The above exchange, hypothetical or created for Dr. Branson’s publishings, really drills into my theory of player development. I have run my business platforms for years on this same premise. I will go into this more in our open house/ Town Hall scheduled for 10/8.
I take very seriously the responsibility of coaching and training our kids. I pride myself and credit the organization that traditionbally we have experienced very little turnover. That is a testament to our coaches and culture they create within the framework of how we encourage it to be. Our Viper culture is earned every day and not something that we just document. It is a TEAM culture and one about learning how to play as part of a team and within the team structure. Sometimes turnover is unavoidable & sometimes it is necessary. We have had players we did not want to see leave us, and their are players who needed to leave us and who I believe would be best servied to go and pursue softball excellence elsewhere…they did not sync with us for whatever reason. While I believe we are a great home for many, we are not for everyone. I use the phrases “we do what we say we do” and “we are who we say we are”. These are imperative and at the foundation of everything we do. Please remember that many of the things we say we do here and who we are with the Vipers happens over the course of a season and in the agregate. You will not see all of it in the first two weeks.
Back to the sayings above…I believe we have to go ALL IN on training and developing our players. That is a responsibility I take very seriously and evangalize to our coaches. I think we do a great job with this. Having said that, our training and playing kids to be successful may not always correlate with a player or parent agenda, especially if they are looking short term. For example, only one kid can bat 3rd, one kid can bat 4th, Someone has to hit 8th, 9th and in some cases 12th. Coaches are always trying to find the right mixture and flow to make the lineup go. By the same token, there can only be one shortstop per inning…one pitcher per inning. The rules say we nbeed 9 fielders. Coaches balance the winning and playing time as best they can to ensure there are as many games as possible. We should be training players to play everywhere so that when needed, they can play everywhere., An example is that on a Sunday tournament, if you lose the first game, there is no second game. Some decisons may be different in game one on a Sunday then on a Saturday.
Why should we train Sally Ballplayer as an infielder and an outfielder? What if we do not train her at both and we need her to play there in a game? I have countless examples of this and why it is necessary.
Some parents have said to me “Coach, we tried out for TEAM X and we made it”. My response has always been “That’s great that you made it…I would expect you to make TEAM X and countless other teams after training with the Vipers for the amount of time you have. My question is why you felt you needed to?”
My directive to our teams and coaches has always been and will continue to be to develop our kids to the best of your ability. Ask for help. Attend my practices or other tram practices to see what I/ they do. We will support you from an organizational standpoint with clinics, other Viper practices, this year we are offering organizational practices…. This is all done to ensure we are vested in EVERY player we have. All done to the softball equivalent for the image above: we must develop our players as best we can and provide a memorable and rewarding experience so that they WANT to stay. We cannot control how other teams recruit our players (we know they do, target them & that they are highly sought after because other clubs know how good our players are), but WE control the Viper experience. It is our job to have our players and families engaged in the relationships & pathway to their goals that they want to stay.
I want this experience to tbe the best it possibly can for everyone here. The coaches and I are ALWAYS accessible and approachable (remember the 24 hour rule). Please reach out with any questions you may have, or hold them for our 10/8 Open House.
Yours in softball,