My daughter is a senior and will be going to a 4 year school on a scholarship for pitching however her school coaches won't let her pitch. She was offered scholarships from several different schools both 2 and 4 year. She is not even considered a pitcher and in the rotation! They are pitching 2 sophomores and will occassionally use another senior as a backup. When my dd went to the pitching coach and asked why she was not getting to pitch he told her that she was not an asset to the program since she was a senior and they would only have her this year but the 2 sophomores were assets since they had them for 2 more years and he was more concerned with rebuilding the program than winning this year. My dd is devastated and this is killing her confidence to the point that she just wants to quit and I don't know what to do. Can anyone offer me any advice? The coaches have already made it clear that they will not talk to parents about playing time and that the girls have to handle it. We have never gone to a coach about her playing time in the past but it just doesn't seem healthy for her or fair at all to be in this situation.
The other problem is that her college coach is asking for a schedule because he wants to come and watch her pitch but we are afraid of giving that to him to have him show up and she not be playing. Her HS coach told the college coach at her signing that she was his starting pitcher and would be playing defense or pitching in every game yet she has not gotten even one inning pitching and only played defense in 3 games out of 17 so far. I just don't know what to do. HELP!
I can understand their position. It is nothing new at any level. Even NCAA teams will sit seniors if they need to develop the underclassmen for the future.
But why are you worrying about HS ball? I doubt that is where she earned her scholarship.
You are correct that school ball is not where she earned her scholarship. She is a starter on her 18U A travel team and earned it there. I guess my biggest concern is that her confidence is taking a huge hit by being on the bench as a senior especially when she plays against teams that her travel ball team mates are on. She says that it is humiliating to her. Should I not be concerned about this? Plus the team is losing more than they are winning and other parents are asking us why the coaches continue to pitch the others and lose when she is available and they won't use her. I just tell them I don't know and to talk to the coaches.
I understand developing your underclassmen but not at the expense of your seniors who have put in their time to the program. They didn't sit their senior scholarship pitcher last year in favor of the underclassmen pitchers so it just seems odd that they would start now and my dd feels slighted for her chance to be the star after being behind this other girl for 3 years in high school.
We are in Alabama.
So you think it is wrong that she put in her time behind another star pitcher without complaining knowing that she would have her senior year to get a chance to earn the starting spot and be the "star" for a change rather than the "backup" and now be upset that she wasn't even given the chance? There would be no issue here if she had even been given a start or two and had not done as good as the two sophomores and therefore earned her spot on the bench fairly.
Why should that statement that I made tell you more than the situation itself? Doesn't every athlete work hard to be the "star"? Isn't that part of why you put in all the time and hard work and miss a lot of the stuff teenage girls do to play this sport? To be the best? I am not saying at the expense of being a team player or that being a team player is not important but tell me how sitting the bench as a scholarship senior pitcher while the team is losing is being a team player or helping the team?
There is no "I" in team or star.
This sounds like a personal issue and if it is humiliating, maybe she would be better off not playing on the HS team and concentrate on the travel ball which will be more competitive and better display of her all-star skills for the college coach.
Yeah it is kind of chicken soup to clean up the phrase but what you gonna' do. Even the hs coach told her it's not about her ability so why would it bother her confidence. Annoying yes, but if she lets this rattle her confidence she's going to get rattled a lot in life. OTOH, if I'm the underclassmen, I'd be wondering if it was going to be my turn to sit when I got to be a senior. Might bite the coach in the rear one of these days.
It sounds like the HS coaches have made their decision with regards to the direction they want to take the program. Unfortunately, your daughter doesn't fit into the plan. No one ever said that HS coaches were the smartest, and unlike a travel program you're stuck with them.
You seem to have a firm grasp on the realities of travel ball and it's relation to college ball. I suspect your HS coach does too. If the coach knows your daughter is signed I'm sure the coach knows it came from travel and not from HS. Explain the situation to the college coach. I can tell you it's not the first time a HS coach has done something that appears to be stupid to a parent and it won't be the last.
I do have to applaud the coach for forcing the girls to deal with the coach about team issues. Once they get to college they have to do it all on their own. You may not like it now because you're used to doing everything for your daughter. She's learning the hard way that things are not always fair. It's the same crap in the workplace too.
Had a similar situation on my daughter's HS team. Had a senior who did not like her role on the team and cried to mommy about it. The coach refused to deal with any parents so mommy went to the AD. The AD backed the coach. It's easy to do when the coach had won the state title the year before.
The kid pouted and grumbled most of the season. She ended up costing the team a big game because the freshman who outplayed her was unable to make a game due to illness. The grumbling stopped after that. She was the only senior on the team and they were all happy to see her graduate.
Many of us have been there and are sympathetic to your DD.
At this point the college coach could care less about HS. Your DD has signed, right?
I would suggest that she walk away proudly and get on with her training and pitching. I would step up batting practice and not look back.
She could take her uniform in and just say my outside softball practices are where I need to be right, now.
By the way, a HS coach that refuses to meet with a parent is a jerk.
When she explains the situation to her college coach, she should take the high road. Do NOT say anything negative about the hs coach. Just say "the hs coach has chosen a rebuilding strategy to play for the future rather than this year and while this is disappointing I plan to be ready to support my team mates in any way possible". This will give the college coach the warm fuzzies making them congratulate themselves on choosing wisely thus turning a negative into a positive. But DD has to BELIEVE it and live it for it to ring true with the college coach.
And then BE ready. You never know what may happen in terms of injuries or academic availability etc. If the opportunity does arise, be ready to mow them down smiling all the way. The best revenge is to live well. When she has successes in college you can feed the sports guy links to college articles. If it's a smaller town, they are always looking for human interest/local kid makes good stories. Take the high road. Let others question why the coach started who they started.
In answer to one poster I have never run inteference for my DD with a coach or a teacher once she got old enough to handle it herself as we (her dad and I) have always taught her that life is not fair and that she will have to deal with these types of situations on her own throughout life. So that is not the issue. I do however agree with the poster who said that a coach that is not willing to talk to a parent is a jerk. In this case I think it depends on the parent as he is more than willing to talk to the starting pitcher's parents about what they need to work on and get their opinions.
I wish that she could leave school ball and focus on travel but there is not any travel programs in our state during school ball. So it would just be a couple of months with no organized practice at all and I don't think that would help either as at least she is still getting some defensive work and batting practice. Pitching lessons are the only pitching practice she is getting since they aren't even letting her pitch in practice anymore.
MarkH thank you for the advice about the college coach. That is really what I was mostly concerned about is how it would look to him when he found out that contrary to what the coach told him at her signing she is not playing or pitching at all. That sounds like a really good idea and I can guarantee you that she will be ready to step in and "mow them down smiling" if the opportunity presents itself.
And to another poster yes I do think it has become a personal issue. How can it not be when you don't complain and accept that you are the underclassman who is waiting patiently for your turn for 3 years and then when your turn arrives you are benched in favor of 2 underclassmen?
Yes my dd has already signed her scholarship and it was travel ball where she was noticed and the offers made. HS ball has never promoted her to any college. And as far as winning we have not won any titles in years and have not even finished a season over 500 in the time my dd has been there.
I really appreciate everyone's points of view on this. It is such a sorry situation for anyone to be in but you have all given me lots to consider. I would not wish a situation like this on any young girl.
One other thing. In the hs games, she should be on her feet rooting for the team. She should be Patty Positive Attitude. Put the team first, yell for them and hide away her disappointment. It's best for her in terms of her own enjoyment. It's best for the impression it gives of her to people in town. It's best for her in terms of what gets back to the college coach.
If someone asks her about not playing, she can be honest and say "Yeah it eats me up to not be out there helping the team but I have to be positive and support the team and the coach for my team mates sake".
I feel your pain....I've seen it done many times at our HS program. The politics, favoritism, and 'my daddy's a BIG donor so coach has to play me', syndrome is alive and well just north of you.
I agree with most of what was said here except for the fact that it really DOES effect the girls confidence. It's so aggravating to watch a topnotch player struggle cause HS coach isn't believing in her. You need to work on that issue asap. A girls gotta know that her skills/abiltity doesn't disappear just because someone else thinks she shouldn't be playing.
I don't think she's wanting to be 'THE star' or even being selfish, I think she wants and deserves her senior year just as much as the sophomores deserve to be developed. Coach ain't worth much if he can't do both. And yes, I do think if that's the way the program continues, he'll end up with players leaving, or not even joining to start with.
She'll face worse in life. If a kid lets this overcome their self confidence maybe the pitcher's circle isn't where she needs to be anyway. Overcome it. Life is tough. Learn to be tougher.