Sunday, April 29, 2012

Youth Sports: Two Sport Athlete Overcommitted (Part 2)

In my previous post I asked the following question -

Is it fair to commit to two different teams in the same season? Fair to the respective coaches, fair to both sets of teammates, fair to other parents who spend a lot of money to be on a team with high expectations?


My daughter plays elite level soccer and AAU basketball. In the last post, I wrote about overcommitment and how we got into this situation. I also indicated that the basketball coach is not happy.

Here is the very well written and respectful email from the coach to the team. She wrote this email to the team because my daughter is not the only overcommitted girl on the team.

My comments are in color.


Hello Everyone, 
 
I am a little bit confused right now about what everyone has committed to with our team. When your daughter and your family joined this team you committed to a basketball first team. Yes, we work with you to make sure your daughter has every chance as a young lady to play different sports, but I think, by me being so nice about this, it is coming back to haunt our team.


CC showing her value as the goalkeeper.
We were informed that this was a basketball first program when my daughter tried out for the team and again when she accepted a position. The previous year we were able to do both with few conflicts, but this year there have been a lot of conflicts. My daughter is now the lone goalie on the soccer team, so her commitment to soccer is paramount this year. To make matter worse, my daughter is not the only two sport athlete on the basketball team. Three of her teammates also play elite level soccer.
  
 

We are suppose to be the TOP AAU team, but I cant hold a practice, game or tournament with all 10 girls attending. It really has to do with practice and wanting to challenge this special group of girls, talented girls. I would love to see these girls stay together for years to come, but we need to know that we can rely on each other and that each teammate wants to be apart of this special team. 




We are suppose to the a top AAU team, in fact, the basketball team finished 1st in Ohio and 9th in the country last year. We lost key three players from that team but the team added three new girls. The team has a lot of talent and expectations were high coming into the season. However, for the first time these girls are struggling against other top AAU teams.




My daugther, CC,  has not missed any of the mandatory team practices due to conflicts with soccer. She practices soccer Monday (team), Wednesday (team) and Friday (goalie training). Her basketball team practices are on Sunday (team), Monday (optional skills and drills) and Tuesday (team).  She does miss a basketball skills and drills practice every week. I am OK with this, because my daughter practices all the time in the driveway with her brother.


Regarding games, CC has missed 1 day of a two day tournament and will miss an entire
tournament this weekend. 

I know everyone is busy. I just need to get a better committed from the girls so we can grow as a team. My concern is I have not had a practice with all 10 girls since in weeks. I am spending so much more time putting in offense or defense because we don't have numbers at practice. 


The coach is so right about this issue. A top team with high expectations needs commitment, especially when parents are paying a large amount of money for their daughters to be on the team.


We are failing the team. It is not fair to CC's teammate or the coach. It is not fair to the girl who got cut who may have been able to commit more fully. My daughter is not ready to specialize in any one sport, but we need to rectify the situation. 




CC will not quit mid-season, however, for several reasons. 1) Soccer ends a month before basketball, so she will soon be able to commit 100% again. 2) While a 80% commitment is not fair, quitting at this stage of the season is not fair either. This year, CC's soccer team lost their most valuable soccer player. The key player quit mid-season to concentrate on AAU basketball (the best team in Ohio now). This decision hurt our team's chances of competing this year. To make matters worse, the other parents had to pick up a larger percentage of the fees. I am sure that the head soccer coach and the other parents would have rather had this star player for a percentage of the time (paying the full amount) instead of not at all until the team could retool at the next tryout.


In contrast to the soccer situation above, my daughter is not the standout star player of her AAU basketball team. She's a role player. She is a strong front court defender and an outside shooter. As the starting and lone goalie of her soccer team, she is a very valuable. 


I hope everyone can understand where I am coming from and I want these girls to success to the best of their ability as a team. It's hard as a coach to see what we have and know that we are not able to utilize it all because we havent practiced together. I am very luck and blessed to be coaching each and everyone of your daughters. I just want the best for them as individuals and as a team. I hope everyone can see that and understand.


I just need to get this out and see what we can all do to work together. Please know that I understand and know these come up and that family stuff is important. I just need the commitment to me and each other that I have had in the passed. 



Thanks
Coach

The Main Point

While I do not like that teams play year round and that many top youth sports clubs insist on specialization, I think that the coach is right. We are wrong. My daughter will need to make a decision. 

My response in the next post.

8 comments:

  1. When does CC study? Does the coach read your blog? Definitely understand the coach's frustrations. Basketball is more of a coach's game than soccer; but it doesn't have to be that way at youth level. Coach should simplify the offense ; doesn't have to be that complicated at this age. Teach them how to play the game!

    Coach may benefit from these two posts:
    "Finding the Simplicity in the Complexity of Basketball:"
    http://developyourbballiq.com/finding-the-simplicity-in-the-complexity-of-basketball/

    "Pick and Rolls, and then, more Pick and Rolls"
    http://www.basketball.org/pick-and-rolls-and-then-more-pick-and-rolls/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CC is a straight a student. She does however have to stay up later than most 11 year old girls do to get her homework done. She is able to do it all because she is incredibly organized.

      Not sure if the coach reads the blog - I would never post anything that challenges or disrespects any of the coaches that my kids play for. I think that our coach had every right to question the 4 athletes on the team who are overcommitted. I do not think that it would have been an issue at all if CC was the only overcommitted girl.

      Delete
  2. What about playing on a competitive team in one sport and a rec team for the over-lapping sport? She won't get pushed quite as hard but also won't have the commitment issue in the rec league. She'll still get to play though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will likely not drop down to rec level - but probably drop down from the top team to the second team - where the training is often the same, but the number of games and expectations to win are a bit lower.

      Delete
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