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Welcome to Being a Softball Parent

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
496
0
Montreal, Canada
Following the suggestion of a member, this is new forum is to discuss any issues you may have related to being a softball parents. It can be anything that deals with the problems and issues that arise from being a softball parent. It could be dealing with coaches, playing time, fundraising, etc.

Cheers,

Marc
 

May 7, 2008
235
0
I feel as though I have repeated this throughout this forum, but it is because it has been our biggest lesson...the philosophy of the coaching staff and our family must be a match. This does not mean "I don't like this drill or that drill" this does not mean "they are not playing my child in a certain position" but what it does mean is that "my dd wants to improve her skill." When all agree on the principles, it is easier to put principles before personality it builds trust and eliminates conflict. Some teams are satisfied with winning, but do not really care how it was won (with good mechanics? corrections made at practice or between games?), honest communication (this will mean honesty with coaches, your child, other parents, and most importantly yourself). We have all seen parents overrate their child and wrongly esteem their child into believing they are good at something that they are not or that their child is the only one who can do it. There are many teams with different priorities out there, and we know the priorities we are looking for. BUT, it took us time to figure all of that out and then time to find the match.

Ang
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,421
38
Mundelein, IL
Ang, I think that's a great answer. Different coaches have different philosophies, and none are necessarily right or wrong. But they may be right or wrong for you and your child.

As a summer coach my personal feeling is the girls joined the team to play, not to watch from the bench. But seeing as how the object is to win, my job (and the job of my assistants) is to develop every single player on the team to the point where I can put them into the game without jeopardizing the team. I'm not saying they're all of equal talent or ability. They're not. Their skill levels vary. But on any given day we can have any player step up and be the hero.

That's not for everybody, by the way. For some, it's win tournaments or it's been a bad season. Different strokes.

Twenty years from now they won't remember specific games. But hopefully they'll remember that they enjoyed playing on this team, they enjoyed being with their teammates, and they did something special. They won't get any of that sitting on the bench watching everyone else all the time.
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
Marc,
Bieng a coach how do you determine who gets more playing time?
David:

Rec ball requires all players are rotated. In travel ball a team is governed by the coaches and the team follows league rules of competition.

As a coach, I believe it is important for you to sit down and ask yourself several questions which will help you define your philosophy and goal. What attributes of an athlete are important to you. Once you have done that, you will find the answer to that question.

Some coaches only want talented players. Others want primarily talented players. Yet some are willing to form a team where the players are young in their bracket, have potential, and are willing to take a season of losses to develop into a strong, committed team. I have seen successful teams in each of those scenarios. Each of those scenarios may present different priorities and philosophies.

I encourage you to ask yourself how you want to coach. Think about some of the best coaches you know (legendary or from your personal experience). What is it about those coaches that influenced you (positively or negatively). What, in their character, do/did you deem influential.

I may be wrong, but I do not believe there are any formulas...

Warm wishes,

Ang ;)
 

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
496
0
Montreal, Canada
It depends of the level but let's say at the levels I have coached over the last few years (23U, 18U, college, etc.). So we are talking mostly elite.

My personal coaching philosophy is the following:

Everybody is going to have a chance to play and earn a spot for important games and competition during a) exhibition games b) regular league games (because in our case, they didn't mean much) and c) prep tournaments (for the round robin).

After that, decisions on who plays for key games, important tournament and championships will be made based on who I believe can help the team the most. My decision will be based on:

1) Hitting - who's hot? I never lied to the players and always told them whoever is hot offensively is gonna play.

2) Overall performances in previous games over the last little while (same day, previous weeks, last 2-3 weeks).

3) Who we are facing - do I want big hitters who swing and who are at risk against the riseball or do I want patient hitter that will not the chase the right ball and force the rise ball pitcher to throw them strikes? That's an example of one factor I would consider. I might need a better in right field for this game because we are facing a team that has a lot of power lefties and I expect they are going to pull the ball against us, etc.

4) Other factors: attendance, attitude, hard work, etc. Show me you wanna play. I don't ask you to be happy to be on the bench but you have to support your teammates and it has to show that you want to get in (i.e. you are energetic, you warm-up between innings, etc.).

There are some factors. I would probably function that way 16U and up for competitive ball.

At the younger level which I consider more development, I would have more kids play more often.

Marc
 
May 7, 2008
110
0
IMHO, the best thing a parent can do is have a REALISTIC view of their kids abilities and talent! Many problems regarding playing time/positions arise from parents over-inflation of their kids skills.

When my DD was ready to try TB (12U), we went to four tryouts. She was offered a spot on all four teams.

Team A was a very strong team with a great pitcher and infield. I saw my DD's role as a #2 pitcher and basically nothing else.

Teams B and C were good teams where my DD could easily compete to be the #1 pitcher and had a decent shot at playing 1B and 2B when not pitching.

Team D was a good team in need of a #1 pitcher who's coach believed that pitcher's SHOULD play other positions when not pitching.

We obviously went with Team D because my DD wants to pitch a lot AND she wants to pitch in the elimination and championship games. She also loves to play infield when not pitching.

I realize this decision would not suit everyone, but it has been great for our family.

Keith
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
Keith...

We are in the transitioning process because dd felt that her skills were going flat. We are fortunate to have been around travel long enough that teams have expressed interest in her. What we did was attend practices as spectators without dd. We observed those teams at tournaments under competitive conditions and learned a bit about their history. She has to move to 14U in January. She is filling in with a young 12U helping them to get into the "swing," and my husband has decided to return to head coaching, putting a team of (1995s) together for next year and is giving great consideration to the chemistry and potential (more than existing talent). He is formulating his core values, mission, etc.

Marc stated (which I believe is true) that one of the biggest problem for coaches is the parents. I was reading a research paper several months ago that stated the number one reason coaches stop coaching is because of players coming and going and having to constantly rebuild (some of those connected to parenting issues). My challenge to those coaches would be to look at why there were problems with player retention.

Much needed forum, Mark.

Ang
 
May 7, 2008
110
0
Ang,

My DD is a 95 b'day...if you ever need a pitcher let us know! The kid's great, but her parents are a little difficult! LOL

Keith
 

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