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Pick up players

May 7, 2008
6
0
We lost our #2 pitcher (broken foot) and have a "role player" who will not be attending this weekends tournament. This leaves us with 9 players. We have a pitcher and catcher who are willing to play with us and understand they might not get alot of playing time. The problem seems to be the parents of one of the players that doesn't get alot of playing time complained and the coach either has given into them or is trying to teach them a lesson. So we are going to the tournament with 9 players. We are 12u and this is most parents first year in ASA. I am wondering what other teams do about pick up players. I know one team in our area has the parents vote. I say field the best team possible.

Gary
 

May 7, 2008
235
0
Gary...

At that level of play, you have to field the best team possible and put the girl in if the game becomes a blowout either way. It is always a difficult decision to bring on a new player who has less calibar than the others. One weak player, at best, that you can work with. From the start, you might consider sitting down with the parents and athlete and explain where you see her strengths and weaknesses and make it a point to work one on one with her in those areas of weakness at practices (either you or assistant coach). It sounds like she needs hope. I watch weak players ride the pine, the parents get angry because their athlete feels disenfranchised from the team or less of a person. It may be more pallatable for them to hear you will be committing yourself to help her in her weak areas. Maybe have her show up to practice early or stay late for one on one time so she feels your devotion to her improvement. Let her know whether or not you are seeing progress and psyche her up for a game she can start. Until then you will continue to give her game exposure when there is less on the line for the team. This will communicate to the parent that you care as much about her dd as any other player or winning, it will improve her athletic ability, motivate her, and you will be operating in truth. Just my thoughts...

If that does not work, make it clear that they will be subs. Subs should not have any expectations of playing time. In terms of permanently filling your roster. It takes time, but create a network in the travel community. My husband is usually notified by a couple of tournament directors that he knows well when a player becomes available and in need of a team. My husband goes to rec parks to watch potential candidates and has good relationship with rec coaches and a local batting center.

It's a tough call whether to bring on a sub with a squeaky parent.

Good luck,

Ang
 
May 22, 2008
351
0
NW Pennsylvania
I read that to mean that the noisy parent was a parent of a team regular, not a subs parent??? Anyway, if the subs are pichers & catchers, & I am assuming the weak player is outfielder, whats the rub?? I think you need enough pichers & catchers at that level for the good of the entire team including your weak player.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,752
48
Dallas, Texas
First, it isn't difficult to deal with playing time. You simply make everyone on the team feel like they contribute to the success of the team. The problem is that coaches stigmatize players that sit on the bench.

It is *SO* easy to deal with, too. Simply sit your best players as well as your worst players during the blowouts or during the friendly games.

The problem is coaches who can't seem to understand what their job is. You've apparently had this poor player for a while. Why isn't she any good? Didn't the coach notice she couldn't hit or field? If so, why didn't he work with her?

Basically, it is the coach's fault for: (1) Picking her in the first place; (2) not working with her to maker her better and (3) not finding a role for her on the team.

If the coach had done this stuff at the beginning of the year, you wouldn't have this problem. The kids would have said, "Yes, we need another player for the tournament."

Specifically, I would add the pick up players. Then, I would shuffle ALL the kids around, even the very best kids, and give everyone lots of playing time and let them do all kinds of stuff they haven't done before. In other words, the kids would have a blast.

JRW
 
May 7, 2008
6
0
Noisy Parent

The noisy parent is an outfielders parent. Her husband is an assistant coach. At this point we just want to finish up the season we are in and maybe start fresh after the 4th of July. Obviously, next time we will have this discussion at thestart of the season.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,421
38
Mundelein, IL
I don't know how you're running playing time overall so it's tough to say. But going into a tournament with nine players is asking for trouble. All it takes is one turned ankle and no one will be getting any playing time.

I basically agree with Slugger on this. Kids join teams to play, not just win trophies. If a player is not up to par the coach's job is to work with her until she is. You should make sure every player on the team meets the minimum standards you need to win ballgames. Sure, some will be better than others and give you a better chance in certain circumstances, but any of them should be able to contribute. If they're not willing to work to get better, you need different players.

Some of the girls who wound up making big contributions to my teams over the years started out as projects. Over time, however, they worked their butts off and became very good ballplayers.

To paraphrase Mr. Holland's Opus, if you can't teach a willing kid how to throw, catch and hit a ball you're not a very good coach.
 
May 8, 2008
35
0
How would you handle this situation in a tournament? We have 3 games to play, we have 9 girls for games 1 & 2, and 8 for game 3
(2 girls had to go to parties). I need a pick up player for game 3 to make 9, I also ask her to come to games 1 & 2 in case of injuries, so who should sit in games 1 & 2? The girl who is coming so we will have enough players for game 3 or one of the girls who caused me to need a borrowed player? We sat one of the girls that was leaving early for the first half of the first game & her father complained. I say in Travel Ball the players need more committment. We knew about this tournament in February so it's not like it was a last minute thing.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,752
48
Dallas, Texas
Being on a "team" means that everyone benefits or everyone suffers from the actions of everyone else on the team. Even though one person has made a poor decision, everyone on the team should bear the burden.

SO: I would make everyone sit out the same (I'm not big on the whole 'star' concept of girl's softball anyway,)

The games will probably last 5 innings each, with 9 girls in the batting order. SO: you have (3 games)*(5 innings/game)*9 players= 135 innings. So, everyone should play about 13 innings.

The pick-up player will play 5 innings in the last game, so she needs 4 innings each in the first two games.

I would make everyone sit out, so everyone could learn about personal responsibility.

One time, a coach for a team asked me to bring my daughter the last day as a "pick up player". She ended up playing 2 innings out of 3 games. I was livid. Did she think we didn't have anything better to do than hang out at a softball tournament on a Sunday?

The coaches gave me the "we have to do what is best for the team and the regular players". Of course, had she told us that on Saturday, we wouldn't have come to the tournament--but, of course, she didn't. Needless to say, the next time she called we had "other commitments".
 
May 7, 2008
8,499
38
Tucson
I have seen pick up players played ahead of the bench players and it is really disheartening to the kid that has sat and waited. I play "my" players first. If I picked up a girl, I would tell her that, when I asked her.

My gripe would be with the 2 that left to go to "parties". My kids didn't even want to go to parties. The first commitment has to be to the team and the other families that are making sacrifices to get there.
 
May 22, 2008
351
0
NW Pennsylvania
I would set each skip out player 1/2 game thereby giving your pickup player 2 full games. & make sure they each knew that their bench time was a direct result of the problem they created by skipping out.
 

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