The Coach

Helping Parents Coach, Coaches Coach and Players Play

confusedYou take your daughter weekly for lessons after work on Tuesday nights for pitching or hitting.  It costs from $35 to $65 per half hour and may be a lengthy drive from home.  You do this throughout the fall and winter racking up the miles and money spent.  You and your daughter practice what she’s learning at home, school or a local softball facility, which might even cost you more money.  And after all that time and money you and your daughter realize that she just doesn’t seem to be getting any better.  How can this be?

You are frustrated that you’ve wasted so much time and money to the point that you feel like you’ve been ripped off.  Maybe you decide to seek out another instructor?  Meanwhile you tell everybody in your softball circle that you stopped going to that instructor, because he/she didn't help your daughter one bit.  Does this scenario sound familiar?  

Read more: Few Softball Instructors Will Tell You This

benchIt's February and it's the last month before High School Tryouts (in Michigan - March 9th).  And the closer to judgment day we get, the more girls suddenly appear wanting to work on their games.  These girls fit into two categories: Some play a winter sport making it difficult or impossible to practice softball - or - the social players finally found some free time in their busy schedules. Regardless, scheduling 4-player workouts becomes a challenge for coaches trying to be fair.  This article describes the issues a coach has to consider when scheduling and conducting off-season work outs.

**Note** I wrote in detail about the mixture of social and serious players in Levels of the Game: School Softball.

Read more: The Month Before High School Tryouts

competition3What does Earning Playing Time mean?  What does it mean to your daughter's coach or to your daughter or you?  I think it’s something that is often misinterpreted and causes unnecessary drama.  Therefore when a coach states something like, “Players must earn their playing time,” it is important for you to be clear about what exactly he means.

She's put her time in over the years and deserves a starting spot.

Read more: Earning Playing Time

Ever hear of TED?  I've watched many videos over the years from the "Ideas Worth Spreading" website.  While some are either not of interest to me or not aligned with my views, others are quite interesting and often inspirational.  I came across one by Richard St. John, "Success is a Continuous Journey," which made me think of softball (of course).  People talk about how kids can learn life lessons from sports.  This TED Talk provides a way for kids to learn softball lessons from life, whether one is climbing the company ladder or pursuing their entrepreneurial aspirations.

Read more: Success is a Continuous Journey

Softball Coach Greg CruthersThe selection process during tryouts is not an exact science. I've been on both sides of this process many times.  I want to give those of you who have never coached some insight on the process.  This will be based on my experience as a coach in high level travel softball clubs (aka A, Gold or PGF), not B teams or local community based programs whose goal is to prepare players for their varsity teams.  I'm talking about teams full of girls with a love for the game, exceptional talent, strong work ethic and desire to one day play college softball. 

An outsider looking in might compare two players and question our selection, "I don't understand how that girl made it when this girl is a much better hitter."

Read more: Travel Softball Insights - A Coach's Perspective