Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

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

Register Log in

Playing all players

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,002
83
Thanks for all the input....not worried about keeping the mamas and daddy's happy....care less, just trying to provide opportunities for girls to get into the game...coaching basketball is much easier to get kids in...lol
Easy to say, but the parents are the bill payers, and they have veto power. Especially with teams that travel, parents will balk at spending money for out of town tournaments where players will spend too much time on the bench. Again, this translates to teams with fat rosters leaking players to teams with thinner rosters. The best situation for a team with a big roster is when they don't all show up.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,825
113
Plain and simple. You will not be able to keep 14 families happy at 12u. If the team was older this would be very possible.

At 12u the best player's parents will be mad if the lower level players are losing the team games because the coach is trying to get everyone some innings. The lower level players parents are mad if only the best 10 girls are playing in bracket.

I would expect to lose at least 2 players from your team after fall ball.
Agreed.

Be up front with the parents. Tell them you'll try to get everyone time, but in bracket games you'll play the girls who are performing best and give you the best chance to win. While that might upset a few, it's really just the way sports are done and at least you told them up front.

And then get over winning pool games. Just simply don't care if you win or lose. Rest your studs in pool games an inning here and an inning there.

And perhaps in the future have a smaller roster. I love lean rosters. It's really easy to pick up players if you're down for one reason or another. I prefer that problem to having 5 players on the bench every inning.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,825
113
Can I just bring attention to this one piece? If you never do anything else to advance your players in the game, THAT is the most important thing you could ever do.

It will make all your players better team players and help them build their “game IQ”. There are tons of opportunities to learn more on the bench than you would in the game. Not that experience isn’t valuable, but players can’t take time out to observe and study the game while they are in it. It is up to you as a coach to make that work.
Fine point.

I would talk to the girls on the bench a lot. "If they hit it to Sally on the ground, where should she throw it?"

"I'm calling for a fastball outside, by yelling out "5-4-1". Can you yell that to Mary?"
 
Apr 1, 2017
226
43
And perhaps in the future have a smaller roster. I love lean rosters. It's really easy to pick up players if you're down for one reason or another. I prefer that problem to having 5 players on the bench every inning.
We have always tried to make sure everyone is playing. Sure, in bracket games, there are players that will sit more than others, but even then, we don't sit anyone 2 straight innings, and will bat everyone whenever rules allow.

I agree about the lean roster. This season we decided to try and only have 11. And because of a player vacation, we played 5 games this weekend with 10. Everyone loves it, and being honest, it's not like we are turning down Jennie Finch as the 12th or 13th player. Now, if next summer we have 1 with a sprained ankle and another that jammed her finger fielding a grounder, I might not like it as much. But we are 14U and our organization has a 13U and 12U that we can probably pull an emergency player as needed.
 
May 29, 2015
1,989
113
This is very true at 12U. Even at older age groups, keeping a big roster happy will be a problem if they all show up. With the possible exception of the best team around that everyone wants to be on, if you're carrying a bigger roster and don't play people, you'll eventually lose them. Marriard's advice is very good and will work great with a HS team or competitive / tournament team where there are few other options. However, if there are other decent teams around, sitting your better players too often will send them looking for a situation where they'll play more. Sitting your weaker players too much will either encourage them to quit altogether or to start looking for a team where they'll play more.

Coaches want a bigger roster because it gives them more options and more leverage over everyone in terms of competition for playing time. It's great to know that you can be missing a few and still probably have enough to play. However, when everyone is there, it's also a pain in the ass to constantly think about rotations, and many youth coaches just don't prepare enough to execute well. DD's older team has always been at its best with 10 or even 9 players. Everyone knows what they're doing and what their team mates will do. The lineup cycles quickly, everyone gets more at-bats, and more looks generally means more success for everyone. All the talk about "rolls" is fine for college or even some HS team situations, but the point of playing youth softball is to be on the field, not in the dugout with a scoresheet or warming up a pitcher.
While there is a lot of truth to what you say Strike2, I still believe this can work, and work well, with younger ages ... particularly at the younger ages. The players are still eager to learn the game and this will build future habits.

The keys are:
*making sure it is being spread about evenly to ALL players. If you use the same ones all the time, then they are just doing “a job” and not benefiting the player or the team.
*be organized and purposeful. This cannot be an afterthought to just keep kids busy.

One of my favorite parts of coaching was spending time in the dugout with players, watching and analyzing the game as teaching tool. I always wanted to film our games and spend actual spend practice time breaking it down (or watching another game and doing the same).

Your primary function as a youth coach should be TEACHER.
 
Jul 14, 2018
512
63
DD played on a 12U team where there were nine starters, and the other two girls were lucky to get one at bat per game, or to see two innings in the field. Shockingly, this team broke up after two years.

Her current 14U team has 14 players, and the coach does a good job of rotating everyone in. The top 3-4 players average about 20% more plate appearances than the bottom two or three. and the #1 pitcher gets just under half of the innings.

Last weekend, two girls were hurt and a third pulled a quad during a game, so there were 11 healthy players. Nice to have those extra kids there to fill in when needed.
 
May 16, 2016
597
43
Illinois
Thanks for all the input....not worried about keeping the mamas and daddy's happy....care less, just trying to provide opportunities for girls to get into the game...coaching basketball is much easier to get kids in...lol

Good luck with that approach.
 
May 6, 2015
1,643
113
pool play is great for getting everybody in . . . but I think, in a typical 3 pool Sat, bracket sunday setting, HC should probably go all out to win in one of the pool games. depending on level of your team and competition in a given tournament, this might either be the easiest to win, " middle", or toughest opponent. want to avoid being in the bottom half of the bracket if possible (crack of dawn starts, tougher teams, etc.), hopefully this leads to more bracket games (so you need more pitchers, more opportunities for subs etc.

this leaves 2 games for getting everybody some significant PT
 
Jul 16, 2008
1,520
48
Oregon
Interesting, the Tournaments around here are typically 2 pool games into a "Gold" and "Silver" Bracket... of course depending on Pool games is where you are placed. We always want to be in the upper Bracket soooo.... How would you guys deal with these types of Tournaments?
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,002
83
Interesting, the Tournaments around here are typically 2 pool games into a "Gold" and "Silver" Bracket... of course depending on Pool games is where you are placed. We always want to be in the upper Bracket soooo.... How would you guys deal with these types of Tournaments?
If winning a pool games is important, and sometimes it is, then you need to play to win. If your team is well balanced and there's not much difference, then rotate often and bat the whole lineup. If there are weaker players and you believe that winning is more important than keeping them, then sit them all weekend and expect to lose them.

A good team can field less than its best lineup and still beat most others. They can do that because there's not much difference top-to-bottom. They usually bat their whole lineup in pool, and often bat more than nine in bracket play. Even if they do lose, that good team doesn't care who they face first in bracket. It's the average to below average team that needs to place first in pool play to last in a tournament.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
36,942
Messages
559,219
Members
17,319
Latest member
Rocky
Top