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Playing on a bad team

Nov 22, 2019
155
28
My DD’s 10-U club team this fall was really bad. The team is young, with only 4 girls 2nd years (including my DD), and there are 2-3 girls clearly over their heads.

Despite the team being bad, my daughter has blossomed this fall. She went from being a #3 pitcher on her old team in the summer to a #1 pitcher, and almost overnight she began to pitch mechanically better, throw harder, and become more accurate in games. She’s gotten a lot of mound time, and has learned to do the little things: fix a messed up mound, direct the defense on a bunt, ask for a new ball if one is wet. Despite the team results, she’s pitched well, including giving up only 2 earned runs vs the best team in the state.

Her hitting still needs work, but has gotten to the point where she is hitting middle of the road pitching well and has started hitting clean-up.

The team has played a lot of games including against many of the best teams in the state and region.

My wife is frustrated with the terrible defense, lack of hitting, and losing. She thinks we’re paying a lot of money for this level of play.
I see a very young team that is making some strides that should get bigger and hopefully better this winter.

The team has two pitchers that are good enough for them to be competitive if the defense and hitting get better over the winter.
The team is 2–18, but has had some close games against some good teams. Starting the #4 pitcher, only to bring my DD into the game in the 1st inning after a bunch of runs were scored and then have her pitch the rest of the game likely cost them 2 wins or ties.

So at 10-U is the winning and losing that important? Is it worth staying on a bad team if the competition is good and your DD is improving and excelling? At this age, is it better to have your DD getting #1 mound time In a lot of games vs good competition or being a #2 behind a coach’s daughter somewhere else on a better team that plays less games. Should the improvement curve for 9 year olds coming from coach pitch be greater than 10 year olds over the winter?

My biggest worry would be if the #2 pitcher (who is also one of the better hitters) leaves, as then I think the burden would be just too heavy.
 
Apr 20, 2017
115
28
There were a lot of questions in there and you will probably get a bunch of different opinions. Was in a similar situation ourselves with DD in 10u except I was the coach. We were probably about a .500 team playing more lower level tournaments. About halfway through the season she was asked to pickup at a huge regional A class tournament. Knowing the difference in competition that was coming in a few weeks I noticed her working harder and pushing herself to get better. After about 2 hours at this tournament my wife and I realized that she needed to be moved up and playing at that level and not what she had been doing. It was tough because I was the coach and enjoyed working with and helping the other girls. But my first loyalty was with my daughter. So after that season we shut down our team and joined a better team for 12u. And have made that move a couple of times upgrading to better teams. To me it just depends on how or what your daughter needs for development. Does she need more mound time to learn how deal with adversity. If the defense falls apart and it’s a long inning does she get down or put the team on her back to get out of it. If the umpire has a tight zone can she adjust or get frustrated. Does she need just more mound time to get better or does she need to face batter teams to get better. If she needs to face better batters then she also needs to have the team around her to give her a chance to be successful. Or another way of looking at don’t send her to a gunfight with just a knife. Lol.
 
Aug 18, 2018
47
8
I understand where you're coming from. My 12u DD is on a team where she is the only 08. Same defensive woes and yes frustrating from a parent perspective. That said, she, like yours has risen to take a larger role. She is their legit #3 hitter and starting 1b. (She had some real rough stretches hitting last year and was more a 6 hitter at best) Fielding she's out there leading her team and encouraging them. She's a pitcher as well and has the rough outings.
What I like is how she handles the difficulties. Never throwing a tantrum or calling out teammates. She works hard and her coaches know if she pitched well even if it's a rough outing. I like how the coaches also communicate this to her as encouragement.

Just for giggles I asked her if she would join a different team that's a higher caliber team and her answer was no. Reason, she likes her coaches, likes the other players and knows they are working hard and will improve.
As far as winning, 10u and 12u I don't know how much it really matters. Coaching and player development is the priority. Best thing ever to just chill and remember softball is not about me, it's about my DD and supporting her and guide her through it. Even 12u is rough, huge physical difference between a first and second year team and need to remember it is what it is.
Good luck....

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
 
Nov 22, 2019
155
28
There were a lot of questions in there and you will probably get a bunch of different opinions. Was in a similar situation ourselves with DD in 10u except I was the coach. We were probably about a .500 team playing more lower level tournaments. About halfway through the season she was asked to pickup at a huge regional A class tournament. Knowing the difference in competition that was coming in a few weeks I noticed her working harder and pushing herself to get better. After about 2 hours at this tournament my wife and I realized that she needed to be moved up and playing at that level and not what she had been doing. It was tough because I was the coach and enjoyed working with and helping the other girls. But my first loyalty was with my daughter. So after that season we shut down our team and joined a better team for 12u. And have made that move a couple of times upgrading to better teams. To me it just depends on how or what your daughter needs for development. Does she need more mound time to learn how deal with adversity. If the defense falls apart and it’s a long inning does she get down or put the team on her back to get out of it. If the umpire has a tight zone can she adjust or get frustrated. Does she need just more mound time to get better or does she need to face batter teams to get better. If she needs to face better batters then she also needs to have the team around her to give her a chance to be successful. Or another way of looking at don’t send her to a gunfight with just a knife. Lol.
Yes there is no issue with facing better competition, which is a bit odd. But it is sometimes taking a knife into a gun fight.

Her game against a team that likely will win Eastern Nationals in USSSA. They are undefeated this fall and score 9+ runs most games. They also have 2-3 of the best pitchers in the state as well - all lefties.

1st inning would have been 1-2-3, but the 2nd baseman didn’t react to a ball hit a foot away from her on the 3rd batter. DD got the 1st two outs herself on a pop up and grounded out the pitcher. Score 2-0. 2ER, 1SO

2nd inning: Walk, ground ball between 3rd baseman’s legs, SO, ground ball between 3rd baseman’s legs, soft line-out out to 2nd for an out, once again ground ball between 3rd baseman’s legs, double, single, walk, SO. 8-0, 6 runs scored in inning with 3 errors. 2 SO

3rd inning: Ground out to 1st, ground ball between short-stop’s legs, dropped pop-up by 2nd basemen who then throws to the pitcher instead of for the still easy out at 2nd, CS out on weird play where runner also scored, then 3rd baseman and SS collide on pop-up but SS holds onto the ball. 1 run scored on 2 errors, 9-0

So the 3 errors in the 2nd were costly. She’s done a decent job fighting through the errors and some long innings,
 
Last edited:
Apr 20, 2017
115
28
Yes there is no issue with facing better competition, which is a bit odd. But it is sometimes taking a knife into a gun fight.

Her game against a team that likely will win Eastern Nationals in USSSA. They are infested this fall and score 9+ runs most gam

1st inning would have been 1-2-3, but the 2nd baseman didn’t react to a ball hit a foot away from her on the 3rd batter. DD got the 1st two outs herself on a pop up and grounded out the pitcher. Score 2-0. 2ER, 1SO

2nd inning: Walk, ground ball between 3rd baseman’s legs, SO, ground ball between 3rd baseman’s legs, soft line-out out to 2nd for an out, once again ground ball between 3rd baseman’s legs, double, single, walk, SO. 8-0, 6 runs scored in inning with 3 errors. 2 SO

3rd inning: Ground out to 1st, ground ball between short-stop’s legs, dropped pop-up by 2nd basemen who then throws to the pitcher instead of for the still easy out at 2nd, CS out on weird play where runner also scored, then 3rd baseman and SS collide on pop-up but SS holds onto the ball. 1 run scored on 2 errors, 9-0

So the 3 errors in the 2nd were costly. She’s done a decent job fighting through the errors and some long innings,
So the score ended 9-0? And 2ER? So even with no errors they would have lost 2-0? That is taking a knife. If the offense can’t generate enough runs to be competitive with no errors then you may want to look around. I read something here once that really hit home with me talking about finding the right level team for your pitcher. If she pitched to her team would 50% get a hit? If less then 50% then they need a better team. If more then 50% they may need to drop down a level. To me that is a decent gauge for being on a team that is good enough to develop and have chance of success.
 
Nov 22, 2019
155
28
I understand where you're coming from. My 12u DD is on a team where she is the only 08. Same defensive woes and yes frustrating from a parent perspective. That said, she, like yours has risen to take a larger role. She is their legit #3 hitter and starting 1b. (She had some real rough stretches hitting last year and was more a 6 hitter at best) Fielding she's out there leading her team and encouraging them. She's a pitcher as well and has the rough outings.
What I like is how she handles the difficulties. Never throwing a tantrum or calling out teammates. She works hard and her coaches know if she pitched well even if it's a rough outing. I like how the coaches also communicate this to her as encouragement.

Just for giggles I asked her if she would join a different team that's a higher caliber team and her answer was no. Reason, she likes her coaches, likes the other players and knows they are working hard and will improve.
As far as winning, 10u and 12u I don't know how much it really matters. Coaching and player development is the priority. Best thing ever to just chill and remember softball is not about me, it's about my DD and supporting her and guide her through it. Even 12u is rough, huge physical difference between a first and second year team and need to remember it is what it is.
Good luck....

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
Thanks, yes I feel like she has developed. They really wanted her to improve her overhand throwing motion, which she has. My wife gets much more annoyed with the losing and bad play than me. I like that it has led my DD to become more assertive and more of a leader.
 
Nov 22, 2019
155
28
So the score ended 9-0? And 2ER? So even with no errors they would have lost 2-0? That is taking a knife. If the offense can’t generate enough runs to be competitive with no errors then you may want to look around. I read something here once that really hit home with me talking about finding the right level team for your pitcher. If she pitched to her team would 50% get a hit? If less then 50% then they need a better team. If more then 50% they may need to drop down a level. To me that is a decent gauge for being on a team that is good enough to develop and have chance of success.
She’s pitched against some of her team’s hitters in practices. The 2 best hitters on the team right now have a lot of trouble catching up to her, and she wouldn’t be considered a flamethrower on this board. To be fair, the last 3 games she’s played she’s only given up 6 hits in over 8 innings. There also haven’t been any errors. The one game the team actually fielded well and the other 2 there wasn’t much contact.
 
Jun 8, 2016
7,958
113
How is the coaching? Have the bad players become less bad as the year has gone on? Do you want to sleep on the couch?
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,734
113
Florida
So at 10-U is the winning and losing that important?
Yes and no. Ideally, the best experiences in 10U are for teams that live in the .450-0.650 win range. Winning more than that makes every loss a disaster (and you are playing the wrong level). Losing more than that - well losing piles up fast in travel so that can also get really bas, real fast.

Is it worth staying on a bad team if the competition is good and your DD is improving and excelling?
Maybe - how is the coaching? Is that a major part of why she is improving and excelling? Good coaching is a massive consideration for 10U. If she is having fun, and the coach is good, looking for greener pastures may not be the best move so be careful.

At this age, is it better to have your DD getting #1 mound time In a lot of games vs good competition or being a #2 behind a coach’s daughter somewhere else on a better team that plays less games.
Games are the fun part. So the answer to this is more likley YES than NO. Sitting on the bench and watching at 10U is boring. On a well coached team, the #2 pitcher is getting plenty of pitching time; if you are concerned by that on a new team, then you should really think about it more.

There are good coaches and bad coaches. The question is ALWAYS is this team coached well. The whole daddy ball thing is BS for the most part - Daddy Ball/favortism is just a symptom of bad coaching

My biggest worry would be if the #2 pitcher (who is also one of the better hitters) leaves, as then I think the burden would be just too heavy
That is a totally separate issue.
 
Feb 25, 2020
472
43
Does she have fun? It sounds like she is thriving carrying the weight.

One other thing to consider is how she is not pitching. On a "better team" would she only really pitch? Hitting and fielding are also really fun to do.
 
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