softball dad

When it comes to travel softball, what is your philosophy on keeping a team together from year to year versus constantly cutting players to upgrade with new ones?

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Team Selection
by: Dan

Softball Dad,

Thank you for your question. Ironically, I was speaking with a dad last night about this very topic. I currently am an assistant coach on a 12U team. He was telling me that his daughter's prior team looks to shake out the "bottom" 4-5 players every year to "upgrade". They are considered an A level team and to be brutally honest, this is common practice among the A level teams regardless of sport. Their whole purpose is to have the best 11-12 girls they can find from the area to then travel around the country and play top level competition and "get the girls college scholarships". They are also more expensive than the other teams in the area as well.

Ok, but your question is what is my philosophy. Right now, I feel the team we have is probably an upper B level team. I say that because we have done quite well in the Fall and have beaten an A team, but not sure how well we would consistently do at an A level. We haven't played enough to know...yet. As far as cutting the bottom players and replacing every year, I am not comfortable with that. I believe you should develop players. There may be a few players you change out every year, but that should be by mutual choice. When you leave a current player off the roster, it should be evident that it was not a good mix. Also, the philosophy of switching out players definitely interferes with team bonding ... everyone is out for themselves. As the father told me, this team feels much closer and plays together. The "A" team wins games, but they are all individuals. The bottom line: What is your goal for the team? One last point, unless you live in California, Florida or Texas, promising D1 college scholarships for everyone on the team ... well it is a stretch at best.

Good luck!

Dan

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