Is playing time based on who shows up for practice?

Discussion in 'Softball Parent Discussions' started by TheSoftballZone, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. TheSoftballZone

    TheSoftballZone Administrator

    Is playing time on your daughter softball team determine by who shows up for practice? I guess I'm just old school because. I'm hearing from other parents that practice don't matter when it come to playing time on there team (s).
  2. yocoach

    yocoach Super Moderator Staff Member

    I hold my players and parents accountable. Playing time is based on how each player does at practice. If they don't come, they sit a majority of the weekend. For example, I had 3 players miss practice one week. Out of the 5 games we played, 1 got an inning and a half, 1 got less than a full inning since she missed the previous 2 practices and the third player sat all 5 for missing the 3 previous practices.

    I don't understand why people think that it's suddenly going to be okay to miss practices after I repeatedly warned them throughout the entire year that playing time is dependent on them being there and the effort they exert while practicing.
  3. Justamom

    Justamom Member

    At the younger ages we had coaches punish kids for missing practices with missing playing time. It was always funny when the pitcher or a fave would miss the rule would be forgotten.
    At 18U, they don't seem to care much. Girls even miss tournaments. We have 14 on our roster with 1 sub so 15. The first weekend was the only time we had 14 show up. (We won the tournament that weekend too) We had a couple weekends in between we were lucky to have 9. This weekend we have 13 and our sub, hopefully that brings good luck again. At this age the girls have so many more responsibilities so I get it when they miss. Some of them are already living on their own supporting themselves. It's nice to have coaches that are understanding.
    RedsDad and yocoach like this.
  4. yocoach

    yocoach Super Moderator Staff Member

    Just something to point out. Parents don't know what's going on behind the scenes. For example, I have my #1 Pitcher going on vacation and she will miss the next 2 practices. Since I knew of this in January, it is considered excused absences per the team rules and won't be held against her. However, all the parents will see is that she missed 2 practices and will still play her share of innings. At the 16U and 18U levels, like you said, it's vastly different which is why you need to expand the roster size. They get more interested in boys, they are driving and want more of a social life, they need to get jobs to pay for gas, insurance, etc. and the list goes on. The coaches have to be understanding otherwise they won't have a team to coach.
  5. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    This is a ticklish subject. I'm not sure how else to describe it. I believe coaches want to do the right thing by making players give an "all out" effort. The problems seem to surface when players are not treated the same for like violations. I'm not referring to a few of the scenarios already shared but the scenarios I would like to discuss may mirror a few.

    Coaches, look inside and ask yourself; do I have the right stuff to be a mentor and a leader? Parents and players; can you accept responsibility for your part in being at fault and causing turmoil that puts volunteer coaches into an awkward position? One or both can be at fault. The topic refers to a player being a problem so let's stick to that train of thought.

    Let's say your #1 pitcher misses a practice. Let's say it was unexcused, no prior notice, just blatantly didn't come for whatever the reason. As a coach, are you willing to sit her, perhaps not let her play at all on Saturday--------maybe sit the entire weekend? If the same thing happened to an outfielder with a shaky batting average how would you treat her in comparison? Some coaches would merely use the incident as an excuse to bench the outfielder in hopes of a better team result. It would allow other players more or all the playing time that weekend. Are you willing to leave that #1 pitcher on the bench and accept the outcome of the weekend using back-up pitchers? Come on coaches, do you have the fortitude to treat them the same? We all know what the answer should be. Is it time to practice what you believe, what you preach?

    Let's say you have a team rule about excused missed practices. Let's say the rule states you have to give the coach prior notice or it is considered an unexcused absence. Let's say the player shows up on game day with her reason for have missed practice a few days earlier. If the player is the shaky outfielder do you treat her different compared to a #1 pitcher?

    Let's say a player misses practice because they are reliant of their parents to bring them and the parents don't for whatever reason. Perhaps the player wanted to tell the coach but the parents instructed them they were not allowed to make contact. Yes, parents will and have done this. They don't want their child to mess up their lie. They plan to handle it. Most of the time it's ugly. I've had kids miss practice because the parents were at cocktail hour and didn't want to go home and pick their kids up and bring them. Do you punish the player?

    I've mentioned a few scenarios as food for thought. The real question; how do you view it if you are a coach? How do you view it if you are a parent?

    From a parent's standpoint, many of their arguments will turn back to a very important factor. They paid for their daughter to play, not to watch. Exactly what service are you providing when you take their money? This is where a solid mission statement is important and be included in an ironclad contract. If you don't provide and spell out in detail what is to be expected of the players and their families, you do not have a solid foundation to defend yourself if you are the coach. As a coach, you have to follow the guidelines to the letter or risk losing the respect of your team. I admit, my contracts were very detailed and many pointed out it appeared to be very 1-sided in my favor. I agreed. I also pointed out that I was doing this for nothing but to help the girls. I was not being paid. They did not have to sign or play for me but if they do, it would be on my terms.

    As in any sports activity there's much more to this game than the actual game. It is an experience. Some times it is good. Some times it is bad. Each individual situation still needs structure that blankets a team effort. Perhaps the real questions here are; As a parent or player, can you accept it? As a coach, can uphold it?
    TheSoftballZone likes this.
  6. yocoach

    yocoach Super Moderator Staff Member

    Well put. I do the same thing as far as the team mission statement and parent/player contract goes. But just to throw some answers to your scenarios.

    Know that an unexcused absence for my team is defined as one in which the player is going to rec ball instead of coming to TB practice or a no/text/call-no show.

    Scenario #1
    I sat my #1 pitcher the first tournament game two tournaments ago for going to pitch in a rec game instead of coming to practice. I did the same thing with my starting LF the same game for the same reason.
    Scenario #2
    Short answer is no. It may not seem that way to the parents since they do not know what's going on behind the scenes but I treat the players equally from my shaky outfielder to my #1 Pitcher.
    Scenario #3
    No I would not punish the player for this.

    It also helps that I'm a non-parent coach like you though.
  7. Steamer

    Steamer New Member

    So what your saying is if your #1 pitcher is sick show up to practice anyway so they can get everyone sick or not be up to par in the said practice so you will bench them for lack of effort in your practice.
  8. yocoach

    yocoach Super Moderator Staff Member

    Read the entire thread. If the parents call or text saying she is sick, that they are both working and have no way of getting them there, etc. It's an excused absence. But they also now know that softball is a small community and I will eventually find out if she's supposedly sick and went out to pitch a rec ball game instead of coming to TB practice.
  9. Justamom

    Justamom Member

    Just to follow up because I mentioned it. We have won both tournaments where we had the majority of the players show up. (13 and 14) The two tournaments in between they played like crap with 9-10. Don't be upset if your coach pulls up with a roster of 14. It works for these older girls.
  10. Ricdog

    Ricdog New Member

    I think if a player really loves the game she will be eager to practice
  11. DanMaz

    DanMaz Super Moderator Staff Member

    practicing as a team has HUGE value.
    I have players from 3 different states and a couple in the same state but a couple hours drive one way. With the focus on winning and competition to have the best team, coaches have to be flexible with practices. girls can practice on their own, see their pitching or hitting instructors on their own too... but it doesn't have the same value as a team practice. If girls miss other than for school sports, family emergency, or being sick then i would hold a little against the girl for just being lazy and not showing up. Doesn't matter if she is my best player. you miss for no reason, you will sit at least 1st game or most of 1st game and will not start. fair is fair. girls that have drive and show up will get opportunity to play. We are still developing... keep coaching keep giving opportunity to players that are fully committed. i want all my players at every team practice but these days its just not gonna happen all the time and I am ok with that to a degree.
    IRdad09 likes this.
  12. larson

    larson Member

    Depends on their age. ( 10-13 years ) These kids need to play multiple sports and sometimes it crosses into another season. Depends on circumstance. Now I am speaking if this involvement is due to school sports. Anything after March 1st that isn't school related is different. Absolutely NO JO!!!!


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