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Seeking Perspective on Guest Playing While Still Committed to Another Team

Feb 10, 2018
34
18
Northern Virginia
My DD is currently the #1 pitcher on her first year 14U B team. We play locally and some regionally. As this team transitioned from a 12U A team this past spring, we lost several strong players to a more prominent, "higher level" travel organization in the area. Some of the departures were expected, others less so. Things mostly worked out, but the manager had to scramble to hold last minute tryouts and pick up a couple girls. We have 11 girls for the fall season, but things were looking dicey for a second.

Anyway, my DD and I plan to keep our commitment with our team through the spring 2020 season. That said, it might be our last season with this travel org (4th year with the same manager and assistant coaches). We have had a great experience overall, so there are no sour grapes or anything like that. My daughter, however, may be outgrowing the team and what it can offer and I am skeptical that we will be able to hold things together to form a second year 14U club in fall 2020. I am also slightly concerned with whether the team will hold together through the winter. We are one or two departures away from not having a competitive team. Again, I don't have any clear signals that this will happen--but it is at least a possibility.

As a contingency plan, I am thinking about whether I should have my DD guest play as a pitcher with some other teams in the area. As I mentioned, we have been with the same org for several years, and only know some of these other teams from a distance at local tournaments. If we got to the point of leaving sooner or later, I think it would be useful to know more about some of these orgs and coaches (and parents) before we jump.

That's a long preamble, but my question is: What do I need to tell the manager of my current team (if anything), if we go the guest playing route? Obviously, I would not let the guest playing conflict with our team's tournament schedule. I guess another question is whether this sounds like a sound plan given the above? Thanks for any insight.
 
Apr 28, 2019
835
43
My DD is currently the #1 pitcher on her first year 14U B team. We play locally and some regionally. As this team transitioned from a 12U A team this past spring, we lost several strong players to a more prominent, "higher level" travel organization in the area. Some of the departures were expected, others less so. Things mostly worked out, but the manager had to scramble to hold last minute tryouts and pick up a couple girls. We have 11 girls for the fall season, but things were looking dicey for a second.

Anyway, my DD and I plan to keep our commitment with our team through the spring 2020 season. That said, it might be our last season with this travel org (4th year with the same manager and assistant coaches). We have had a great experience overall, so there are no sour grapes or anything like that. My daughter, however, may be outgrowing the team and what it can offer and I am skeptical that we will be able to hold things together to form a second year 14U club in fall 2020. I am also slightly concerned with whether the team will hold together through the winter. We are one or two departures away from not having a competitive team. Again, I don't have any clear signals that this will happen--but it is at least a possibility.

As a contingency plan, I am thinking about whether I should have my DD guest play as a pitcher with some other teams in the area. As I mentioned, we have been with the same org for several years, and only know some of these other teams from a distance at local tournaments. If we got to the point of leaving sooner or later, I think it would be useful to know more about some of these orgs and coaches (and parents) before we jump.

That's a long preamble, but my question is: What do I need to tell the manager of my current team (if anything), if we go the guest playing route? Obviously, I would not let the guest playing conflict with our team's tournament schedule. I guess another question is whether this sounds like a sound plan given the above? Thanks for any insight.
As long as you put your current team 1st there shouldn’t be a problem guesting.
The only issue you may have is missing practice time with current team when you guest for other teams.
Should you tell current team your thinking about guesting? Depends on your feel for coaches. Do you think they will understand and be fine with it? Or do you think they will resent it and hold it against you and your daughter?
We’ve done it and never mentioned it to regular team. Never missed any tourneys or practice time so never really came up. That was at 12U A level. Our main team only played like 6 tourney’s which was supposed to be like ten but some got cancelled and never booked replacement tournies. So didn’t feel the need for full disclosure.
 
Apr 26, 2015
600
28
DD has guested several times. IMHO - you need to tell your current coach. The softball world is small and word gets around. I would rather DD's coach heard from her (or us) than found out other wise. She has only guested when her team is not playing. We just told the current coach that DD wanted to have as much game experience as possible. She has guested for her HS coach's TB team, and for several other teams in the area that were short players. DD was never actually looking to make a move, but honestly this kid hates having off weekends. I do think the more coaches that know your kid the better though!
 
Last edited:

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
732
43
If you've been treated well by your current team, then respond by giving that team the respect it deserves. Don't tell your coach that you're looking for places to guest play, just tell him when it's actually going to happen. If you do guest and don't tell your coach, he will eventually find out, and that will create some unnecessary problems. Ideally, you guest with a team that's actually short on pitching that weekend. IMO, never miss practice to guest play, and never wear your current team's gear when playing for someone else.

With your DD being a good pitcher, you're in the driver's seat. If your current team does fall apart during winter, you would likely have no shortage of offers and could/should guest play in the Spring until you found the right place.
 
Nov 18, 2013
1,726
63
If you’re upfront with both coaches, I don’t see a problem.

I am curious, does she have college aspirations? If so, it’s time to find an A team. Rolling through B lineups isn’t going to challenge or prepare for the next level. Best of luck!
 
Feb 10, 2018
34
18
Northern Virginia
If you’re upfront with both coaches, I don’t see a problem.

I am curious, does she have college aspirations? If so, it’s time to find an A team. Rolling through B lineups isn’t going to challenge or prepare for the next level. Best of luck!
Thanks for the replies so far. My daughter (still 13) has some aspirations to play in college, though she is not really sure what that means. She talks about playing for the Florida Gators. Let's just say that I don't foresee many phone calls from Tim Walton. If she continues to progress, I think she could play as high as a DII or lower-tier DI school. Regardless, your point of view is one of the reasons we are thinking about leaving the club next season.
 
Jun 23, 2018
17
3
Texas
I agree with the being up front with your coach when you guest play. This is how we have always done it when my DD wants to get some extra time on the mound. As long as you frame it as the kid hates to be at home on the weekends (which mine does and her coach knows it) and the more experience and mound time will benefit him, I don't think many coaches would say no.
Since this is only to get her name out there in a worst case, make sure you are not actively plotting a contingency plan with your guest teams. This will get back one way or another. Just go for the experience and have fun. Softball is a small world and it seems like it has more than it's fair share of drama starters.
 
Aug 19, 2015
794
43
Atlanta, GA
We were on one team where the HC specifically did not allow his girls to pick up with other teams, so proceed with caution. HIs reasoning was that he didn't want girls to get hurt. But you can get hurt in PE class, your bathroom, or anywhere. I think he didn't want girls shopping around for a new team. Just be careful not to burn bridges.
 
Oct 4, 2018
920
63
DD has guested several times. IMHO - you need to tell your current coach. The softball world is small and word gets around. I would rather DD's coach heard from her (or us) than found out other wise. She has only guested when her team is not playing. We just told the current coach that DD wanted to have as much game experience as possible. She has guested for her HS coach's TB team, and for several other teams in the area that were short players. DD was never actually looking to make a move, but honestly this kid hates having off weekends. I do think the more coaches that know your kid the better though!
Bingo!

Consider the softball world like being a high school kid. Everyone will know everything very quickly. People talk a lot, not necessarily from a bad place, but someone will tell someone you guested for them, who will then tell someone else. Your head coach will know before the weekend is out in many cases.

However, you should most certainly have a contingency plan. My DD and I have several. If you and your DD want to play softball competitively, it's good to know several coaches, go to several try outs, and keep friendly relationships with people in the softball community.

Just live by "Honesty is the best policy" and you'll be fine. Go to all your team's practices and games first and foremost, but feel free to practice and play with other teams on your off days. Just let the coach know if you're guesting in a tournament before-hand.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,322
113
Florida
It is wrong if your motivation for guest playing is purely a way to 'try out' for other teams. That is inappropriate and will cause trouble if it is clear this is what you are doing. The softball community is small, gossipy and burning bridges can be nasty.

You can get to know teams well enough by talking to them at tournaments, sitting near or among their parent group at games and so on.

Guest play because a team is short. That is the ONLY reason we have ever had guest players.

Lastly, whatever you do, be 100% up front with your coach. Always better coming from you than through the grapevine even if they are not happy with what you say or do.
 

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