Questions to Ask a Coach Before Selecting a Team?

Discussion in 'Softball Parent Discussions' started by legit, Jul 14, 2011.

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    default Guest

    I have been a guest following and learning a lot about travel ball for awhile now - THANK YOU for your generous contributions to this forum. A key thing I have learned from all of you in selecting and committing to an organization is to really know the team, know the coach, know his plans - so there is no misunderstanding.

    As we plan to send dd pitcher to a handful of tryouts in the next month or so, what questions would you ask a coach to make sure everyone is on the same page? Should we address these questions to the prospective coaches before the day of tryouts? Any other team selection advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
     
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    default Guest

    Excellent question.

    I would probably ask the questions only if offered a position.

    - How often do you practice during the off season?
    - How much are team fees?
    - What does my team fees buy?
    - How many tournaments do you attend?
    - How many are "local"/"overnighters"?
    - What positions are you looking to fill?
    - How many players are on the roster?
    - Where do you see my daughter fitting into the lineup?
    - How did the team do last year?
    - How many players are returning?
    - And, in your case, how many pitchers are on the roster?

    Make sure you ask these as though you're in a job interview, and not with a tone that will label you as a Pain-In-The-*** parent.

    :cap:
     
    RandIdad likes this.
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    default Guest

    - Does your daughter play? If so, what position?
    - What is your philosophy on playing time?
    - Are you looking long term or only this season?
    - How are the parents on this team?
    - Is there any fundraising?
    - What is expected of me as a parent?
    - Is this a mixed age team or all from one year?
    - How long has the core group been together?
    - What is your philosophy on playing other sports?
    - What is your philosophy on playing rec ball?
    - Do you expect said team to be top priority? (very important) This will let you know where the commitment level is going to be from everyone else.
     
    RandIdad likes this.
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    default Guest

    I would expand the question about how many tournaments to include what type of tournaments did you play last year and where do you plan to play the upcoming year. If college exposure is a priority you want tourneys like Stingrays, Lasers and GAPPS in the mix.
     
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    default Guest

    Great question-------Great answers.

    Some of the questions would be fine to ask at tryouts and most clubs will have a pre-tryout orientation that will answer most of those. The rest would probably be more appropriate if asked after being offered a slot on the roster. I have to admit, the list provided by Luuuu and jdcli is very thorough.

    You guys knocked this out of the park!
     
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    default Guest

    Great lists for sure. As a coach without a daughter playing (actually coaching with me now), I want to make sure the parents/girls and coaches are all on the same page, so we don't have problems later on. The one watch-out I guess is around coaches who promise the world ... as a parent, I would ask a lot of questions about past experience and success ... what tournaments did you actually play in last year, how did you do in the bigger ones, how many years of experience do the coaches have, etc. Some coaches are very well-intentioned, but really just don't have the track record to deliver what they say and/or think they can.
     
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    jdcii - you listed the most important one. I'm ashamed that I forgot it: Does your daughter play on the team, and what position?

    :)
     
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    All excellent responses so far - thank you!

    So how would you delicately address the question of the coach's daughter being a pitcher on the team? It would seem that is a key question to a healthy team, but one that would be difficult for any dad-coach to answer.

    I also wondered about the timing of these questions - several organizations have on their websites to be prepared to accept a position if offered one on the day of tryouts.

    I know the coaches have got to be crazy busy on try out days, I DON'T want to be viewed as that "pain in the ***" parent taking up their time with questions that are important to me (and maybe should be to them too) when they need to get back to the other events.

    Thanks!
     
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    default Guest

    1. Do you disclose the team finances (expenses and fees) to the parents?
    2. What is your position on girls playing other sports in the "off" season? Do you encourage it or discourage it? What about attending open gyms or camps for other sports during softball tournament season?
    3. And for pitchers, do you require our DD to use a certain pitching coach or are we free to use a pitching instructor of our own choice? Do you have a suggested pitching instructor you recommend?
     
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    default Guest

    These are great questions. Many of which could and probably should be answered in the try-out posts here on OFC.

    I personally think it would be a very good thing to ask these questions of a coach before the tryout if the questions aren't answered in tryout posts. It helps the parties on both sides of the fence. Players/parents can decide whether it is worth their time to attend the tryout, and more importantly, worth the opportunity cost of foregoing other tryouts. Coaches can get a heads up on who is interested in the team and can respond with questions of their own.

    This system would, however, require that travel ball coaches not "out" the player to her existing team as someone who is looking for other opportunities. I think that if the questions were asked during a period of 2-3 weeks before tryouts, most coaches would be comfortable answering the questions without feeling any ethical obligation to let the other coach know that his or her player is shopping. A player who shops early in the travel season, with the goal of leaving her existing team, imperils a team who has a legitimate reliance on the player's participation during the TB season. In contrast, I think the coaching community recognizes that players have an equally legitimate interest in obtaining, shortly before they complete their commitment to the existing team, a data base to help them decide whether and with whom to try out for the following year.
     
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    I agree!!!!
     
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    I think you should have at least two days and preferably seven to accept an offer. Forcing on the spot acceptance is just going to drive people to individual tryouts or other teams.

    For pitchers, it's OK to ask the coach, "Where to you see my daughter fitting in to the pitching staff?" Many will tell you they see her as a strong number 2 or one of the two main pitchers on the team. They might even tell you, "she will be our number one pitcher". If they tell you, "we see her as our third or fourth pitcher", I would interpret that as she must be a good infielder or outfielder because that is where the majority of her time will be spent. I don't think it's appropriate to ask where other pitchers fit in to the rotation.
     
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    default Guest

    You definitely need to ask these questions if the coach's daughter is a pitcher. A good coach with a daughter who pitches is going to understand why you ask them and not be offended by them. If they get defensive about them, I would see that as a red flag and go elsewhere if pitching time is important.

    I also don't think it's reasonable at all to insiste on an answer the same day. However, you also need to understand that they do need a fairly quick answer as other players may be "on hold" and a coach doesn't want to be left holding an empty bag at the end.

    Good topic this time of year ...
     
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    default Guest

    I haven't looked at any of the tryout posts, so I have no idea who is saying what. But if a player is good enough that a team really wants her, believe me, they aren't going to turn her down if she refuses to commit on the day of the tryout. That "buy today or else" stuff sounds like the spiel you sometimes get when trying to buy a car, and it's all nonsense.

    Yes, a team might move on if you don't accept on that day. But if they do move on without you, they didn't want you all that bad in the first place.
     
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    default Guest

    I would also add..

    Do you plan to attend a Nationals event if you qualify? Which one?
    What are your thoughts on picking up players after the team is established?
    Do you take attendance? Will my daughter miss time for missing practice or other events?
    Where do you draw players from?
     
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    default Guest

    Interstesting post Great info.
    Usually all these coaches talk. If not, it would be hard to keep it from getting thru the grapevine. With the way things are going these days of going to nationals and immediatly following, you have tryouts for the teams. No one (team) wants to get left out. Leaves little time to make a perfect decision.
     
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    default Guest

    Start emailing coaches now. Don't expect a response right away, but they have almost 4 weeks to answer before most of the tryouts start to take place. If they can't take the time to respond to you before then, then its probably not a coach you want to be involved with.
     
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    default Guest

    Agree alot of great questions and answers and I know this goes both ways alot of Daddy -Ball Teams(mostly Pitcher Parents) but most of the Non-parent Coaches I have ran across arent with a Hill of Beans-JMHO!!
     
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    I personally would like to see orgs. and the teams that are having tryouts, to also post what positions they are needing/looking for. How many are returning, ect,ect...
    I see that CoachJWB did something like that with his 16U team. I now know where his team stands/needs before his tryouts begins..:yahoo:

    Everything else being said on here is also very good....:yahoo:
     
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    default Guest

    Good idea. I could see IF we were looking for a team that it would be nice if they gave a wish list of positions they needed most so you don't select tryouts for teams strong in your position. Guess you could do it by email.
     

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