Middle School vs. 12u

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Aug 3, 2019
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Player is 2nd year 12u and in 7th grade (1st year of MS eligibility in this area).

MS Team practices 5 nights a week plus Saturday AM. Games are always during week.

Travel team holds optional practices ( largely for for non-MS players) during week, 1 weekend practice plus 2 April weekend tournaments and ramps up practices/tournaments after MS ends.

MS coach has policy that if players miss a practice, even on Sat, they sit next game.

Conflict arises as player forced to choose between missing a Sat tournament pool day with travel team or missing MS practice and therefore being benched next game.

MS coach—-Feels there should be no tournament activity at all until after the school season is over—even on weekends. Feels MS takes precedent over any other activity.

Travel Coach— Feels that he has developed this player year round for the last 4 seasons and is reasonable with no weekday practices during middle school and only 2 tournaments. Is understanding and ok with player missing a day of pool play but also says “tail is wagging the dog” with quality of local MS being much weaker than travel.

Thoughts on who is right—-MS Coach or Travel Coach.
 
Oct 26, 2019
1,328
113
I have made it pretty well known on here that I am Pro high school sports being a high school athletic director. However, in this instance the middle school coach is setting himself up for failure by practicing on Saturdays.
 
Jan 25, 2022
737
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I agree about the Saturdays being the root of the problem.

TBC isn't being unreasonable with his plans, but I'm with the MS coach. Travel ball has exclusive access to the kids nine months of the year. That's plenty. For three months, school teams are priority 1.
 
Oct 26, 2019
1,328
113
I agree about the Saturdays being the root of the problem.

TBC isn't being unreasonable with his plans, but I'm with the MS coach. Travel ball has exclusive access to the kids nine months of the year. That's plenty. For three months, school teams are priority 1.
I agree with school taking precedent in season. Where I live we play middle school softball in the fall which works out pretty well with travel ball. The kids are obviously going to have to make a choice. If I’m a kid on the bench with little chance to play I’m probably missing this Saturday practice, but if I’m a starter I’m probably gonna go. This is why I think the middle school coach set himself up for failure by practicing on Saturday at all. It forces the kids into a tough decision
 
Jun 8, 2016
16,118
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Why does it matter who’s right? Unless you made a promise to one of the coaches to not miss, let DD choose. Life is full of making decisions which have consequences. Might as well have her learn when the stakes are so low…I bet my wife wishes she had somebody teaching her that when she was in 7th grade because she made one doozy of a decision…
 
Feb 25, 2020
938
93
Player is 2nd year 12u and in 7th grade (1st year of MS eligibility in this area).

MS Team practices 5 nights a week plus Saturday AM. Games are always during week.

Travel team holds optional practices ( largely for for non-MS players) during week, 1 weekend practice plus 2 April weekend tournaments and ramps up practices/tournaments after MS ends.

MS coach has policy that if players miss a practice, even on Sat, they sit next game.

Conflict arises as player forced to choose between missing a Sat tournament pool day with travel team or missing MS practice and therefore being benched next game.

MS coach—-Feels there should be no tournament activity at all until after the school season is over—even on weekends. Feels MS takes precedent over any other activity.

Travel Coach— Feels that he has developed this player year round for the last 4 seasons and is reasonable with no weekday practices during middle school and only 2 tournaments. Is understanding and ok with player missing a day of pool play but also says “tail is wagging the dog” with quality of local MS being much weaker than travel.

Thoughts on who is right—-MS Coach or Travel Coach.

The MS coach better be the real deal.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
2,009
113
If I’m a kid on the bench with little chance to play I’m probably missing this Saturday practice, but if I’m a starter I’m probably gonna go. This is why I think the middle school coach set himself up for failure by practicing on Saturday at all. It forces the kids into a tough decision
This right here.

Looking back on this, I have a more cynical view of school ball. The school ball coach typically doesn't develop players. In any "competitive" HS program, that coach is able to select and use the available talent already developed by someone else. While I'm sure there are exceptions, there isn't much personal commitment to the player, yet the school ball coach typically expects unswerving commitment to their program.

Do what's best for your kid. If your kid will be on the school ball bench anyway, go play the tournament instead of going to the Saturday practice. That's really a no-brainer. In retrospect, regardless of where my kid was on the SB depth chart, if the TB coach needed her on Saturday, I'm probably choosing the coach who is invested in my kid over the one that simply uses her.
 
Last edited:
Aug 25, 2019
1,065
113
I agree with school taking precedent in season. Where I live we play middle school softball in the fall which works out pretty well with travel ball. The kids are obviously going to have to make a choice. If I’m a kid on the bench with little chance to play I’m probably missing this Saturday practice, but if I’m a starter I’m probably gonna go. This is why I think the middle school coach set himself up for failure by practicing on Saturday at all. It forces the kids into a tough decision
No kid should be sitting on the bench in middle school, they should all get in every game somehow. And I don't think it happened in DD's TB/school career, but I would take playing the game over practice every time, even if that means missing the next game at school.
 
Jun 1, 2013
847
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That TB coach put in 4 years to developing your kid and sticking with her. The middle school coach isn’t going to do anything for her in just 2 seasons of 2 months per season. Why risk alienating the 1 person that has put in the time and effort for someone who hasn’t? Skip Saturday, let him bench her. Someone else will get playing time they probably need.
 
Jan 25, 2022
737
93
This right here.

Looking back on this, I have a more cynical view of school ball. The school ball coach typically doesn't develop players. In any "competitive" HS program, that coach is able to select and use the available talent already developed by someone else. While I'm sure there are exceptions, there isn't much personal commitment to the player, yet the school ball coach typically expects unswerving commitment to their program.

What do you all consider developing players?

I'm a middle school assistant, and we're a small town that has no travel kids in softball at any level. But we had the field open for voluntary sessions almost every weeknight the entire summer. I dedicated my entire summer to my kids and any of the other MS/HS or 5th grade girls who wanted to come out. We held hitting and pitching nights once a week the entire fall and winter. We taught a few pitching from scratch. I'll be offering the same to our LL players. Two of us on the MS staff coached a spring LL team and assisted with a fall ball little league team, just to get some of these kids game experience.

Our HS coach was standing on the field with us on opening day of LL and spent half his summer on the field with me for open workouts. He coaches one of my girls. I coached his. My MS head coach was the HS baseball coach several years ago when his son played. His daughter is on our team.

Laat season MS was mercy ruled in almost eveey game. It was the same for the high school. Every single one of us was new in our positions. I had barely ever coached at all. We refused to put our kids through that again.

But this is just how it should be. We are very involved in development here. Dedicated, even. We know who is coming up from LL and what their potential is, and truly provide ANY kid (experienced or not) around here the opportunity to learn and develop. I dont understand why any coach who wants to win games and teach the kids about working toward success in life wouldn't do the same. Almost every program around here does something similar.
 

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