Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

Parenting Help

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,002
83
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.
Here's your problem...she's 11. She barely knows what college is, much less knowing whether she wants to play there. I will tell you that trying to play ball AND do that heavy competitive cheer thing isn't going to work over the long haul. My DD takes time off from softball to pursue other interest, but when DD plays ball, she plays ball, and is up and ready for nearly every inning her team schedules. She rarely, if ever, misses practice. As you progress into the older age groups, good teams expect that level of commitment.
 
Jun 29, 2013
589
18
My experience has been similar to yours and everyone else's (Dabears in particular). DD can look like the toughest kid on the filed one day, then ask out of practice another day because of a head cold. Not discounting what a cold can do to a kid's energy, but she has played with much, much more pain in other circumstances. She can look like she's getting it, taking steps to firmly grab a spot on the team, then show up with a lackadaisical attitude because she would rather be playing with slime or watching YouTube videos (before you ask, yes I do limit the YouTube). I've realized over the years of watching this DD and my oldest who isn't playing anymore that there isn't much we can do other than remind them of Coach Lisle's advice: "Many athletes quit trusting the process when they choose motivation over discipline. 'Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline'.”- Jocko Willink
It's hard to instill this in anyone under 14. I think we just have to ride it out and remember it's their journey and while we may know what they need to do, they are the ones that need to develop the discipline to make it happen.
 
Feb 4, 2015
637
18
Massachusetts
She is 11 and changes her mind a lot? Get used to for another fun 5-6 years!! ha.
If you take the fun out of it, she will want to quit. Travelling that far for practices is likely not the fun part for her, especially if she already has a busy schedule. At 11, you don't need to go to this extreme.
Let her play locally and have fun. You said you played ball, why don't you work with her? Good mechanics of throwing, catching, fielding don't change from baseball to softball. A good swing is a good swing, get a bucket of balls and a bow net. What she learns is what she repeats at home over and over, not the 1-2 practices per week.
As others have said many times in this forum, once it stops being fun they will lose interest.
 
Jul 16, 2018
120
18
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.
Beautifully written. Its hard to remind myself but at the same time I always try to look at it from her viewpoint (well at the least the best I can)

Here's your problem...she's 11. She barely knows what college is, much less knowing whether she wants to play there. I will tell you that trying to play ball AND do that heavy competitive cheer thing isn't going to work over the long haul. My DD takes time off from softball to pursue other interest, but when DD plays ball, she plays ball, and is up and ready for nearly every inning her team schedules. She rarely, if ever, misses practice. As you progress into the older age groups, good teams expect that level of commitment.
Guys (or gals) with all due respect this isnt what Im looking for. I understand what you're saying and I have already touched on these areas. You cant tell me that she doesnt know what college is at 11 but at the same tell me to have her choose which sport to quit doing if she wants to get there. Quite frankly stop telling girls what they can and cannot do period. its insulting. This isnt about her making the choice now which every single person in her life has tried to force her to do since she was 7 years old. We've travelled across the state just to make sure she is where she needs to be including driving 6 hours in one day going from a tourney back home then back to the tournament to finish it up as one of the girls went home sick and we did this for the team and "non committed" athlete begged me to. I dont expect you to believe this but thats also not my problem.

This is why Im asking the question. Because one second shes wants that then the next she wont have anything to do with. I want peoples experience as everyone has their own story and their own way of dealing with things.

She is 11 and changes her mind a lot? Get used to for another fun 5-6 years!! ha.
If you take the fun out of it, she will want to quit. Travelling that far for practices is likely not the fun part for her, especially if she already has a busy schedule. At 11, you don't need to go to this extreme.
Let her play locally and have fun. You said you played ball, why don't you work with her? Good mechanics of throwing, catching, fielding don't change from baseball to softball. A good swing is a good swing, get a bucket of balls and a bow net. What she learns is what she repeats at home over and over, not the 1-2 practices per week.
As others have said many times in this forum, once it stops being fun they will lose interest.
The team she belongs to is a tourney only team. We travel maybe 2 times a month on a Saturday and its a place where we have friends and family. I do work with her or atleast have put more of an effort into as we can do it on our own time which has been helpful. Agreed its not an ideal situation as I would prefer her to be local but unfortunately teams are more worried about winning trophies at this age than anything else. I purposely avoided being too involved as i know it would not be a good fit. our personalities are way to similar and frankly I would prefer to be that dad in the stands cheering like the gap toothed idiot that I am.

I know Im fighting a losing battle on the cheer thing Im just trying to do what I can for my kid as anyone else would.
 
Jun 8, 2016
7,507
113
Agreed its not an ideal situation as I would prefer her to be local but unfortunately teams are more worried about winning trophies at this age than anything else.
Is that really what is happening here or do they want to win trophies doing it with a their way or the highway approach. The reason I say this is, that if your DD is as good as you say she is, and I have
no reason to doubt you, then if all they cared about was winning they wouldn't care a bit about missing practices as long as she made it to the tournaments...IMO, too many coaches overestimate how
great their practices are thinking that if a kid cannot get their instruction then there is no way they can be good or improve. In my DD's case, she would improve more if she skipped all of her
team practices and just went to the field with me 2 more times a week.....That said she enjoys being with her teammates so we take the good (her enjoyment) with the bad (the team practices..)
 
Jul 16, 2018
120
18
Is that really what is happening here or do they want to win trophies doing it with a their way or the highway approach. The reason I say this is, that if your DD is as good as you say she is, and I have
no reason to doubt you, then if all they cared about was winning they wouldn't care a bit about missing practices as long as she made it to the tournaments...IMO, too many coaches overestimate how
great their practices are thinking that if a kid cannot get their instruction then there is no way they can be good or improve. In my DD's case, she would improve more if she skipped all of her
team practices and just went to the field with me 2 more times a week.....That said she enjoys being with her teammates so we take the good (her enjoyment) with the bad (the team practices..)
Excellent question. - Going back to our PM discussion :) That team specifically We made every practice (Tues/Thurs) and when the team practiced on Sundays she would be 30 minutes late.
One of the teams she tried out for happens to be one of her best friends team (whose dad is one of the coaches) and they hang out on a consistent basis. Now could there be something more in play maybe but I cant be for sure so i go off what I do know. The vibe I get is definitely a "my way or the highway" Thank you for the chance to clarify.
 
Find why she wants to quit. If she is having fun the tough schedule is not the problem. My dd plays tb,cheers,gymnast,dances,Church programs,pitching & hitting lessons every week. She also shows cows for 4-h has 4.0 gpa I’m not going to list everything else that’s just random she does. People think we are crazy for all the stuff we do but my wife and I love being together watching her and she has fun doing it. When she stops having fun it’s obvious something has happened so we find out what happened help her get through it. If it’s a coach or team you may have to change teams we have weak local teams if I had to change her to local team she would have to play up but that is an option. Good luck finding why she is not having fun. Get ready some time the reason she is not having fun is because I’m pushing to hard. My answer to that is I can stop pushing but I believe when a parent or coach stops pushing you stop getting better.
 
Jun 8, 2016
7,507
113
Excellent question. - Going back to our PM discussion :) That team specifically We made every practice (Tues/Thurs) and when the team practiced on Sundays she would be 30 minutes late.
One of the teams she tried out for happens to be one of her best friends team (whose dad is one of the coaches) and they hang out on a consistent basis. Now could there be something more in play maybe but I cant be for sure so i go off what I do know. The vibe I get is definitely a "my way or the highway" Thank you for the chance to clarify.
Are you really asking me to recall a conversation we had that was more than 24 hours ago..I am lucky to remember what color underwear I put on this morning (I just checked..I do have
some on..)

If I was a coach here is what I would do. If a kid can play a kid can play. If, however, over time a kid who is missing team practices (for legit reasons) regresses or doesn't get any better
to the point where they are falling behind their teammates than I would sit down and talk to the parents and the kid and tell them that she needs to find a way to improve, whether that
be on her own or with the team, or else the next time we have tryouts she will be on the chopping block.

IMO, softball/baseball isn't like football/basketball with regards to the importance of team practices. Other than cutoffs, pickoffs, 1st and 3rd, etc, which should be able to be taught in a few practices,
if a kid is working on their own to get better I wouldn't care whether they showed up for team practices or not (again if they have legit reasons). For those that say that the others on the team
are sacrificing something as well to make the practices I would say the main goal of practice is to get better..just showing up doesn't prove anything to me. At the older ages, some of
the big orgs have kids fly in from all over the country for tournaments..I doubt those kids are practicing much with their teams.
 
Last edited:
Jan 5, 2018
288
43
PNW
ASM- I've read and reread this thread now. just an observation and questions for you to consider for yourself.

IF I read correctly your traveling quit a bit to play on the tourney only team. When/Where does she practice? Or are you traveling this far for practice as well?

The reason I ask is this. Your DD is 11. The one thing I've noticed in my time coaching is those 10,11,12,13,14 yo's....generally are very social creatures. I've seen a number of girls choose a "lower" level of play even though they could play up in age or in level (A vs B etc). Their reasoning...they wanted to play with their friends/classmates. The social side of the game may be a part that your DD is missing and contributing to her. This is true of half of my current team.

As far as flip flopping...i've seen a number of girls who's "favorite" thing is the thing right in front of them...until they realize the "other" thing is over there and they like that one too. It sounds to me like your DD is right in the "normal" for this age. Very few girls at 11 have specialized or picked one sport...

at 10 we kept our DD involved in Soccer, swimming, softball, guitar. She still does all of those now but has dropped soccer and swimming has become secondary to softball. She's 13 now. Keep the options open and variety and she'll sort out what she wants.

As my DD's coach two three we talk about every 6 months is. 1) I don't have to be your coach...and if it's right for you to go to another team or you want a different experience...my identity is not tied up in being your coach and you have my permission to tell me so and we'll make those changes for you. 2) Is softball something you want to continue doing and put time into. What are your goals and what do YOU think it's going to take to accomplish those? 3) Softball does not define you...and if you play or don't play your mother and I love you no matter what and will support your goals/dreams/desires to the best of our ability.

By leaving the power of the decision in her hands she is in control...when she knows she has a choice she rarely chooses the one we wouldn't choose for her..just knowing she has the option and it's her decision takes a lot of pressure off of DD.

Sounds like you're doing a good job. Lover her no matter what and enjoy this time with her....it goes by quick.
 
May 3, 2018
73
18
I want to thank you for starting this thread as I think many of us parents, and in particular us fathers, have struggled with this. My daughter is only 9 and I've struggled with how serious she is or isn't about softball. I remember when I was her age I was baseball obsessed. I stunk at it, but I practiced every day after school for years. I don't know if it's girls in general, or a generational difference, but they don't seem to be wired that way anymore. Glad to hear I'm not the only one questioning their daughter's motivation level.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
36,930
Messages
559,083
Members
17,315
Latest member
Abeltran
Top