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Small town ball, multiple sports all softball related

Mar 7, 2016
134
18
So we are going through a bit a rough spot with the school my DD attends. Back story I have been the head coach of our travel team going on 6 years, my wife is the head coach of the travel BB team going on 3 years. We are both are former Div 1 athletes. (it is also how we met).

We both went to 5A programs in Kansas and were 3 and 4 year starters. My DD goes to a 3A extremely small town school where everyone knows everybody. She is just starting out as 7th grader. We are finding out very fast that its not how you do or your ability its who you know that dictates what team you end up on. All of the teachers are the coaches, and all have players on the teams. They are all interconnected. They just announced teams for BB, and all of her travel team made B team on a mixed 7th/8th squad which was expected due to age and 8th being noticeably better players. All except my DD, who made C team. My DD has been the leading scorer on her travel team for all three years and comes to play when she steps on the court. When my DD is planning to ask to the coach what needs to be done to make B, I dont expect to hear anything positive from this conversation due to the following:

Now for the part that ties into softball... the coaches of the BB team are family members of another travel ball orgs team that we battle with. Their head coach is also the head softball coach of the HS. Her husband is the BB coach, and one of their starters mothers is the assistant BB coach... They are all current and soon to be teachers for my DD. We have heard numerous stories of school sports at this school being run this way and always blew off the rumors as just that. We were told by several people we trust and played college sports with that if you talk with the coaches your kid will catch the brunt of it and the AD will wash his hands of any involvement. Theses coaches/teachers/Ad are all close friends, all with children of various ages and with our luck all of them have a child one grade above my DDs class.

I am at a loss for what to do here, i have always lived by a rule you earn your spot, hard work pays off, parents never talk to coaches. My daughter is losing confidence, and its showing. All of the things a normal coach preaches is thrown aside in this program. My daughter spends hours practicing solo, going to open gyms etc, only to see a class mate that missed half of the tryout period due to illness, and is noticeably worse at BBALL make B team. I cant help but wonder if my coaching of softball and the relationship of these coaches compared to their travel ball team is not effecting my daughter in school ball. My wife knows these players better than anyone having coached them for 3 solid years, the coaching choices her have her speechless.

as a side note I am a firm believer if my DD earned a spot on C due to lack of effort than that's on her. Encouraging her to try harder knowing it pry wont effect the outcome is something that is killing me at the moment. Tonight is their first games... tomorrow she will speak with the coach. I will report back what happens. If i would have known that me coaching a sport would affect my daughter in any way I would have never stepped up to begin with and this has me seriously considering walking away.
 
Dec 10, 2015
525
28
Chautauqua County
unfortunately this is how it works in some/many/most school teams. having been a non-teacher school softball coach, I am confident in this assessment. we are playing TB only.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,037
113
Does it make sense to befriend them? Have a party?

Often in these political situations, it's either leave or get to the inside.
 
May 6, 2015
1,217
83
a lot depends on your DDs goals for both BB and SB

-play one or the other D1/D2? play both D3

-play for the sake of love of one or the othe ror both

-etc.

first, sit down with DW and DD and discuss goals, and maybe revisit every 6 months or so. If your DD want to play either at very high level, can just shrug off HS. DD1 has similar situation with FH. HS coach clearly has favorites, DD was not even given a look at frosh. decided not to play as a soph for HS, up in the air if she plays next year for HS. still playing club, doing recruiting tournaments, is being followed on NCSA by a couple of prominent D1 schools. from my understanding, for both BB and SB, HS does not matteer for recruiting really. maybe do something else extracurriclar at school (drama, debate, etc.) to round out her resume while playing travel BB and SB.

good luck, HS sports are such a hit or miss affair it seems.
 
Aug 19, 2015
826
43
Atlanta, GA
My DD quit BB in 7th grade after not making the school team, but being asked to come to practices (but no dressing out for games). Wasn't worth it to her, and it only gets harder as they age to manage the overlapping seasons (we play school SB in the fall here and if you make playoffs, it will overlap with BB tryouts and beginning practices). And softball TB teams still do conditioning and indoor practices during BB season. DD liked BB a lot and played AAU travel for two years, but one coach or the other was always unhappy with her missing stuff and she didn't like that feeling.
 
Jan 5, 2018
202
28
PNW
Bummer. Probably is as you describe and how things go....but it's not limited to small schools or small communities...the same issues are at "big" schools and larger communities.

At the end of the day...most coaches want to win...if your DD is a player that will help them win...they will play her and use her.

If i would have known that me coaching a sport would affect my daughter in any way I would have never stepped up to begin with and this has me seriously considering walking away.
I get this statement....sort of...as it relates to your DD. BUT would you change the years of working with her and her teammates/friends? Would you trade those memories and experiences and opportunity to help young ladies with their softball skills but ALSO speak positively into their lives? You coaching a sport probably affects your daughter less than you may realize...but what does affect her is the good ol' boys/girls club that was there regardless of you coaching. Nothing was likely going to change that...unless you're part of the club. You can always try to "join" the club.

If you'd never stepped up.....who would have? What would the coaching/direction/development have been like? Better than you provided? Worse?

That said....it sounds like you have the right approach with your DD and her approach to these types of situations. It's a bummer, for sure, BUT these situations will continue to happen the rest of her life. This is a learning opportunity and teachable moments if used correctly to guide her.

Who knows.....that basketball C team might be a blessing. Yeah, I know the level of play may be lower than what she/you want. But who knows if this is an opportunity for her to shine, make new friends, sharpen her leadership skills with a different group of girls etc. These things often have a way of working out and bringing unforeseen results. In our family we refer to this as dodging a bullet we didn't know was coming. You never know until after the fact...but can look back and see how it worked out in our benefit/favor. EVEN if at the time something really sucked.

Continue to raise your DD right....you won't be disappointed in the long run.

We've made some changes with our DD softball journey. It's not been easy at times and been filled with some self doubt/questions etc. Recently we saw this FB post about Aubree Munro the US Olympic catcher.

I want to tell you a story about our Olympic catcher, Aubree Munro.

This tall, skinny, lanky girl wasn’t the best player in 12u.
She wasn’t the one who was always picked first & didn’t compete for a National Championship until high school.
She didn’t have a laundry list of colleges to choose from and growing up, no body (except her inner circle) would have referred to her as “the best.”
She was told she wasn’t good enough; told she would never make it as a catcher.

When everyone told her all she wasn’t, she ALWAYS WAS:

-the hardest worker on the field / in the gym
-the best teammate, even to the people who played the same position as her
-relentless in the pursuit of HER goals (not other peoples’ goals)
-a dreamer, goal setter, visionary
-enough analytical / enough of a feeler
-a great daughter & sister
-always thankful for any opportunity
-a person who took advantage of the opportunities she was given

She didn’t complain when:
-she wasn’t a starter
-it was hard
-people said she wasn’t good enough
-she never earned All-American
-Team USA didn’t give her a shot
-people labeled her as someone who “couldn’t hit”

No, you know what she did (still does), she put her ear muffs on, and rallied around her tribe of people who knew ALL she was capable of; the people who believed in her EVERY step of the way & would do anything to help her get there.

Today, a 20 year dream of becoming an Olympian became a reality, but more than that, today Aubree cemented her legacy in this game as a role model to all the girls who’ve been told they weren’t good enough.

Today she showed them they are.

My daughter read this and said...."this is like me in many ways....my journey isn't over yet...i'm putting on my ear muffs"

Help your daughter put on her ear muffs.

Courage and Blessings
 
Nov 29, 2009
2,842
48
What your DD is going through, unfortunately, is a common occurrence in small town schools. I really doubt your coaching has anything to do with it. The "coaches" see your DD as a threat to the kids in their inner circle. They will do what they can to keep those kids happy.

As former college athletes you and your wife should understand a college coach could give rat's rump about what your DD did in grade school and HS, especially if she is attending a small HS. The college coaches know they type of situation your DD is in is not an uncommon situation is school sports.

Concentrate on travel ball and having your DD play against the best competition she can. Make sure your DD understands what's going on around her in school ball. I think that can help alleviate some of her frustrations.
 
May 6, 2015
1,217
83
My DD quit BB in 7th grade after not making the school team, but being asked to come to practices (but no dressing out for games). Wasn't worth it to her, and it only gets harder as they age to manage the overlapping seasons (we play school SB in the fall here and if you make playoffs, it will overlap with BB tryouts and beginning practices). And softball TB teams still do conditioning and indoor practices during BB season. DD liked BB a lot and played AAU travel for two years, but one coach or the other was always unhappy with her missing stuff and she didn't like that feeling.
if the coaches were unhappy with her for missing some off season conditioning or early season practices because of another sport, they do not belong coaching youth sports below HS. kids should do different things to avoid overuse injuries, strengthen muscles, improve flexibllity, etc.. It was not like she was missing to hang out at the mall (although most girls need some of this too!), she was still working.

DD is probably going to miss about half of her teams winteer workouts (2x a week, like 5 hours total) for swim practices. winter is swim seaon, and she has goals in swimming. These coaches need to stop pressuring kids to choose earlier and earlier. the only ones it benefits are the coaches.
 
Mar 7, 2016
134
18
seems like this isnt an isolated thing...

I would love to befriend them however they are not fans of mine by any means for whatever reason I never bothered to ask or find out. Heck the first time we played them in travel ball (our first year) we lost 21-3 and the coach refused to shake my hand at the end of the game ( i was just as confused as you are reading this). They are a year older 2nd yr 14, and we have made leaps and bounds and have a completely new team from that time to now. There is a VERY good chance we wills see them often this spring/summer.
We both compete for gym time, field time etc and have to deal with the AD for softball and somewhere down the line i must have rubbed this coach the wrong way. Point is if she didnt like me before she really isnt going to like me after this year in TB.

right now she feels defeated, and that her hard work is for nothing.
 

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