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Parenting Help

Jul 16, 2018
120
18
So hey, I love this forum. I've learned alot in a short time. Both good and bad.

I grew up playing baseball and I have a HS senior on the cusp of playing college baseball. I thought with my daughter it would be the same. However, As I dig more and more softball is just an entirely different beast. Coaches dont want to coach, you have to go to specific instructors blah blah blah. Dont get me wrong baseball is the same way however in baseball if you're an athlete a spot will be found for you. Thats simply not been my experience as well.

As a biased "sports dad" my daughter has many attributes you simply cannot teach. The game is slow to her. Even at 11 she has shared the field with 16 year olds and has held her own. I dont say that to brag (well maybe a little bit) but at the same time Im just trying to relay the type of girl she is.

Here's her problem - One minute shes talking about winning championships at Oklahoma then 2 seconds later she talks about how she is quitting because she doesnt like it. Personally I always worry about myself putting too much pressure on my children. I fully believe that us parents are the reason why many kids quit sports. So recently I've taken a complete 180 and simply backed off. We were playing for a team that was a couple of hours away who was more than willing to work with her cheerleading schedule (yes I know thats demanding but more on that later) and would allow her to play pretty good competition at the A level. Due to the flip flopping I have notified the coach that I am pulling her however, after talking with her yesterday she told me she wants to go with them this weekend and play in the tournament.

My daughter has a future in this game if she wants it. However there seems to be an issue which is causing her uncertainty. and i cant quite put my finger on it. I have gone as far as to advise her to take the fall off and think about the spring and as I said before I've told the coach of the team that with her uncertainty right now that we would pull her. Just FYI - local teams are definitely out of the question since they refuse to work with her on her cheerleading schedule which I already know is definitely tough. (Yes I know she has to make a decision but shes only 11 she has time)

I am asking for advice but im not looking for the "just do what she wants" because no duh.

Have you faced this situation before? Tell me your story!
 
Jul 16, 2013
3,946
113
Pennsylvania
When DD was very young, 6 through 10, she played soccer, softball, and basketball. If you asked her which sport she enjoyed the most, her answer would vary based on the time of year. She enjoyed all of them to varying degrees, and would also get tired of them at times as well. The constant change from sport to sport seemed to help her stay focused. At 11 she was asked to play in a fall softball league. At that time she needed to make a decision between softball and soccer. If she chose to play in this fall league, she was going to have to give up soccer. That is the choice she made, and she has never regretted it (at least she has never said that she has). Then she was down to two sports. Again, same thing. By late summer early fall, she would tell people how much she hated softball and was so ready for basketball to start. She would engulf herself in that sport until February or so. Then she would be telling people how much she hated basketball and couldn't wait for softball to start. This continued for a few years. As a freshman in high school, she played and lettered in both sports. But when it was time to start softball, she realized she wasn't where she wanted to be in regards to pitching. Since high school basketball was 6 nights per week, she could only practice pitching and hitting once a week. And since they made district playoffs, she missed most of the winter practices for softball. At that point she decided to give up basketball and focus specifically on softball. Now she is a freshman in college and playing for her college team. Just a few days ago we were talking about the sport. She loves the team, loves her coaches, but is ready for a break. Between winter high school practice, high school season, travel ball, and preparation for college tryouts, she has been in softball mode for 10 months straight, with very little time off. Once the fall practice schedule is over, she will take 4 to 6 weeks off from softball activities, and she will be ready to go.

Maybe not the same situation as your daughter, but hopefully there is some relevance. At her current age, I doubt she really knows what she wants to do. Try to support her and help her until she determines her direction. Then don't look back. Whatever her final decision is, help her make the most of it with no regrets.

FYI> I seriously doubt DD had any future at all in soccer. She never really cared for the sport and her only real talent was she could kick the ball harder and farther than most of the other girls. However, she may have had a chance to play basketball for a low level college program. I say low level because she is only 5'6". But as an 8th grader, she would routinely out shoot high school seniors in the area. Especially from 3 point range. Not sure how or why, but she just had a knack for shooting the ball. I could see her coming off the bench and nailing a few 3's.
 
Jan 28, 2017
1,025
63
Girls are different. One of my best friends DD hits left handed and can fly. Unbelievable SS and has never played TB. I was talking to her last week and told her she would get a scholarship easy if she played TB. She is a great kid and said I'll have an academic scholarship also. Her dad played MLB and just shook his head and laughed. His son works like crazy and can't hit to save his life and can't run out of sight.
 
Jul 16, 2018
120
18
When DD was very young, 6 through 10, she played soccer, softball, and basketball. If you asked her which sport she enjoyed the most, her answer would vary based on the time of year. She enjoyed all of them to varying degrees, and would also get tired of them at times as well. The constant change from sport to sport seemed to help her stay focused. At 11 she was asked to play in a fall softball league. At that time she needed to make a decision between softball and soccer. If she chose to play in this fall league, she was going to have to give up soccer. That is the choice she made, and she has never regretted it (at least she has never said that she has). Then she was down to two sports. Again, same thing. By late summer early fall, she would tell people how much she hated softball and was so ready for basketball to start. She would engulf herself in that sport until February or so. Then she would be telling people how much she hated basketball and couldn't wait for softball to start. This continued for a few years. As a freshman in high school, she played and lettered in both sports. But when it was time to start softball, she realized she wasn't where she wanted to be in regards to pitching. Since high school basketball was 6 nights per week, she could only practice pitching and hitting once a week. And since they made district playoffs, she missed most of the winter practices for softball. At that point she decided to give up basketball and focus specifically on softball. Now she is a freshman in college and playing for her college team. Just a few days ago we were talking about the sport. She loves the team, loves her coaches, but is ready for a break. Between winter high school practice, high school season, travel ball, and preparation for college tryouts, she has been in softball mode for 10 months straight, with very little time off. Once the fall practice schedule is over, she will take 4 to 6 weeks off from softball activities, and she will be ready to go.

Maybe not the same situation as your daughter, but hopefully there is some relevance. At her current age, I doubt she really knows what she wants to do. Try to support her and help her until she determines her direction. Then don't look back. Whatever her final decision is, help her make the most of it with no regrets.

FYI> I seriously doubt DD had any future at all in soccer. She never really cared for the sport and her only real talent was she could kick the ball harder and farther than most of the other girls. However, she may have had a chance to play basketball for a low level college program. I say low level because she is only 5'6". But as an 8th grader, she would routinely out shoot high school seniors in the area. Especially from 3 point range. Not sure how or why, but she just had a knack for shooting the ball. I could see her coming off the bench and nailing a few 3's.
If Im being honest with myself I feel like this is more of whats going on. Every coach she has had since 8 years old has given her and us the "She needs to concentrate" and I absolutely refuse. To go back to my "are we playing this weekend" when I mentioned she would have to miss the football game she wants to go to On Friday she immediately changed her mind. Which of course has me thinking. I presented her with the option of going to the game but having to wake up early the next morning to go and she said "hell yeah" but then I realized the team has pulled from that tourney. As I said though i could very well be the problem and I have to figure that part out so I've presented her with some option in hopes it helps. I really try and push "fun" over anything as your right, at 11 the whole world is ahead of her.

Girls are different. One of my best friends DD hits left handed and can fly. Unbelievable SS and has never played TB. I was talking to her last week and told her she would get a scholarship easy if she played TB. She is a great kid and said I'll have an academic scholarship also. Her dad played MLB and just shook his head and laughed. His son works like crazy and can't hit to save his life and can't run out of sight.
ha Almost exact same scenario. However with my son he wanted to quit so bad for the longest and I wouldnt let him as he wanted to quit due to not having success. He is slow and couldnt hit a beach ball on a tee however he has colleges actively recruiting him on his potential (and academically) so in the end Dad kinda knew best because I know he felt miserable not having on the field success but hes grown to be a great leader both on and off the field and according to his coaches hes a junkyard dog.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,002
83
Unless a kid is 100% committed to college ball, they shouldn't be playing ball 100% of the time. For those with college ball as the goal, I think many of the HS-age kids I know are getting hurt because their softball season NEVER ends. It seems like I can't turn around without seeing someone in a leg brace or arm sling.

While DD is fully engaged with softball from January to July, she's always done some other activity during the year. She doesn't play HS ball, and we don't practice much softball in the Fall because of her very demanding schedule. However, when I ask her about quitting, she'll have none of that discussion.

I don't know how old your DD is, but it seems that the competing schedules of cheerleading and Fall ball might be too much. I think the idea of taking the Fall off from softball is an easy decision. If she's not worried about playing in college, you don't worry about it. Let her play the game and also take breaks. My DD stays in great shape, and it doesn't take much to her up to speed after a layoff. She hangs just fine with players that work year-round, and your DD will probably be no different.
 
Jan 22, 2011
818
28
Two years ago as a 6th grader,. my daughter was asked after the last school basketball game what was her favorite sport. She got a confused look on her face and said 'basketball'. Parent asked her what she would play if she could only play one sport, she said 'softball'. As a 7th grader last fall she just guest played softball and played semi-competitive volleyball in the fall. She willn't be tall enough to play on a high level team, but she's a darn good setter. I asked her at the end of the fall if she wanted to give up softball and play club volleyball. I got a 'Dad!!!... I'm a softball player'.

For 8th grade she wants to be on a softball team that lets her play her four school sports. In HS she definitely wants to play volleyball and softball, possibly basketball as well.

I've never been a huge fan of fall ball and gently discourage it, but let her decide if she wants to play.

She is a pretty good softball player, but prefers to be an average player on a very good team.

I have a talk with her about every 6 months to make sure she is having fun playing softball and that she is playing because she wants to, not because her parents enjoy watching her play.
 
Jul 16, 2018
120
18
Unless a kid is 100% committed to college ball, they shouldn't be playing ball 100% of the time. For those with college ball as the goal, I think many of the HS-age kids I know are getting hurt because their softball season NEVER ends. It seems like I can't turn around without seeing someone in a leg brace or arm sling.

While DD is fully engaged with softball from January to July, she's always done some other activity during the year. She doesn't play HS ball, and we don't practice much softball in the Fall because of her very demanding schedule. However, when I ask her about quitting, she'll have none of that discussion.

I don't know how old your DD is, but it seems that the competing schedules of cheerleading and Fall ball might be too much. I think the idea of taking the Fall off from softball is an easy decision. If she's not worried about playing in college, you don't worry about it. Let her play the game and also take breaks. My DD stays in great shape, and it doesn't take much to her up to speed after a layoff. She hangs just fine with players that work year-round, and your DD will probably be no different.
She is 11 and her cheer schedule never stops. Competitions are Nov - April and we have 2 months in the summer (june and july) where she can miss practices for other sports etc. So it is tough and its been hard to find the right balance.

I agree with your statement about keeping up with the year round kids. Again I admit my bias to the situation however the teams we are running into in our area arent having it which a huge cause of frustration for her and her mother and I. Which to your about taking the fall off is something I have mentioned to her but I worry again about actually getting onto a team etc.
To answer your question about college ball - she states on a regular basis that she does want to play at that level but then quickly turns around and says "I quit" so something isnt adding up on that front which is something I have to figure out without the boards help.
 
Jun 8, 2016
7,505
113
Here's her problem - One minute shes talking about winning championships at Oklahoma then 2 seconds later she talks about how she is quitting because she doesnt like it.
Is there anything in common regarding the circumstances that she finds herself in just prior to when she says she is going to quit? If so you may be able to figure out what is causing her
frame of mind and take action..Other than that I would just chalk it up to her being an emotional pre-teen similar to my DD saying I hate you at least once a day to me which she cannot really mean..at least I think she cannot hate me since my Mom says I am a great guy and she cannot be wrong, right? :cool:
 
Last edited:
Jul 16, 2018
120
18
Is there anything in common regarding the circumstances that she finds herself in just prior to when she says she is going to quit? If so you may be able to figure out what is causing her
frame of mind and take action..Other than that I would just chalk it up to her being an emotional pre-teen similar to my DD saying I hate you at least once a day to me which she cannot really mean..at least I think she cannot hate me since my Mom says I am a great guy and she cannot be wrong, right? :cool:

I have to be careful with my words here but yes I have noticed a common denominator. But i also realize that my thoughts could be irrational on the subject.

I am trying to look at it as just being a preteen - she’d rather go to the homecoming football game then travel to a softball tourney and thats normal of any kid no matter the talent level. Its the “Hey im going to OU and winning a NC but btw I quit” is just so damn strange to me.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Aug 23, 2016
256
28
DD is 10 and loves pitching. But this summer she announced to me that she wanted to keep playing softball but quit pitching.

I gave her a little time, asked a couple days later, and tried to figure out why she wanted to give up. It turns out she was frustrated because she got caught up in a power struggle between two coaches. One coach was a board member and basically strong-armed the board into going along with him, though in the end the person who suffered was not the other coach but DD. My husband and I chose to write it off as the coach/board member being a butt (which he is).

Unfortunately, in DD's mind the fact that we didn't try to fight the board meant that we didn't have her back, and since the issue was related to pitching, she got it in her head that we didn't support her pitching. So she wanted to quit. We were able to talk it all out and she's back to loving pitching as much as ever.

So my advice is to find a no-pressure way to get her to confide her reasons why she sometimes feels like quitting. It could be that she thinks the struggle about dividing her time between cheer and softball is too stressful and she thinks the only way out is to quit. Or maybe she's having a problem with her teammates or a coach.

It's *hard* to get a kid that age to confide, but you have to do it (or if you can't, find someone she'll confide in). You can't force her to tell you anything but you have to create an environment where she wants to let you know what's on her mind.

Good luck.
 

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