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Once on the Team, Always on the Team?

Once on the Travel Team, Always on the Travel Team?

  • Yes, it's the right thing to do

    Votes: 4 11.8%
  • Yes, but I'm not a fan

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • No

    Votes: 28 82.4%

  • Total voters
    34
Jul 16, 2008
1,488
48
Oregon
After the season you know which kids you would like to return. We ask them we would love to have you for another season. If they accept, we then hold tryouts for the remaining positions. Returners don't have to "tryout", but are required to come and get to know the potential players. Obviously for example, if a great SS comes out, and a returning player played SS the year before then the better player will earn that spot. Of course we are talking 18's here so the expectations are a little different. Get used to it if you want to play in College...
 
Jul 14, 2018
282
43
DD's team (rising 14U B) made pre-tryout offers to a core of six or seven players. Everyone on the team was required to attend tryouts. The 'on-the-bubble' players were made offers after tryouts, but most with the caveat that their playing time would be reduced if they didn't show improvement. In the end, all of the players who were not staying back in 12U stayed with the team.

They picked up a few decent kids during the tryouts, so there will be some pressure on the returning players to perform. I think this is a good thing. DD was the clear #1 pitcher last season, but they picked up two new pitchers who are going to press her for innings. Hopefully a little competition will inspire DD to work a little harder.
 
Jul 1, 2019
20
3
I don't personally agree with once on a team always on a team. I totally understand and agree with keeping at least the top half as a core, even more if the girls really are performing. But I also agree that ownership of "making" a team also promotes effort and hard work to stay on top. I've seen it where girls know their spot is guaranteed next year so why put in the extra effort to get better.

I've fully made my daughter aware that if she isn't working, and performing, that she shouldn't expect a spot next year. She's always been offered her spot back, but we insist that she works thru the tryouts each year too. (So far) At the end of each year we've informed the coach that she will be trying out at multiple teams. That being said, this is also the first year we haven't returned to the team she just finished with (this year was slightly different because her team disbanded in the spring and we had to jump to a team that we wouldn't have under normal circumstances just to make sure she was playing this summer).

This year she was offered a spot on a much higher level team and we made the jump. Previous coach completely understood. He also understood that because he committed to keeping every girl from the previous year regardless of their effort/performance, we most likely would be looking elsewhere. DD wants to play with girls as good or better than herself, DD was notably the better player on the team. It wasn't us demanding HC to cut players or we were leaving type situation. It was more of him wanting to keep players together for family and friendship reasons, and that didn't really fit my DD's goals. No hard feelings and everyone is still happy. Had they decided to cut some dead weight we may have considered staying. Either way, we ended up were we wanted to be and they're moving forward at the level they are comfortable playing.

So, sorry for the long story but my point. Girls don't always improve at the same speed, some lose interest but their parents push them to continue playing even when they don't want to, some really want to but will just never be the high level athlete no matter how much training and effort goes into it. It's virtually impractical to believe that a group of 10-12 girls should stay together from 8u to 18u. And, for all practical purposes, life is hard and real life means losing sometimes along the way. You won't always keep a job just because you showed up every day. You won't always make a team just because you played there last year. It's life. Work hard, work harder than the person next to you actually, make the best path you can for yourself and grow from your failures. Girls/teammates/coaches don't always make the fit that you thought it would be.
 
Last edited:
Oct 4, 2018
810
63
In the few years we have been doing this, returning players have a spot if they want it. I will admit that we've been lucky that the few "problem parents" have moved on anyway, and the couple girls that really struggled made their own decision that they were done.

We do have everyone tryout though. It keeps the returning players involved, and I find it helpful to see how they interact with the potential new players.
... and as a new parent trying out for a new org, you want to see the current team players.

We tried out for a top team this weekend and none of the players already on the team were there. I had to ask how many were returning, and where they were. Not seeing who's already on the team and letting my DD meet them are not a good way to impress us.
 
Jul 1, 2019
20
3
... and as a new parent trying out for a new org, you want to see the current team players.

We tried out for a top team this weekend and none of the players already on the team were there. I had to ask how many were returning, and where they were. Not seeing who's already on the team and letting my DD meet them are not a good way to impress us.
I agree that the returning players should be at tryouts, or at least a call back tryout so new girls can see/feel out who they will be playing with before they are asked to commit.
 
May 24, 2013
10,114
113
So Cal
IMO, returning players should be guaranteed a spot on the team. That said, all players should be constantly earning their spot in the lineup. If a returning player is passed up by a new player, so be it.

I agree that returning players should be at tryouts. Tryouts are not just about the team evaluating new players, but about new players evaluating the team. It should fit both ways.
 
Oct 4, 2018
810
63
NEed to be more specific as to age level and skill level
Happy to know your experiences across the spectrum (if you have them). I'd love to learn more about what to expect as my DD gets older.

We turned down an offer for a team that will be getting very good, but was just forming this year. So while we made the team this year, I know it'll be harder to make next year.
 
Mar 28, 2014
277
43
After the season you know which kids you would like to return. We ask them we would love to have you for another season. If they accept, we then hold tryouts for the remaining positions. Returners don't have to "tryout", but are required to come and get to know the potential players. Obviously for example, if a great SS comes out, and a returning player played SS the year before then the better player will earn that spot. Of course we are talking 18's here so the expectations are a little different.
That makes it even worse IMO. At 18's all you should care about is getting the girls' scholarships. Who cares if you can improve at the SS position a little bit. Does it really make a difference to you if that gives you an extra few wins during SHOWCASES?
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,274
113
Florida
No.

As you go from season to season the goals of 10-16 different players and their families - and their commitment level - will change. If 8 girls are moving one direction and 3 in another and 3 in another, bringing them all back even if they want to is a mistake. You all have to be moving in some what the same direction or there will be major conflict. Some individual goals can mix - some cannot. Especially at the ages around later 12U and early 14U where the girls start to decide if they are going to take softball seriously or some other sport or interest you are going to run into a huge range of different paths and journeys.

That makes it even worse IMO. At 18's all you should care about is getting the girls' scholarships. Who cares if you can improve at the SS position a little bit. Does it really make a difference to you if that gives you an extra few wins during SHOWCASES?
Some teams at 18U should be all about college offers. But others are committed girls or not interested in college softball but playing or lots of other things. So some 18's teams should be about getting better for college or having fun in their last travel season or playing with friends or - well their is a lot of reasons a 18U team should exist. Some 18's teams are about winning qualifiers or whatever. There should be a team for every sort of goal.

Next Summer DD's team will play ZERO showcases in 18U. It will all be about getting them as ready as possible for when they head off to college.
 

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