We were asked by Softball is for Girls.... Cheri Naudin CSA, YOU'RE THE EXPERT! In your experience what are some factors that set the successful student athlete being recruited to college apart from those that do not make it?!?
In no particular order of importance.
1. You have to be a really goooooood athlete. Usually some God given talent here, to be Elite at your sport. Train like the athlete you want to be. I'm not sure most that play the game understand how good and how hard you have to work really to be at any level of the sport and be to be successful.
2. I really believe in good nutrition. Eat healthy food that is fuel for your body. I see too many unhealthy eating habits that makes it harder on your body to perform at the level necessary to make it. It makes training harder to overcome the bad eating habits. The whole family should eat like Athletes.
3. Mental health is so important. Can you handle the commitment and the pressure. Do you have people that can support you and encourage you through the tough times? Do you love your game and enjoy it enough to live and breathe it?
4. Are you dedicated to your grades and your education too? Be a top student and get the highest grades as this will earn you more scholarship and take you farther in life. Are you quitting your travel team frequently? There is lots of quitting going on once they get to college too, stop the trend and work our YOUR issues.
5. Does your family support you and are they able to give you the foundational support while in college without blaming the coaches, the teachers, the administrators? It is not a right it is a privilege so you'll need to be able to respect it. I hear lots of people saying that they can't afford travel ball and recruiting costs, how are you going to pay for college? It is expensive and college is even more expensive. Maybe trying to earn an athletic scholarship is too costly as it is not for everyone. It is not cheap earning an elite opportunity to play this sport or others in college. The work out is free. The training is free. Eating healthier is free. A good attitude is free. Stop building up the excuses to why they can't make it and do what helps them make it and have a strategic plan that you can afford. The experience and the reward is priceless.
6. Do you really understand the game. It takes more than 9 players to play the game. Minimally, it takes 4-5 pitchers, 2-3 catchers, 4-6 infielders, 4-5 outfielders, that's 14-23 players. Is your travel team really playing the game? Understand the game and stop complaining about playing time. You develop your skill in your individual workouts and in trainings with top clinicians and coaches. Your team practice is to learn to play as a team not to learn your individual batting, fielding and basic skills. Bring those with you to the team practice.
7. Approx 33,000 play in college each year. That's 8,000 in each class. Everyone has a travel ball T shirt on thinking that they just write letters and go to camps and then they get to pick off the menu of colleges and wow, they play. Guess what? the numbers don't dictate EVERYONE will play. That's idealistic and the numbers clearly dictate otherwise. I was at a PGF qualifier in Dallas this past weekend and there were great teams with great players and all want the experience. That was just over 1,000 at one tournament.
8. Do your research on the travel ball clubs and teams. Don't just believe what they say. They all say they get you recruited. Look at their history. Really uncover the truth and if that experience translates over to YOU. Do the college coaches really have time to talk to these 25,000 travel ball coaches? They have to have credibility to PREPARE you for the next level and if they haven't done it before they have a steep mountain in front of them. Their number one job is to make the highest competing team and yes, win games in big tournaments to earn credibility as a team, as a coach. Then coaches will find them more interesting and the process begins. Trust no one till you do your research. We see them promising you the moon. If they're advertising on Facebook dig a little deeper. If they have to travel all over the country chasing berths, dig a little deeper, if they stay local then you'll be valuable in a local environment. Will you still be playing for that coach next season if not then you put your recruiting trust into the wrong person. Pick the right coach that has the track record that is verified not just told to you. Look for their failures or casualties because they're surely not advertising that. They all want to help you get recruited but can they? Look at their track record. Ask others in the community that played for them or against them.
9. The College coach is the decision maker, not the travel coach or the recruiting service or a scout. They know where and when to spend their scholarship money and they only have one pie. So there are only so many pieces of that pie and they spend it when they want to. Do your research and watch them coach their teams. Ask what their goals are. Why are players leaving their programs. How long will they be at that college. Soooo many components here. You verbal to the college and the program so consider the college as much as the team and plan to stay even of the coaches change. It is about the education
10. Camps and clinics. If you're going to learn and train go to as many as you'd like. If you're going to get recruited, are you being seen when they're ready to see your class? Do they need your position in that class? Do they value you and if so how many times are you going to go before they offer you? If they don't come see you play in a competitive tournaments and calling your coach or your Advocate they're probably not recruiting you they're just enjoying your attendance at their camp. They believe many times you're coming for the training. They honestly don't understand why you don't understand the level of talent that is necessary to play for them. So do they tell you the truth about you're opportunities or are you just a camper? Oh please come to our camp next year we really would love to see you. Mmmmm. Get the correct answer or you better have enough money to visit 1650 approximate colleges that have a team. Get better advise about your level of play and your academic ability to compete in that program. .
11. Social media is the biggest mistake parents and student athletes make. Self promoting and posting every breath they take. You'll never know how many coaches saw it or not and it only hurts the student athlete. They ready your negative comments and political posts too. This young athletes are not perfect and it only creates negative attention. Who are you really promoting it to? Do all the College coaches follow you? If a coach is following you it is because they were introduced to you in the recruiting process. Send them private emails and texts. I promise you they're not scrolling through Facebook looking and they're not logging into recruiting portals trying to find that diamond in the rough. They don't have the time. They go to that social media site after they get someone to tell them to look at the site and then they look to see who you really are. Then they see all your other posts and twitter fights show up. Bah ha ha. We hear this daily. Social media becomes your store front and displays who you really are and who your friends really are. Hellloooo. Parents too! They google your name and go right to your social media they truly don't want the crazy parents. Lol. If your kid is really good then be humble on social media and respect the opportunities. It starts more fights and animosity then it is ever a benefit
Lastly, I could go on for many more pages. This is getting harder and harder every year. Parents go it alone and believe what THEY want to believe and when it doesn't happen they blame the high school coach the travel coach when all they needed to do was LISTEN to the credible mentors that have been doing this with success for years.
Parents, it is you and you alone that will help or allow your child make it and you and you alone that make the bad, late or ignorant decisions that ends your journey. Follow the leaders in this sport. The parents that have had the success before. Realize your child has their own path as they have their own talent and grades.
It is not easy and the price is expensive and the prize is priceless for the few that make it.
Not EVERYONE 'gets' to play.
Exceptional people get exceptional opportunities because they do exceptional things.
What You Need To Know About Verbal Commitments
Ally D Interview, Recruiting Process April 4, 2017Recruiting Process, scholarships, Verbal Commitment 0 Comment
What You Need to Know About Verbal CommitmentsThe recruiting process can be like boarding an airplane. The plane may taking you where you want to go, but if you are uncertain about what awaits when upon landing, you will feel anxious. Add to that, you are put on the airplane several years before your were ready to take the trip. College coaches are asking young high school students, even 8th graders to board the plane early by asking for verbal commitments. This is the daunting reality for a large number of talented athletes and their parents.
I am excited to bring you the first part in a series of videos: “Answers to Your Recruiting Questions”. We have teamed up with Cheri Naudin from College Sports Advocates. Cheri has been connecting high school players to college coaches for decades. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience working through the recruiting process. Collegiate Sports Advocate is a National Company designed to utilize their 40 years of Sports-Specific experience, guiding, consulting, recruiting, coaching, and training Student Athletes that desire to play Collegiate Sports.
We have the interview in two forms: Video and Written. They are each unique, but similar in content. For sure, watch the video. It is only a 80 seconds long, but is full of valuable tips regarding verbal commitments.
Read on for the written part of the interview, packed with insights which college coaches are reluctant to go on record or give many specifics about.Read more
So You Want to Play in College?
Ally D Interview, Recruiting Services April 11, 2017Recruiting Process, Recruiting Services, Role of Parents 0 CommentInterview #82 Part 2
In the first part of our interview with Cheri Naudin, she gave us incredible information about Verbal Commitments. Today she is going to tackle several issues including the role of the parent, how to recognize a good college fit and how to tell a good from a bad recruiting service.
Cheri Naudin is the owner of College Sports Advocates. She has been connecting high school players to college coaches for decades. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience working through the recruiting process. Her company is Collegiate Sports Advocate; a National Company designed to utilize their 40 years of Sports-Specific experience, guiding, consulting, recruiting, coaching, and training Student Athletes that desire to play Collegiate Sports.
What is your advice to parents throughout the recruiting process? What is their role?
This is the hardest part for parents to understand as it is a business on the back of their Student Athlete getting a valuable education and enjoying playing a game throughout the process. Parents want to insert themselves in and try to manipulate and sell their Student Athletes to the colleges. I have not met a College Coach, especially in the early recruiting side, that wants a parent calling or marketing their Student Athlete. Remember, this is where the parents fall down as they have a hard time taking off their parent glasses and seeing where their Student Athlete really “can” play. They are hopeful for the best possible outcome and usually by the Division not recognizing that their Student Athletes level of play is not to that particular standard.
Parents also try to do the letter writing and investigating of the potential colleges and that is not a good method either. What the parent wants may not always be the right fit for the Student Athlete. Many times, the parents want the Student Athlete to stay close to home so they can go to games and still be a huge part of their lives, but sometimes it is in the Student Athletes best interest to go to the University that values them and gets them the best education available.
I always use the questions, “So you’re saying if your Student Athlete gets an opportunity to compete in the Ivy League, you’re going to say it is too far to go for 4 years? That usually opens up a better discussion. CSA advises them according to their Academic fit too which gets them a better education than staying in their local area, sometimes.
Parents need to hire an Agnostic Advisor, “Advocate” as putting their entire recruiting process in the hands of a travel coach or club is risky too because most Student Athletes change teams at some point during this elongated process. It is also risky to verbal with one travel coach and then go to another program to complete their travel ball career as the College Coach trust that coach in which they were playing for when they did verbal.
We try to support the Travel Ball Coaches, sending College Coaches over to see the Student Athlete’s play. We try to make the Travel Ball Coach the point of contact helping them gain relationships too. We are humble and consider ourselves part of the process as we want our Student Athletes playing for the best coaches in the business.
What are the most important factors prospective college athletes and their families should consider when trying to figure out which schools might be a good fit?
We covered in many other parts of the questions but:
Academic Fit: What is their ACT/SAT? We advise Students to take these tests their first semester of their freshman year and we know they’ll learn more. This is a stake in the ground to have CSA advise them utilizing the trends we’ve seen in the past and recommend programs to help them get raised high enough to obtain their individual goals. We will recommend appropriate tutoring. If they wait to take it when their Academic Advisor suggests in their Junior Year, it puts pressure on the tools available to make a significant jump to being accepted. We have seen Student Athletes miss out on offers because they had not taken their tests yet, thus making it difficult for a College Coach to make them a presumption on whether they will get accepted in the University.
Academic fit is so important as they will be a Student Athlete not just a regular attendee. The pressure is significant and most Universities have great resources to help them. However, you have to compete in the classroom too and obtain grades to maintain eligibility.
There are so many questions to ask but the one that is most common is parents leaving the Student Athlete life because they didn’t get in to their school of choice instead of being a Student Athlete and getting a degree from another program. You can attend your school of choice for a Masters but missing out on being a Student Athlete wherever you can play I will always tell you is a great decision.
I heard a high level, high academic coach advise parents that if you don’t have the grades and test scores necessary TODAY and haven’t been told by a credible source that you CAN play at my program, please do not email me or come to my camp. Parents ignore the strict requirements academically that many of these programs have and think that they can overcome it by just studying. It is many times pure capabilities and educational preparedness not desire.
Financial costs: Most players do not receive 100% scholarship as the size of the teams are also larger than in the past. Many power 5 conference teams have rosters as large as 30+ and are sharing 11 scholarships. I have seen Universities with a 72K tuition per year.
Faith based: Don’t be fooled by the religious name of the University’s door. The culture is more important and whether the staff is teaching the faith and culture that your Student Athlete desires. Some Universities don’t state a faith based approach but the Coaches live and breathe it so make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Coach’s background and style: Have you seen them Coach their team and instruct their players? Usually this step is hard to see because Student Athletes have a harder time getting to their games during the same playing season. CSA strives to know the coaches and their styles to help determine a great fit. We believe this is where a lot of dissatisfaction happens for the Student Athlete as they see and interact with the College Coaches in the pursuit part of the recruiting but the reality of the College Coaches coaching style and the playing time and the actual game while in College might appear different when you’re wanting to be there versus actually being there.
We see a lot of “Freshman Whine” where they get to school and now the amount of work and pressure and expectations is a lot more than what was perceived. The parents aren’t there to make their lives perfect and the Student Athlete now has to earn it on their own under a new set of pressures and Coaches demands.
Time Management and Life Coping Skills: The Student Athlete really has to be elite in all categories. It takes time management and life skills to make it through a Student Athlete’s journey. Parents need to teach these skills and accountability before they get to College. They need to know how to overcome obstacles and to compete in and out of the classroom.
The helicopter parents: These parents are now being called snow plow parents because they have a reputation of coming in and clearing the path for these Student Athletes. We hear excuses in the journey as they didn’t have time to do something that is a priority because they had homework but they surely had time to be on Social Media. They need to learn to prioritize their time.
Social Media: This is one of the most talked about subjects with so much at risk and the Student Athletes continue to amaze us. “Helllooooo, your social media tells a story, it is your brand, it shows who you hang out with and what your priorities are and what you value”… At their age it is a hard lesson but we have College Coaches telling us daily stories of Social Media disasters. Parents need to teach all the Social Skills and we are also asking our Student Athletes to be on our pages so we can further guide them on appropriateness.
Recruiting services cost a lot of money. In what ways do you see recruiting services being worth the cost?
I think this is where CSA was strategically developed as we overcome a lot of the flaws of other recruiting methods. We develop an individual path and instruct each Student Athlete on their own individual journey and stay with them through Graduation of College. This is a paramount benefit and worth every penny because of all the aspects of the 8-10 years in the recruiting process.
If they can’t afford CSA services we find it hard to believe that they can afford college. The chance of a Student Athlete going down the wrong path or making big decisions without a lot of knowledge can be costly. Many spend our fee just chasing the initial camps never understanding why they’re not getting offers. Others think that the more national brands have history but find that the staff turnover leaves Student Athletes in portals waiting to be found by College Coaches.
We’re told over and over by College Coaches that they do not organically search into databases unless it is a last ditch effort and even then they’re reach out to their credible sources to help them find the Student Athlete. This is a relationship business built on years of credibility and results and the College Coaches know who to trust.
When athletes and their parents are looking into recruiting services, how can they tell a “good” one from a “bad” one?
We always advice parents to do their homework. Don’t just listen to a strong pitch and believe what they say, investigate it for yourselves. Credible firms post their verbal’s, commitments and graduates! Many firms are built on the income and numbers not on the results. READ their contracts and make sure it matches their sales pitch. It is a relationship business built on credibility and reliability and results. Measure them with facts!
Cheri Naudin has provided such incredible information for us. I wanted to give her a chance to share about her company, Collegiate Sports Advocate. I receive no benefit if you use her service and don’t have a recommendation for if you utilize Collegiate Sports Advocate. I can tell you, I have known Cheri online for a while and recently had the chance to speak with her on the phone for an hour. She is an intelligent, outgoing and wonderful lady who cares deeply for the athletes she works with.
What are the specific or unique benefits for an athlete to use Collegiate Sports Advocate?
We connect every week and text depending on the events before and after each game. We have quarterly reviews. We guide them through the camp process, the Unofficial and Official visits. We guide them through the offer and the signing process. We are there for them when and if they run into issues in College. We are available to help counsel and guide the families through their unique journey.
Bonus Question: Is there anything important that you would like to share directly with high school athletes as they navigate the recruiting process?
We are always encouraging them to be the best ATHLETE, eat and train like a Collegiate ATHLETE. Get the grades necessary to be a STUDENT ATHLETE. Be the best Teammate and be open to learning and growing to be the best YOU. It is an elite opportunity so trying to be a multi-sport collegiate athlete is probably not a great approach for the mass but enjoy your high school sports but fine tune and hone your athletic skills to be recruit-able. Most of all be a QUALITY human being. Having quality character will take your farther for the rest of your lives.
ProfileCollegiate Sports Advocate is a National Company designed to utilize their 40 years of Sports-Specific experience, guiding, consulting, recruiting, coaching, and training Student Athletes that desire to play Collegiate Sports. CSA develops an individual plan for each Student Athlete that helps them navigate the recruiting experience as each Student Athlete has their own path and their own journey. We proactively communicate with College Coaches by attending major tournaments and events. CSA utilizes updated marketing and training techniques to provide the Student Athlete with the most dynamic exposure in the industry. We are truly an Advocate for the Student Athlete guiding the entire family through the process. Our goal is to see the Student Athlete Graduate College and “enjoy” their Student Athletic opportunity by helping them find the right match!
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The fan is part of the game. I’ve seen some good ones, some “not so good” AND some really “BAD fans”. The good ones cheer for all girls on their team and respect the opponents. They create positive cheers and chants and praise the great plays on the field. They’re kind, supportive and encouraging. They’re not afraid to compliment a great play from the opponent. They can actually change the momentum in a game.
At the College World Series I was a guest of one of the Washington families and saw it first hand with the Parents of the Head Coach actually started cheers in the stands to raise the excitement. The noise and excitement gave encouragement to the girls. Be the good fan!
The “not so good fan” sits in the crowd and just watches the game. Some actually sit with their arms crossed not participating in the chants or the music or the plays being made on the field. They don’t cheer or get excited about anything. They show up late and leave early and get up and down during the game interrupting everyone else’s view. They’re just not involved. Be a better fan.
The “BAD” fan screams at the players when they make an error. They criticize the coaches and the players. They yell at the calls the umpire makes. They think that they know everything there is to know about the game. The worst ones actually make derogatory remarks towards the athletes. They’re rude to the other fans. They’re usually the loudest person in the stands. Every team has one, are you the “BAD” fan? This past College World Series some fans of the winning team in the final four were yelling "pack it up and get on the Bus" to the right fielder. Really??? These are elite level athletes playing at the big show. Be more respectful at the talent, effort and accomplishment of ALL the players.
Be the good fan. Be the person that initiates the fun in the stands and for the players. Be the fan that supports all aspects of the game. Cheer for your players not against the other team or players. Support the coaches on and off the field. Cheer for a great play whether it was made by your team or the other team. It is ok to be disappointed in the loss or an unfortunate play but it is how you handle it that makes it a good experience.
Being a good fan will let you enjoy the journey, have fun along the way.
The Parent! Be the Good One!!!
The big travel season is here and it is time to talk about the Parents! Yes, you! You are part of the process. You hear everyone talk about it all the time, but you’re not listening! College Coaches look at you too but you still continue behaving the way you do. Be the GOOD parent. Cheer for all the kids, not just yours. Support the Coaches even if you don’t agree. Enjoy the game, it will soon be gone. Please don’t criticize, judge or correct YOUR kid and especially not someone else’s kid. When they make an error, just relax, it happens at all levels. You know not to yell at them but you say silly things like, “Come on girls!” Listen to those that have gone through the process before you, they have lots of experience. The Rumor’s, just stop them. Don’t be a part of them. If you listen to them then you’re part of it. Don’t be one of the parents that goes to the farthest corner and pouts and then the other parents join you to commiserate, we see you and know who you are and you’ll continue doing it in college too. College Coaches see you and know that you’re the unhappy parents out there complaining and criticizing the team Coach. Please don’t sit or stand right where your daughter is positioned on the field or near the on deck circle and coach them and give them all your advice. Get a note pad out and make notes of what things you can work on during your next practice in the backyard. Stay on your teams, be part of a team as your problems are yours, not the teams and wherever you go next those problems are still yours! Sit in the stands and cheer with the rest of the families. Enjoy the game! YOGA Breaths! You need to breathe. I say this often to the parents and you can see the changes in the ones that get it. Your kids are good kids, they work hard, they win, they lose and at the end of the day you need to be their number 1 fan, supporter, friend and advocate!
The “Coach” Original Post 8/10/2015
Ahhh, one of the hottest topics in softball. I’m going to share my experiences and the truth is “it is STILL the SAME” The things I hear parents say about the coaches is the same from 8u to college. The complaints and compliments are all the same.
The GOOD Coach. The Good Coach talks to the kids. They know how to compliment the kids. A good coach is fun, encouraging and is developing these young ladies for life, not just softball. The Good Coach is a mentor and leads with example. They represent what these girls look up to and role model for their future. They drive them to perform to their fullest potential. They're not soft and without expectations. No matter what age group The Good Coach still has a major impact on the foundation of these young ladies lives, not just softball. The Good Coach teaches and corrects mistakes with how to change it not criticize the mistake. They find something each game that is positive that the kids did each game. Gather the kids and parents at the end of each game and make sure you find good things to say about each kid. The Good Coach can find multiple things about each kid. The Good Coach can find a way to contain their frustration or expectations and find a way to learn from each error and teach. The impact the Good Coach has on the kids is life changing.
Are you making a positive impact on the kids?
The famous Basketball Coach John Wooden is one of my favorites for what he taught the kids and what he taught the parents and the fans.
“Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses; worry about the things you can control, and not the things you can’t”. Appropriate one for every situation.”
― John Wooden, A Game Plan for Life
The BAD Coach. I bet we could all start a list about the “Bad Coach”. Let me start with some experiences that I’ve seen over the year. The Bad Coach makes it all about themselves. He/she yells, criticizes and makes it personal to the kid. They can’t find positive words to correct and usually go to a personal level to criticize. They don’t acknowledge the good they only promote and reinforce the bad. The Bad Coach disrespects the umpires, the parents and the game. The Bad Coach has an agenda for why they’re out their coaching. They think they know everything about everyone and the game. The Bad Coach forgets that they are grooming young members of society. They make mistakes themselves and blame others. The Bad Coach usually has their own personal issues that they bring to the game. Count the hours we spend with the softball family and realize just like a teacher in the classroom these people have a huge impact on your kid.
My advice for parents whether entering the game or playing at the top of the sport. Find coaches that exemplify positive behavior and are a living example of what you want your children to be as adults. Put your kid on the team that has the best role models on the staff. Consider all members of the staff. Sometimes the Bad Coach is a co-coach or manager. Investigate all of them. Do your homework before joining any team or committing to any college. Find out what they really teach. John Wooden never focused on winning. When they focus on all other aspects of life the winning comes naturally. The Good Coach leads, teaches and competes. The Good Coach comes with a long history of success whether it is on the field or off the field. He/She has leadership skills, communication skills and can show examples of their success. They’re humble and let the kids have all the glory.
Parents… respect the Good Coach. They’re not perfect and maybe you don’t understand all of their responsibility. It is not just about one kid. Become involved with the game and leadership so you have a better understanding what the Coach has to experience. It is easy to sit back and complain because you only have one perspective. This is a game of losses, .300 is a good batting average. Think about that average throughout all aspects of the game. If you only play defense .300 percent of the time, that’s good. If you’re Coaches decisions are only .300 percent what you’d do then consider it good. Until you’re in this role and doing what they do, your opinion is just that, an opinion. Keep it to yourself. The Parent can destroy a Good Coach, the criticism is relentless, but in the end the Good Coach will win out. The parents just come and go.
It is the same at EVERY level, the complaints about the Coaches, good and bad. The issues about the game and playing time and all other aspects are ALL the same… just a different name on the jersey.
Here’s a link to all the quotes that apply to your daily life as an athlete!
“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”
― John Wooden
“A coach’s primary function should be not to make better players, but to make better people.”
― John Wooden, A Game Plan for Life
“when coaches or parents make consistency their foundation, everyone around them becomes more comfortable and everyone around them has a greater opportunity to grow.”
― John Wooden, A Game Plan for Life
The “Bench”. Most players fear being put on the bench only because someone told them that it is not a good place to be. Why is it perceived as not a good place to be? I’ve said it for years, you can’t manipulate playing time so if 7 players never touch the ball and only the pitcher and catcher can be guaranteed playing time, why is it so bad to be on the bench? Here’s a new perspective that every softball parent needs to share with their players. If there is 12 players on a team minimum, then if the 3 on the bench come in to play they have to sub for 3 other players, that means only 6 players aren’t on the bench. Half the team are “sub’s”. Any many more should rotate unless the rules in championship play prohibit the rotations.
You’re right, I grew up in the land of softball and raised my kids around the game where it was an honor to be on the bench for a team like the Orange County Bastbusters. You knew you made it… you would get recruited because coaches knew you were good enough to play on that team and to be on the bench on that team. Why you ask? Because you get trained by Coaches that know how to prepare you for the competition that you will face in college. If you’re not playing with or against your peers that you will play with or face in college then it makes it a lot harder to be ready to face that level of play.
Practice and training is where you get the tips and the repetition to be effective. The techniques and the experience can be created and repeated. You can’t get that experience in a game. I hear sooooo much crying from parents about playing time and I’ll share the magic secret, if you spend the time you spend crying and whining about playing time on preparing, teaching and training you’ll never have to worry. The hard work and effort will always pay off even if you just get one inning or one at bat. You can only play so long on natural talent as we have seen over the years the kid with talent and hard work will always outlast the kid with natural talent that doesn’t do the work. If you do everything YOU can to prepare your kid for the opportunities they’ll be more valuable and less likely to sit on the bench! Get it??
I’ve never understood why a Coach would put a kid on the roster if they can never find a place to put the kid in the game. Parents, put your kids on teams that they “can” play on. Take off your rosey glasses and put them on a team that they get the right training, coaching and can be put in the game without hurting the outcome of the game. Parents, get them to private or group hitting, fielding, technique training as a Coach will never have the time to individually train these kids as they have minimum coaching time to teach them to play as a team. It’s a privilege to be on a team where each kid is good enough to be on the field and on the bench. I was sitting watching my husband’s team in PGF National’s and a coach from a D1 Mid Major came up and asked why a particular catcher was on the bench and I said because this team is deep and has 4 catchers that can play at any time. They were freshmen in high school and all committed last fall, their sophomore year.
I started playing this game in 1970 and it has changed significantly. However, one thing remains, the rules of the game that we all love puts 9 players on the field but you need depth on the bench to compete and to actually play the game. You need pinch runners that have speed and can slide. You need extra pitchers and catchers because of the amount of pressure and physical requirements. You need kids that can play another position at any time to cover injuries, sickness or absence. It made me crazy when we moved to Texas in 2007 and each team only wanted 10 on the roster. Then a kid gets sick or has another event or sport to play then it was left to the coach to find a “pick up player”. What the heck is that? Now you have another kid to train, teach and incorporate into the team chemistry all because someone else felt the team was a lessor priority. They all want their kids to stand there for the innings and act like that is valuable playing time. But they’re the least committed to the issues of the team and the Coach.
Let them all bat, what’s the big deal? Give them as many at bats as you can. What ever happened to playing 7 innings so the kids can get as many at bats as possible. Oh yah, the tournaments directors want as many teams as possible to make more money but it surely doesn’t create more playing time for the kids. You’re not preparing your kids to play the real game. Pitchers especially need to be able to get through an entire game to understand all the issues and challenges that lay ahead of them in college.
Play 7 innings! Host more “Friendly” games where you can play all 7 innings, teach and train and create opportunities for all kids on the field. The crying about being on the bench gets less when you can have the time to get them all in the game. Scrimmage your own team. I think it is ideal to have 16 to 18 on a seriously competitive roster, one that is trying to win National Championships. Never less than 12 or it becomes the Coaches issue because these are the classic teams where the parents complain the most and are the least dedicated because Susie has cheer, or volleyball or something else that is perceived as “balance” for them but not good for the team or the Coach. These are usually the families that have never coached because they don’t understand the responsibility of the Coach. Oh, I’ll have another blog about the Coach, don’t worry!
Here’s what the bench player should be doing. Cheering for their team. Keeping a score book so they understand the game. Charting pitches so they learn strategy. These tips can be modified by their level. I taught 10U players to keep the scorebook and they loved it. Have a coach talking to them explaining the game. Teaching the game to them while they wait their turn. Have them help the catcher get their gear on. Warm up a pitcher or two. There are so many things they can be doing. It is not punishment to be on the bench. Give them all a chance to be on the bench. Coaches… don’t make it so lopsided. This way they all get some opportunities and it will be obvious to the parents when you have to play only 9 by the rules.
It is a very rare moment for any player to NEVER sit the bench. And, those that haven’t, miss out on other aspects of the game.
Teach the players the value of the Bench. Enjoy the journey, have fun along the way.
Original Post date
“I’m Very Proud to Be Black but Black is Not All I Am That’s my cultural historical background, my genetic makeup, but it’s not all of who I am nor is it the basis from which I answer every question”
The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
What does Black History Month mean to me today?
Black History is a time when African-Americans can take time to reflect on the things that people before us fought so hard for and are still fighting for today in some areas of our lives to some degree. I recently watched the movie “Hidden Figures” which is an untold story about African American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history; the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, an achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.
After watching this movie, and seeing how much of a big deal it was for NASA and the world, I immediately felt like this was something that I was supposed to have already known and should have learned in school. I felt like we were taught about Neil Armstrong. Why was this part of history left out? I pondered and pondered on this for quite some time and finally accepted the fact that we as African Americans should not depend on the teachers at schools or people in general to teach us about us or any other part of history. We must do our own research. We should not wait until February to learn about Black History, although it is a good time to reflect.
I love the quote by Denzell Washington because it reminds me so much of myself and I can only imagine that the women in the movie “Hidden Figures” felt the same way. I am more than just a black woman. I am a woman that graduated from Mississippi State University, I have a Masters in Business Administration. I am a business woman, I am smart, strong and well-rounded. Sadly, I have been looked over in my adult life for the mere color of my skin but because of the people that fought long and hard for equality, I am able to write this blog and say that it will not stop me from pursuing my dreams. We no longer can use the color of our skin as an excuse if we are not where we want to be in this life. There are too many avenues that have been created for success for it to be an excuse and I have been blessed to be surrounded by awesome friends and loved ones who do not see color and are willing to work together. Black History is an opportunity for all Americans to learn something about the different parts that African Americans played and are playing in America. There is even Black History being created today. “I’m Very Proud to be Black, but it’s not All I Am”.
Tanelda McDonald Carey #TeamCSA
We get this question OFTEN. "When should we start the recruiting process?"
*NOW, the minute you realize that your Student Athlete has the level of TALENT necessary to play (if you don't know call us, we will evaluate for you).
*NOW, the minute your family is committed to the journey!
*NOW, the minute your Student Athlete has the grades necessary to compete Academically in college!
*NOW, IT IS NOT SEASONAL... the recruiting process happens all year long even while you're playing High School and they're playing their season.
*NOW, because we are promoting, committing, positioning, training and guiding you TODAY. (we've committed 55 and 2 just this last weekend. Student Athletes on campus and Coaches responding to our outreach today!)
*NOW, not EVERY kid wearing a travel ball jersey, going to lessons, or training with a athletic trainer "CAN" play at the next level. There are limited amount of schools and more kids play than there is schools. It is NOT for everyone or it wouldn't be an elite opportunity.
*NOW, otherwise you'll hear all the excuses and blame others for your decisions. The reasons kids don't play is that the parents don't understand what it takes to play and that their competition is NATIONAL not in their neighborhood or at their high school.
Get in the process NOW!
Continuing our Series of WORDS that you CAN BE. Just short inspirational reminders of being a better YOU!
Be Classy - Be You.
I can go so many directions about “staying classy”. It’s clearly an Action Word for doing something that shows good etiquette. It shows a level of appreciation. It’s usually a nice compliment as it shows manners and consideration and usually requires some self-control. Are your responses to tough situations classy? Try, just try to BE CLASSY today. Think about your responses, your opportunity to handle life with a little more class.
Be Nice. Be Kind. Be Helpful. Be Friendly. Be a Resource. Be Happy. Be a Listener. Be Genuine. Be Valuable. Be Positive. Be Confident. Be Competent. Be Honest. Be Consistent. Be Thoughtful. Be Considerate. Be a Giver. Be Humble. Be Ethical. Be Forgiving. Be Respectful. Be Prosperous. Be Promoting. Be Supportive. Be Sincere. Be Loving. Be Healthy. Be Trustworthy. Be Funny. Be Interesting. Be Inspirational. Be Classy. Be Instinctive. Be Inspirational. Be Glorious. Be Likeable. Be Authentic. Be Complimentary. Be Brilliant. Be a Leader. Be Grateful. Be Abundant. Be Motivational. Be Visionary. Be Understanding. Be You.