What’s an “A” player?

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Softball Pop
Posts: 7
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What’s an “A” player?

Post by Softball Pop » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:57 pm

Coaches:

What’s your definition of an “A” player?

Parents:

What’s your definition of an “A” player?

Unicorn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:13 am

Re: What’s an “A” player?

Post by Unicorn » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:44 pm

Unfortunately, the definition for an "A" players has been loosely interpreted lately.

There are a lot of solid B / B+ teams that are claiming their are a "A" team. Winning 3 games doesn't make you an "A" team. How about placing in the top 3 in tournaments routinely?

Let's face it....some of the coaches might have some "A" ball players, but the remainder of the team is filled with B+(on a good day) and B , so they tout themselves as an "A" ball team.

There are some parents that have a daughter that hit a dinger off a girl pitching 42 mph and she's a 'phenom', but her batting average is .075, but she hit that dinger!!

Honestly, we have a lot of talent in GA. We have about 5% Elite, 10% A, 25% B+, and a lot of B that think they are A, and C ball players that fill in the roster to make a team. A lot of players, and too many payers.

GoGamecocks
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:22 pm

Re: What’s an “A” player?

Post by GoGamecocks » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:00 am

Unicorn wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:44 pm
Unfortunately, the definition for an "A" players has been loosely interpreted lately.

There are a lot of solid B / B+ teams that are claiming their are a "A" team. Winning 3 games doesn't make you an "A" team. How about placing in the top 3 in tournaments routinely?

Let's face it....some of the coaches might have some "A" ball players, but the remainder of the team is filled with B+(on a good day) and B , so they tout themselves as an "A" ball team.

There are some parents that have a daughter that hit a dinger off a girl pitching 42 mph and she's a 'phenom', but her batting average is .075, but she hit that dinger!!

Honestly, we have a lot of talent in GA. We have about 5% Elite, 10% A, 25% B+, and a lot of B that think they are A, and C ball players that fill in the roster to make a team. A lot of players, and too many payers.
This is a pessimistic view of what an "A" player is. It sounds like you're opinion is colored by your belief that there are too many "A" teams, which is probably true. But OP is asking what makes an "A" player and you've given us an example of what's NOT an "A" player.

I don't think winning or losing should be a part of the definition of who is and isn't an "A" player or an "A" team. You could have the best player in the state surrounded by a group of girls who can't hit or field their position. They'd lose all the time, but they'd still have that "A" player on their team,

My definition is a little squishy, but I'd say that we should think of a girl who has the ABILITY to play at the next level (whether it be DI, D2, D3, or NAIA). So that's a combination of athleticism and talent and knowledge of the game. An "A" coach is going to be able to coach that girl up and make her better. Someone who is coachable and has the desire to get better is more likely to fit in this group. I also think by the second year of 16U, an "A" ball player should be able to field their primary position well and avoid errors for cleanly-hit balls. She should also somehow be able to get on base 30% of the time.

But if you have thirty teams with a 13 girls each, you're just not going to have everyone fielding 90% and hitting .400. Some girls will be studs in the field and not so good at the plate. Some will pound the ball and not even play the field. But hitting .250 doesn't make you NOT an "A" player. Making an error every other game doesn't make you NOT an "A" player. The better the competition, the better the pitching and the more sharply-hit balls you'll see. Batting averages and fielding percentages go down when you're playing good teams.

At 10U, half the girls might be "A" ball players, but because they lose interest or they don't get properly coached, they fall away from the game or, if they stay in, they end up playing for low-level teams. I'd say that by the second year of 12U, maybe 30-40% of the girls are good enough to play "A" ball. By the second year of 14U, its probably 25%. By the second year of 16U, I'd say that half the girls still playing are capable of being "A" level players if they can find good instruction, because by age 16, half the girls still playing travel ball can field their position efficiently and can get the bat on the ball. I say half because all of the girls who lack talent and/or desire have left the game or switched to just school ball.

The problem in GA isn't the lack of "A" ball players, it's the lack of "A" ball coaching. There just aren't enough really good and dedicated coaches to go around. We get parents coaching teams who probably shouldn't be coaching, but they have no alternative because their daughter has no where else to go.

3up3down
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:12 pm

Re: What’s an “A” player?

Post by 3up3down » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:51 am

Well said GoGamecocks, I could not agree more.

Softballfam2225
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:47 pm

Re: What’s an “A” player?

Post by Softballfam2225 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:24 pm

Unicorn wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:44 pm
The problem in GA isn't the lack of "A" ball players, it's the lack of "A" ball coaching. There just aren't enough really good and dedicated coaches to go around. We get parents coaching teams who probably shouldn't be coaching, but they have no alternative because their daughter has no where else to go.
So true!

norguy
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: What’s an “A” player?

Post by norguy » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm

The problem in GA isn't the lack of "A" ball players, it's the lack of "A" ball coaching. There just aren't enough really good and dedicated coaches to go around. We get parents coaching teams who probably shouldn't be coaching, but they have no alternative because their daughter has no where else to go.
Partially agree and disagree. You have parents that line up to play for a team because a dad/coach got a new team jersey to hand out. Doesn't matter much about the coach, most play for the jersey that are looking to college. Coaches with bad reputations, horrible actions, language, fighting....and they just sign up another team because the organization wants the money. Parents don't care.

And then the brand name teams where most of the players have been told they can play D1 by parents (parents that don't have a clue), or coaches filling a promise of going to 15 showcases a year but not telling the parents they (and the girls) need to be doing the grunt work. Most of the girls will spends thousands to play college, and then not play college. Not the legit brand name teams you read about in PGF finals, but the ones that had a 'great finish' at USA, Southeastern Nationals or even 'North Ga Nationals' or whatever local championship you're sticking on FB.

Or spend $20k for a $1k scholarship to Little Sisters of the Poor in NE North Dakota. You'd be better off teaching your child smart money management. Yes any child can play college if you can still run without falling down. ANY of them. But where you play is a different story. Plenty of tiny colleges begging for kids to come.

And then the B teams that play 90 games a season....holy cow saw some playing already! And there was one that said was practicing already...during high school ball. Coach didn't have a kid on the team so was bored I guess. Let the kids enjoy HS ball, then a December break.

And then those teams that 'have no kid on the team'. Ok, unless it's the 18 Gold XYZ org then it's a little creepy. Take the husband/wife on a trip, go visit your kids/grandkids, volunteer to coach a rec team or team -with- actual parents. If you're just handing your kid off at 13 to a 'coach' that doesn't have enough work to do at a job then keep a close eye on the reasons!!....even in GA there are coaches still coaching that have been accused/caught of doing things inappropriately with the kids. And umpires, unless you have been under a rock recently. 'Don't have a kid on the team' should not always be a positive. I want a parent that wants to spend time with his/her kid and might be actually sacrificing to do so.

And then - how many teams are changing jerseys this year? Makes it hard to play on any other team. I see Fire teams becoming Fire Gold?, AP becoming Fire, Fire becoming Fire Elite, Vipers becoming Impact, Flames becoming GAP, Firecrackers becoming FC Premier (that mean you're better than other FC teams?), Bullets becoming Firecrackers, GAP becoming Impact, Ga Legacy becoming Impact Gold. I wish I was in the jersey business. These coaches should be out selling for profit since they can convince parents to keep spending more and more money! Or are they changing because the only way they'll get new, or better, players is to change (which again takes the coach out of play)? I keep waiting to hear 'Buford 12U all star rec team will be joining the Bullets org for the 2019/20 season'.

However, while deemed problems with the sport to me it is just business as usual and will continue to be so. It will have a crest and go the other way at some point. I know a few that decided not to play high school (and would love to have played) due to the exuberant cost, and then the time. It's going to come back around when money gets a little tighter....paying that much won't be deemed as important as food, shelter and education.

Peace.

softball34
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:38 pm

Re: What’s an “A” player?

Post by softball34 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:02 pm

norguy wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm

You'd be better off teaching your child smart money management. Yes any child can play college if you can still run without falling down. ANY of them.
:lol: :lol: This is totally true!

My daughter has played with some real A level players though and there is a dedication they have that the ordinary softball player (like my daughter) doesn't have. I can totally appreciate the work they put in and the sacrifices made by their parents. Not sure it will pay off for all of them, but I know a few that we will see on ESPN for sure.

GoGamecocks
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:22 pm

Re: What’s an “A” player?

Post by GoGamecocks » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:58 pm

norguy wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm
And then - how many teams are changing jerseys this year? Makes it hard to play on any other team. I see Fire teams becoming Fire Gold?, AP becoming Fire, Fire becoming Fire Elite, Vipers becoming Impact, Flames becoming GAP, Firecrackers becoming FC Premier (that mean you're better than other FC teams?), Bullets becoming Firecrackers, GAP becoming Impact, Ga Legacy becoming Impact Gold. I wish I was in the jersey business. These coaches should be out selling for profit since they can convince parents to keep spending more and more money! Or are they changing because the only way they'll get new, or better, players is to change (which again takes the coach out of play)?
Some of this makes sense, and some of it doesn't. If you have coaching partners splitting up, you're probably going to have one or both go to another organization. If you have two teams merging, you're going to lose some girls to another organization. And you're going to have girls hopping into another organization when they leave at the end of the travel season. Every year I'm surprised to see what I thought were solid teams disintegrate.

But as we've already seen, Gold is better than non-gold. And Elite or Premier or National is claiming to be better than non-elite or non-premier or non-National.

But kids are gonna team-hop. It happens all the time, and more so at the end of the season. You can endure almost any drama or slight for eight months. After that, I don't blame you for moving on if the kid isn't developing or has ended up in a pigeon-hole because the coach and/or parents and/or kid don't see eye-to-eye. And now, we've taken it to the next level - TEAMS are gonna ORGANIZATION-HOP, and there are plenty of legit and non-legit reasons for that, too.
norguy wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:26 pm
And then those teams that 'have no kid on the team'. Ok, unless it's the 18 Gold XYZ org then it's a little creepy.
Ask yourself why is this coach without a daughter on the teams doing this? Why this team? Why this age group? I think you'll get your answers if you figure out their real motivation. Not always creepy.

CaCO3Girl
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:38 am

Re: What’s an “A” player?

Post by CaCO3Girl » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:21 pm

My background:
-Mother of a 17u A player in baseball
-Mother of a 10u rec ball player
-10u rec coach

I've seen this is baseball, the Jersey swapping because the initial team got a bad name for whatever reason, the A player vs. A team, who isn't an A team but says they are...same stuff, different sport.

The truth is, you can have two girls pitching the same, hitting the same, fielding the same and one can be an A player and the other isn't. It's not just about their skills, it's about their skills and mindset. You can see the capacity for the A player even at 10u, but what they do with that potential is what determines if they will become an A player or B player. I've seen baseball kids have all the tools and do nothing with them. It's sad, but true.

An A level player understands more of what is going on than the average kid. Their bodies move prior to their minds telling them too, they instinctively know what they need to do, and where they need to be. They can also be counted on to get things done in stressful game changing circumstances.

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