great kid. Your comments about the parents do not surprise me. Someone posted in another thread that rec ball parents tend to be far worse than travel ball parents in regards to drama. I agree with that. And when DD was playing high school ball, she was one of the few travel ball players on the team. We had the same type of drama that you are experiencing and it was caused by a few of the parents of non-travel ball players. Essentially, the high school team was their version of rec ball... There were aspects of high school ball that DD enjoyed, but she always looked forward to travel ball. In fact, our running joke was that high school ball was "pre-season". Best of luck for the rest of her season!
In our case, the negativity is all TB parents. Most of the rec parents are pretty nice...when they show up. In my observation, the TB parents haven't been able to adjust their expectations to match the talent level of the team. One of them has been a TB coach for a number of years.
 
Feb 8, 2019
135
18
Still trying to come to grips with a HS pitcher only throwing 30's. Went and watched my DDs teammate play last week and the opposing pitcher, a junior, was throwing 70. Really opened the DDs eyes, she can only get to 62
 
May 24, 2013
9,493
83
So Cal
Still trying to come to grips with a HS pitcher only throwing 30's. Went and watched my DDs teammate play last week and the opposing pitcher, a junior, was throwing 70. Really opened the DDs eyes, she can only get to 62
Most of the pitchers we see are solid TB players ranging from mid-50s to mid-60s. The one who throws 30's is the only pitcher they have. No surprise, that team is the bottom of the league. To her credit, she doesn't walk all that many.
 
Feb 8, 2019
135
18
Most of the pitchers we see are solid TB players ranging from mid-50s to mid-60s. The one who throws 30's is the only pitcher they have. No surprise, that team is the bottom of the league. To her credit, she doesn't walk all that many.
How's her change up?
 
May 24, 2013
9,493
83
So Cal
Maddie and her team closed out the season with a heavy beat-down of their league rival to finish with measly a 4-10 record in league play. This equals the best record her school has had in (at least) the last 10 years. Next year's success will be largely based on whether or not our #1 P returns. At the moment, the parents are saying she's not coming back and will run track instead. With the expectation that there aren't any high-quality Ps coming in as new freshmen next year, the future is looking a little bleak, but I'll worry about that next year.

A few highlights from the season...



This doesn't get said very often...I look forward to returning to the sanity of travel ball parents.
 
Dec 26, 2017
149
28
Oklahoma
I know I only get to see Maddie's highlights but as a 10u coach, watching her catch makes me want to cry lol. I feel like I'm watching a WCWS game lol.
 

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