What age group is the most Challenging?

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by Rerun, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Rerun

    Rerun Super Moderator Staff Member

    This discussion is something everyone may have a view Coaches, Parents, Tournament Directors and maybe even players.

    What age groups is the most challenging to Coach?

    What age groups is the hardest to deal with when running a tournament?

    As a parent what age was the most challenging for your daughter?

    As a parent what was the most challenging for you?

    Players what was the most Challenging time during your softball career?
  2. Captain_Thunder

    Captain_Thunder Super Moderator Staff Member

    As a Coach, I have coached from 8U thru to 18/23U......
    It doesn't matter - it is always the parents that make it tough!
    It doesn't matter if you have the best team in the State, or if it is lucky to win a game - Parents make it very difficult on the Coaches!
    I have seen whining from 8U & 10U parents about things, and I have seen 18U & even 18+ parents get upset about the same things!
    It never ends - but I'd say 18+ is the easiest....
  3. yocoach

    yocoach Super Moderator Staff Member

    As a coach, I feel the 12U group is the most challenging as far as players go. Many are moving up from rec ball and it's tough to get rid of that rec ball, everyone's a star and gets a participation trophy mentality. On my team, from this age group on, everyone earns their playing time. That means 100% effort at practice, during tournament games and hitting well. Pitchers need to limit their walks/wild pitches, hit their spots and my catchers need to be dropping and blocking at a minimum. Of course, the parents of li'l Suzy who was a stud on the rec All-Star team, have the rose colored glasses on, doesn't see she's giving zero effort on the field or during practice and still feel she should be the starting SS. The old line of, 'we paid the same as everyone else!' seems to come into play a lot. I agree they do get better as the players age up and they start to know what to expect but like CT, I've still heard the same gripes from 8U parents and 18U parents and it's usually a petty complaint.
    Passion4theGame likes this.
  4. Passion4theGame

    Passion4theGame Super Moderator Staff Member

    As a coach I have coached 8u through 18u. I agree with Captain Thunder, Parents are the ones that make it tough. You are the GREATEST coach when Little Suzie is on the field. BUT if she doesn't make the lineup come Bracket play..... LOOK OUT!!!! Your name gets BASHED by parents and grandparents that ONLY care about their #1.

    I get it, Nobody wants their Athlete to sit. But sometimes its gonna happen.

    OBP & a little OBPS is how I build my Bracket Lineup. GET ON BASE and you get to play in bracket play. CLEAR CUT. My opinion, its most likely going to be someone different every weekend. But ultimately Parents don't care. Some are not ready for the Big Girl Ball.
    AFranke and coachjwb like this.
  5. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    As mentioned but in different wording, there are some common complaints in all the age classes but each class will offer their own unique problems. Most notably are of course the parents. When the kids are young, the parents as well are new to travel ball in most cases. They're still learning and their expectations are an adjustment from the Rec atmosphere they have experienced. One thing I've noticed is; as the kids get older, especially the ones coming from families that chronically complain, the kid's attitude take on those of the parents and some can end up being undesirable to have on the roster. They become the problem others complain about and can take away from the overall experience. They didn't get it before, they don't get it later on while struggling to get their way with any team that will have them. Some will actually break off and start their own team built around their daughter for the mere satisfaction of giving their daughter what she wants instead of earning what she deserves.

    Just my opinion..........
    yocoach likes this.
  6. Run26

    Run26 Active Member

    coachjwb and Passion4theGame like this.
  7. coachjwb

    coachjwb Well-Known Member

    Adults ... LOL ... love it Run26. And absolutely right.

    Coached for 20 years, over 100 teams (boys and girls, multiple sports) and can count on one hand the number of issues with the kids. But parents were another issue ... it got worse over time, and girls' parents tended to be more of an issue than boys'. I rationalized that girls' parents were more protective of their kids, and unfortunately less mothers had the opportunity to play organized sports themselves when they were kids. Agree 8U and 18U were probably the easiest ... parents of all the age groups in between tended to be the most difficult, and this I rationalized was due to an often unrealistic view of their child's abilities and thinking that the coaches were the only obstacle between their daughters getting full-ride D1 scholarships.

    And just to clarify, I'm not saying all parents ... 80%+ were great, but 99% of their kids were.
    tschromm3 likes this.
  8. Stedman00

    Stedman00 Active Member

    listening to some 10u parents couple weekends ago....i'm glad to be coaching 18u.
  9. BA824

    BA824 Active Member

    Been coaching 22 years and on 3rd time thru the ages. Without a doubt 11u is the most difficult year. Larger ball effects both throwing and hitting with power, 5 feet more for pitchers and 11 to 12 years old is a huge growth year. As you get to 14u not much different older to younger and really none at 16u
    AFranke likes this.
  10. DanMaz

    DanMaz Super Moderator Staff Member

    very good point on the ball size change... but how about the parents from 11u and all the other ages? seems to me they (parents) are crazier the younger the girls are.
  11. DanMaz

    DanMaz Super Moderator Staff Member

    have been seriously thinking about being a non parent coach next season (this coming August) things like this make me think twice. do i want to be a mentor and coach kids this awesome game... and at the same time do i want to deal with parents again? lol YIKES!!! :eek:
  12. jkoons13

    jkoons13 New Member

    What age groups is the most challenging to Coach?

    I have only coached rec tee ball, 8U, and 10U- travel 10U and 18U

    HANDS DOWN 10U travel has proven the most difficult- and not because of the players

    Players what was the most Challenging time during your softball career?

    As a player it was between 16U and 18U when I was trying to decide if I wanted to pursue a collegiate softball career... and which team I wanted to play with moving to 18U (my whole team didn’t move up, so we were making a new team with the players left) it was a personal struggle.
  13. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    Anyone have thoughts on changes from 16u to 18u? Is there any advantage to playing on an 18u Team if you can play another year at 16u?
  14. DanMaz

    DanMaz Super Moderator Staff Member

    playing on an 18u team may have an abundance of committed players which could mean less recruiting traffic at those games as well.
  15. Passion4theGame

    Passion4theGame Super Moderator Staff Member

  16. yocoach

    yocoach Super Moderator Staff Member

    It's actually quite simple after learning the first time through. I have a parent/player contract that has somewhere around 18 rules I believe. For a majority of the rules, if broken, the penalty is to be asked to leave the team. Of course, whether if asked to leave or if they leave on their own, there's no refunds. It works quite well; especially after the first one has to go.

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