This is not what I signed up for. Is it time to leave?

Leave or go

This is not what I signed up for. Is it time to leave? Written By Chez Sievers

Oh, the conundrum of switching teams. This question tends to come up frequently on the message boards. Almost every parent and player has been faced with this burning question. Is there really a right answer? Every family has a different situation and a different set of variables to work with. We thought the coaching would be better. My daughter isn’t getting better. We pay all this money but there are no college coaches at our games. Here are some questions you should sit down as a family and discuss to make the best possible decision.

1. What’s important to you and your daughter? This question is usually the driving force in your decision-making. The answers will vary. Rank these 9 choices by level of importance and then rate your team. You can always add another category to fit your needs. You can then use this list to measure where your current team ranks and others rank.
A. Competitiveness/Winning Record
B. Playing Time
C. Exposure
D. Coaching
E. Friendship
F. Distance
G. Values
H. Cost
I. Communication
J. Level of Enjoyment

2.Have you communicated with your coaches about your concerns? If not, do this as soon as possible.

3.Is my daughter being challenged in a way that develops her skills, resiliency, and competitiveness?

4. Will my daughter’s performance and development grow or decline over time if we stayed on this team? If the answer is decline, then it’s probably time to find a better fit.

Taking an objective look at your current situation is essential to making a well thought decision rather than an impulsive decision. Changing teams means disrupting their learning path. With young girls growing and changing every minute, this decision deserves good attention.

What if my daughter is on a decent team and has the opportunity to play for a well-known team that gets more college exposure and college scholarships?

That all depends on what’s important to you? It’s a hard decision for the family. Here’s my point of view:

If your daughter is playing for a college scholarship, then she needs to go to the well-known team. But the next question is…Will she play? Where does she rank on the depth chart? If she’s the third string position player, your daughter might not see playing time for a while or she may have to learn a position where she could be a #1 or #2 position player.

If your daughter loves her experience and is getting quality instruction, guidance, and is being actively recruited, then you might want to stay.

Overall, what’s important to you and your daughter will drive the decision you make. If you’re still stumped, send me an email and I’ll help you and your family find the best solution.

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Chez SieversChez Sievers Chez is the Director of Softball at D-BAT Austin and a Blogger/Podcaster for smart-softball.com. A former University of Texas shortstop/second baseman participated in 3 Women's College World Series. Sievers went on to coach at Cal State Fullerton, University of Texas, the Austrian National Team, and UC Riverside.


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  • EGSP

    We are having that exact issue right now.  When we started on the team we were promised one of the paid coaches for the 14U A team.  Half way through the season he decides to coach the 16U team and leave our team with an 18 yo coach (his daughter) and some other coaches right out of HS.  I did say something, but since its the organizers daughter it was not met with anything good.  His daughter was well liked by the players, but did not know how to coach.  
    When we were offered a spot on the team, we were promised a male professional coach which did not happen.  The 18 yo coach would constantly move players around to various positions at every game.  No sense of where the strengths were and played to give time to everyone.  With 13 girls on the team meant that 4 would sit at any inning.  Some girls never sat while other would sit or just play an inning or two and never bat.  
    The more I voiced my dissatisfaction the more my daughter would sit or be moved.  She is able to play any position and play it well so I did not feel it was that bad.  
    We were also told that our daughter would be better by the end of the season, something I also did not see.  She improved due to age and maturity, that had nothing to do with their coaching style.  
    We paid a lot of money to have an 18 yo coach and her friends try to do the job, but left us at the end of the season at 11-26.  Many games could have been won if they would simply play the girls in their respective positions and stop moving them around to positions they never or rarely played.
    We decided to leave the team for a more structured coaching staff that has the best interest of the girls in mind and not just a cash grab to see how many you can field.
    Too bad that is how some organizations are run!