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The "Hissy-Quit"

Jun 12, 2015
3,795
83
How about this? You play in a Showcase with 3 meaningless games on Saturday. 2 against dog teams and one against a good team. HC knows college coaches are coming out to the good game. He told me so. And....he has a sub pitch the entire good game. Meanwhile my DD is only allowed to pitch in the dog games where no college coaches are. The sub was there for all 3 games.

My DD has several DIII college offers. She does not stink at pitching. She pitched 2 complete game shuts out, including a no-hitter, in two games she was allowed to pitch.

The sub was deemed better (sub is very good) so she got to pitch the entire game. The goal of showcase games, on this team, is to bat everyone, but only pitch your absolute best pitcher the entire game. Getting that big "W" in a showcase game means everything. Meanwhile the team we played switched pitchers half way through to let both their main pitchers get seen by the coaches there. They lost because of that move - but I bet both their pitchers were happy.

I said nothing then or even later. What good would it do? I had maybe 3 talks in the previous 4 seasons about some screwy things and nothing ever changed. I finally learned just to keep quiet and either accept it or not. I finally was not able to accept it. We were already planning to leave the team at the end of the season for different, yet similar, type things. That just solidified our decision to get off the team.

In case it was not clear, we did not quit but played the rest of the season. We agreed to play for the summer and honored our word. That was, and is, a big deal for me to show my kid.
First year 14U here, no showcase experience yet. But I didn't think winning mattered much in showcases?
 
Jul 16, 2013
3,122
83
Pennsylvania
First year 14U here, no showcase experience yet. But I didn't think winning mattered much in showcases?
I guess it depends on the coach. When we played showcases it was much more important for the players to be seen by their preferred schools. Yes, we wanted to win. But that was secondary. That said I worked closely with the players so that I knew what schools they were looking at and when those coaches would be there. In most cases the college coach would tell the player when they would be there. Then I would make sure that the player was on the field at that time. Pitching was always the most difficult. But if I knew a coach was there to see Meghan during game 2, she wasnt going to pitch game 1. She would be fresh and ready to go for game 2.

Note: If you enter showcases with the goal of "being found" you will be disappointed. Very few players are found at showcases. Typically a coach is coming to watch someone they have already met or have talked to (watched video at least).
 
Oct 4, 2018
893
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This is something I always remind the parents of in our "All-Star" teams: Softball may seem big, but it is a really small sport. The path of word-of-mouth from one coach to every other coach in the area is rarely more than two hops, and even from one coach to the coaches of D1 colleges is just a few hops. Good teams, and good coaches, do take the behavior of parents into account when taking a girl on, so if you forge a reputation on one team as a difficult parent, that reputation will follow you. Even if the next coach takes your daughter on, they will still be ready to deal with the first sign of trouble from you severely since they know there is a history there.

That and a solid "no talking (by parents) to coaching staff about the tournament until 24 hours after the final game" rule do wonders in keeping "problem" parents in check.
Only if the rules are enforced. Parents will agree to any rule and break it as soon as they want to.
 
Jul 27, 2015
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18
Note: If you enter showcases with the goal of "being found" you will be disappointed. Very few players are found at showcases. Typically a coach is coming to watch someone they have already met or have talked to (watched video at least).
I think "being found" depends on a few things: division of coaches and position of players. If you think a P5 is going to find you, then I agree with you. Not going to happen. But our catcher and my daughter have both had DIII coaches "find" them at games. I think pitchers, catchers, and maybe a few infield spots can be discovered by watching games. Good luck to outfielders being discovered, though. Well, unless they are hitting bombs.

Of course writing emails, sending videos, and attending camps are the much better ways to get discovered.
 
Jul 27, 2015
80
18
First year 14U here, no showcase experience yet. But I didn't think winning mattered much in showcases?
Winning should a goal, of course but not at the expense of not showcasing your girls.

So I think the team we were on had a Napoleon Complex. The organization we were in is basically a B/C organization. But our team, through very good coaching, rose up to be an above average A team. But I think they always felt disrespected and wanted to prove to everyone they were legit. So the team getting a win in a meaningless showcase was more important that actually trying to help all their girls get in college.

It was, and is, 100% unacceptable. I don't know of any other team that has that philosophy. Especially when you have a showcase where you know the coaches are only going to attend the one game like being on the main field or facing the only decent team on the schedule

2 of the 3 pitchers walked away at the end of the season. Only two people they lost.
 
May 6, 2015
1,102
63
Dd is still 12u, so no experience with showcases, not certain we will ever get there either, but it seems to be strategy for showcases should be

find out what college coaches will be at which games / times, to see which girls. make certain those girls are playing their primary / best position for the bulk of that game. put the rest of the girls where they will shine the best, just in case.

try your hardest to win the game with that lineup. if girl is mostly getting recruited as a P, no harm in flexing or having someone pinch hit for them (or any player really showcasing their defense, but I guess this is rare). however, if your P has been shutting the other team down, maybe pull her if coaches are there to see other players say halfway, so maybe the other team can put some balls in play, give your girls a chance to show their fielding.

I would be (and will be if we get to that point) of a HC or org bragging about their showcase wins. seems like bragging about preseason/exhibition wins.
 
Feb 17, 2014
515
18
First year 14U here, no showcase experience yet. But I didn't think winning mattered much in showcases?
It depends on the showcase. Some showcase TDs group teams based on how they do at their tournaments. If your team plays bad at their tournaments, then they get stuck in the lower pools.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,302
113
Florida
First year 14U here, no showcase experience yet. But I didn't think winning mattered much in showcases?
It depends on the showcase. Some showcase TDs group teams based on how they do at their tournaments. If your team plays bad at their tournaments, then they get stuck in the lower pools.
So yes and no. If there are interesting coaches watching your games then the winning and losing becomes totally secondary. You showcase the players hard no matter the result.

However. within the showcase circuit you want to find ways to the best fields & best opponents to make it easier for your to be in front of the coaches your players want to be in front of (or should be in front of). You do that by proving yourself - that is with winning records in major showcases and results in nationals/qualifiers you can point to. And if you are good enough, showcasing the players is not going to stop you winning most of the games anyway.

If you go 5-1 on a remote field one year, you are absolutely going to call the showcase director and go "Hey, we went 5-1 last year at your showcase (or finished top 10 in a decent national, or etc, etc), we deserve to be in your gold bracket/better fields/etc/etc to make it worth our time this year". It absolutely helps to have a national or state brand behind you as well. If you went 0-5 you can't make that call and be taken seriously.

So unless you have 10 D1 prospects, for most teams it is important to be in various showcases a year or so before you REALLY get the recruiting train going to build up that resume. We played D9 twice - not because it is any good because for 90% of teams there it isn't (unless you know who runs it personally or he wants something form you) - but because it was a local and convenient way to go 9-2 in a major showcase which we could then leverage our way into Legacy/T-Bolts/etc and move up the locations and opponents there.

We had one showcase where first year we barely saw a coach or two a game - they were there, just not where we were. This year - same showcase - we saw anywhere between 10 and 30 every game depending on time of day and opponent. The team worked to put ourselves in that position.

BTW - better opponents matter because they bring college coaches out as well with the work their girls put in. And for many coaches they are looking at girls who have emailed them from both teams. Turning up to a main field where I can see multiple girls per game I may be interested in and most of the players I want to see at one complex versus getting into a car to drive 30+ minutes to see one girl... Well it is easy to see why they stay in the more efficient spot.
 
Dec 11, 2010
2,198
83
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Good post alert ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Every teams goals are different. There aren't any hard and fast rules. Having *******a PLAN******* is what most don't have.

There ought to be a Softball Snopes. Most of what you hear is just backstop lore passed down from one uninformed parent to another uninformed parent over the years.
 
Jun 12, 2015
3,795
83
Very interesting! I think the plan for our team this year is just to play Legacy, for the experience. I'm glad we won't be doing a lot of them but it'll be interesting to see what it's like. DD's never played in one before; we didn't bother last year, though it seems like more and more 12U teams are playing in them.
 

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