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Aug 2, 2008
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I read through the thread on cutting kids and did not find my answer so here goes. We have a 10-U select team, we picked 10 of the girls from tryouts last August and added 1 more in December on a recomendation without a tryout (I wont make that mistake again.) First off, she is a nice kid, and I like the parents but being honest she is not on the same level as the other kids on offense or defense. I might be able to live with that if she had a great attitude, before we started team practices in early January but after we took her on the team I saw her crying several times at our local indoor practice facility. At 2 of our 3 practices so far she has been over to her parents crying within the first 5 minutes, kids being kids, the rest of the team is starting to notice a pattern, I dont think she is ready for this, but I think the parents are going to take it hard as I don't believe they see the problem. Tell me if you think I am wrong, but I have no patience for crying and practices are not going to get easier. How do I tell them it's not going to work out?

Thanks,
Mike
 
Jul 29, 2008
49
0
Have you asked the parents why she is showing this pattern?

Being that she's 10, maybe you give her a warning that includes your thoughts (she isn't ready/needs outside practice), acceptable team behavior (quit crying), and learning responsibility (no mom/dad contact during practice). See what they do with that.

But if I'm being honest, I would cut her. Especially if I'm not willing to take on a "project" kid or thinking her attitude will infect the rest of the team. The kids are going to resent her eventually. And if you do it now, she still has time to tryout and find the right fit.
 
Jan 15, 2009
585
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Kind of depends on why she's crying. I've seen kids in that situation who want to be there so bad that they are in constant terror that they have to play perfect or they will be sent away.

If she wants it that bad, that's a workable situation because what it will probably take from you is a conversation along the lines of

"You're on this team, we know you can do it so stop worrying about playing and start playing like we know you can. We know you need extra work in these areas and here's how you're going to work to improve them so that you feel you're playing like we know you can play."

If she's crying because she doesn't really want to be there, that's a whole other deal and you should consider telling the parents that they need to find somewhere that the kid wants to be, not where they want the kid to be.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,854
63
Dallas, Texas
(1) Set aside a day to meet with each set of parents individually and go over their child's strengths and weaknesses. (You should do this anyway).

(2) When it comes your turn to talk to this child, be honest with them. Don't approach this as a "negative" situation--that the child is bad or the parents are bad. The truth is that softball is simply a game like tiddly winks. If a child doesn't want to play, so what? The child needs to be spending time doing something she likes rather than something she doesn't like. Tell them that their DD isn't up to the rest of the team, and so her playing time is going to be severely limited, and that you hate to see them doing all this work, spending all of this money, wasting all of this time for nothing.
 
Nov 21, 2008
9
0
I am not inclined to take on a project, I have that in rec. every year. The other coaches agree that she does not seem to want this as bad as her parents and it shows. I think I am going to start with, I am concerned about your daughter...... and lead into, she has 2 years left of 10-u after this season, I don't want this year to be the reason she doesn't want to play anymore..... I just dont believe she is ready for select yet. This is our first year coaching select, I haven't had to deal with this yet, I actually feel really bad about the whole thing.

Mike
 

Coach-n-Dad

Crazy Daddy
Oct 31, 2008
1,011
0
WOW

All this and the kid is 8 years old? Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't softball be fun? ...at least for a couple more years. Jeesh
 
Nov 21, 2008
9
0
She's almost 10 but I get your point. The thing is the other girls are having fun and she doesn't seem to be. Kids do have minds of there own and their definitions of fun are sometimes different, and if you are going to play on a select team the fun isn't just about hanging with friends its about getting better and winning games. Don't get the wrong idea, I am not a hard ass coach, fun is a big part of our program. If more of the kids had the same issue I would really look into our coaching strategy.

Mike
 
Aug 2, 2008
553
0
In the end, a mature discussion with the parents and myself was the appropriate action. I told them my concerns along with my recommendation and stuck to my guns. The parents agreed that it was best that she plays Rec. 1 more year with all of her school friends. If I learned anything it was that tryouts for every kid is very important regardless of who recommends them. Thanks for the help.

Mike
 

Coach-n-Dad

Crazy Daddy
Oct 31, 2008
1,011
0
Fun is also a big part of our organization and I agree that definitions of fun are sometimes different. The definition of fun to the kids on our team is trying to win playing the game that they love to play. Select team or not, competitive softball is not about hanging with friends, that usually comes naturally to a bunch of kids that are doing what they love - together.

I would have done exactly what you did and have the discussion with the parents. Fortunately they are mature enough to see what you saw and agree.

I don't need to say this but the original mistake was yours. Even if a kid is recommended by our manager, she tries out.

I am glad that everything worked out for the best. Your team and the little girl should all have a better season now.

Good luck in 09!
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
0
You said she was crying inside the first 5 minutes of practice? You did not say why.

She is 8 years old for cryin out loud! Is she the youngest on the team?

Are there things being said to her by the older players that are making her cry?

8u and 10u are the training years, where you learn the game. 12u and up is where you learn to play the game really well.

If she never gets to the point she loves the game, she will never be the best she could be at it.

Hal

PS; I would rather have a player that cried when she did not perform as well as she thinks she can than a player that comes back to the dugout and says "Oh well".
 

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