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1899 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2012 4:50 PM by Skittles_Softball
SoftballPerformance_com Pro 128 posts since
May 25, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 12, 2011 4:16 PM

Is the Long Term Commitment Dead?

Something I've noticed over the past couple of years is the increase in players changing teams. When I first got into coaching (in the '90s), most teams tended to keep the same players from year to year.

Sure, every now and then a player would jump teams or decide not to play anymore, but for the most part you'd see the same players on teams year after year.

Not anymore. It seems like these days players are constantly shifting from one team or program to another.

Now, not all of that is voluntary. I know several players (and parents) who wish they could find a team or program and just stay with it. They don't like all the uncertainty of going from tryout to tryout each year. They get to know the coaches, other players and parents and want to stay together. But circumstances dictate they have to make a change.

Sometimes it's due to a few core players leaving, which means they don't have enough to continue. Sometimes the bulk of the team moves up but a few get left behind. Sometimes there's a coaching change and there's a certain lack of compatibility.

Whatever the reason, it seems like it's happening more and more each year. And that's a shame in many ways.

Over the course of a summer, teams become close. It may be a cliche to say they're like family but they really are — right down to the little petty squabbles families can have. But as human beings we seek a certain comfort level in our surroundings, and that familiarity can give us a lot of comfort.

All of that seems to be going away now. In many ways players and their families have become mercenaries, always seeking that "better" team.


Softball Tips - Is the Long Term Commitment Dead?

  • SBALL11 Amateur 11 posts since
    Oct 6, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    Is the Long Term Commitment Dead?

    Certainly seems that way. The old "greener pastures" syndrome.


    Everyone's always looking for something "better". Funny though. The ones that move about the most, never actually seem to find it.


    Very happy that my daughter played with only two different teams over her 8 yr travel "career". Made and kept many good friends. Players and parents.


  • WestCoastSoftball Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 4, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Is the Long Term Commitment Dead?

    It seems like it to me. There's no commitment anymore by the teams or the players. Growing up I played for ONE travel organization all the way thru high school. The majority of my team went on to play in colleges across the country. My best friends were on that team, and the core group we had were there every year. Now that I have children in the game, it's a bit depressing to endure twice a year try outs -- and players who come and go all the time. The coaches seem to want the win so even mid level talented children with "good parents" that we like are getting cut to get the most talented child. Sometimes the most talented kids don't have the best family that we want to be around either. It's not the family atmosphere that it once was. If anyone knows of such a family organization -- let us know. We'd love to be a part of it.

  • ckhorn Pro 105 posts since
    Jun 30, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Mar 13, 2012 11:58 AM (in response to SoftballPerformance_com)
    Is the Long Term Commitment Dead?

    My oldest daughter who is in College now played on the same team for Five of the Six years she played travel ball. We lost maybe (5) girls over the Six year span. My youngest daughter 10U then, She was the only one that returned. The next year only Four returned and the following year only Three. Everytime I am on Eteamz I see Coaches who constantly losing players or looking for Three or Four through the Fall and Spring seasons. So far the most part I agree it is tough to keep the commitment. Things are different today, then what they where even Five years ago.

  • Skittles_Softball Pro 83 posts since
    Nov 25, 2003
    Currently Being Moderated
    Is the Long Term Commitment Dead?

    I agree. I started my now 12U team when the girls were in Kinder playing tee-ball. Only 1 girl besides my daughter is still on the team from the beginning. However I do have several who have come and stayed for 4+ years. Its usually very easy to tell right from the beginning which ones will stay and which ones will leave. The parents that dont socialize with the others are always easy tor read. We stress a family environment here...its not just a team. But as we have gotten better and more competitive over the years, several have realized that competitive ball was just not for them so they just quit playing all together. Every team ends up with players who come and go always looking for some where better. Those are the ones who are never satisfied and the player pays the price. It is sad!!!

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