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007

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Posts: 30
Reply with quote  #1 
DD is an '08 who has reached the stage where several programs are seriously interested.  Most are in different conferences.  Because this is a first time experience for us, we need help figuring out how to compare them strictly from a softball perspective.  We know that overall fit and academics are the most important considerations about where she goes, but DD is very concerned about team quality.  Any suggestions about how we compare the different programs.  For instance, is a conference champion in a bottom third conference likely to be better than a program in a top 5 conference that has finished in the basement the past few season?  Or, because the program that is ending at the bottom of a top 5 conference has such strong competition, is it likely to be just as good or better than the other school?  Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!  
ikeepscore

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Reply with quote  #2 

RPI ranking may be your best bet for strickly comparing one teams record vs another.  There are so many more factors that are more important that this should be taken lightly.

softballmomo

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Reply with quote  #3 

Best piece of advice I can give anyone looking at colleges for their DD's, regardless of the type of school and the location, or the level of the program, DI, DII, DIII, is to look at the coach and what kind of relationship they have with past players.  If there isn't one, run.....run far away, and run very fast....there is a very good reason they don't have a relationship with any past players. 

NorthSouth

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Reply with quote  #4 
  • Take a look at the coach and the stability of the staff. 
  • See how many upperclassmen are on the roster.  Not many seniors means alot of players drop out over time. 
  • Ask some detailed questions about discipline and team rules.  If they cannot be specific then maybe there isn't alot of structure.
  • Ask about academic discipline, for example if your DD attends classes and gets good grades is she playing alongside of the players who don't.
  • Ask about conditioning and practice times.
  • Ask about road trips and where they eat/stay.  This will give you some idea of their budget and how your DD fits.  Afterall this is her life for 4 months.
dumb_parent

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Reply with quote  #5 
Actually in most schools it is your life for 9 months.  Looking at the number of seniors I think is good.  If the team is mostly freshman and sophmores that might be a red flag.  Don't count on the players telling you exactly how it is.  My  daughter went on a visit, loved the coach and when I took her to school I thought the coach was great.  I thought I was good at reading people because that is what I do for a living.  The coach sure had me and my daughter fooled.  My daughter called me 24 hours later to tell me all the girls disliked the coach.  I think it is also important to look at the players already on the roster and who plays your daughters position.  Just like high school there is something to be said for seniority.  Talk to older players that your travel ball coach knows from his or her days of coaching.  They know about the other schools and other conferences.  Look on their webpage and see who they have played and how they have done in nonconference games.
NorthSouth

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Reply with quote  #6 

Dumb parent -

 

(Doesn't sound right to address you that way...)

9 months is correct, but what I meant is the travel/road trip part is about 4.  This is when it can be most difficult if your DD is not happy with the environment. 

 

The conference schedule is set, usually home/away each year.  See how that school does in conference.  Are they always at the bottom/top?  Look at which tournaments/competition the team plays against out of conference.  Palm Springs, NFCA, always Florida.  Is the coach challenging/building the program or just trying to get their 30 wins.

 

One more thing to consider is how much does the program value fundamentals and skill improvement.  You'd be surprised at what passes for college softball out there.

fpsb

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Reply with quote  #7 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dumb_parent
Actually in most schools it is your life for 9 months.  Looking at the number of seniors I think is good.  If the team is mostly freshman and sophmores that might be a red flag.  Don't count on the players telling you exactly how it is.  My  daughter went on a visit, loved the coach and when I took her to school I thought the coach was great.  I thought I was good at reading people because that is what I do for a living.  The coach sure had me and my daughter fooled.  My daughter called me 24 hours later to tell me all the girls disliked the coach.  I think it is also important to look at the players already on the roster and who plays your daughters position.  Just like high school there is something to be said for seniority.  Talk to older players that your travel ball coach knows from his or her days of coaching.  They know about the other schools and other conferences.  Look on their webpage and see who they have played and how they have done in nonconference games.

I don't believe seniority plays much of a role in playing time.  Generally at good programs the coaches are paid to win and the best players will usually play.  Just my opinion from what I have seen.

neophyte

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #8 
It's also extremely important to find out which coast's players the coach has a propensity towards since it'll determine whether your DD will be lucky enough to play or not. Believe it or not, it's not always about who is the best player but rather who the coach favors most; sad but true!
catoman

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Posts: 372
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neophyte
It's also extremely important to find out which coast's players the coach has a propensity towards since it'll determine whether your DD will be lucky enough to play or not. Believe it or not, it's not always about who is the best player but rather who the coach favors most, sad but true!
And similarly, there are parents who simply assume their daughter is not playing because the coach doesn't like their kid or likes some other kid better.  This seems to be the case more often than a coach playing favorites... think about it... why would a coach just play their "favorite?"  Their job depends on their ability to win... they generally play the best players.
neophyte

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #10 
Cat, believe that if you must, but do corporations that want to be winners always give the promotions to the best person or the biggest suck up/a$$-kisser? Just keep all this in mind when looking for a program for your DD! Great life lesson for these gals to learn early in life though!
LLJ

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Reply with quote  #11 

Dumb Parent -

 

You might want to look more closely at why some girls on the team do not like the coach.  Perhaps they do not like her because she is tough and demanding and they do not want to toe the line.  Maybe they are upset because they are not getting the playing time they think they deserve and it might be because another player is better than they are.  If you and your daughter both liked the coach, I would try to watch some games or practices to see for myself how she interacts with the players.

 

LLJ

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