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Author Topic: Closing of FastSports - Thank you Vince!  (Read 868 times)

Vince Muehe

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Re: Closing of FastSports - Thank you Vince!
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 09:45:03 PM »
Sam:  So used to Facebook I was looking for the LIKE BUTTON.  I think more people need too hear your story.  My daughters both quit playing at at 16U.  Kate played 18U, but was still 16U eligible.  It was the right time for both of them to leave the game.  They had fun, but no regrets for making the change.   I have no regrets that they made the decisions that they made.  They may have been smarter than me about the game at that point.



Anyway, there's no "like button".  You just have to consider this well liked.


Vince

Sam Dillon

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Re: Closing of FastSports - Thank you Vince!
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 10:06:11 AM »
It's all pretty interesting stuff. On the 'journey' our daughter ended up with a 1/2 scholarship at a D1. But, I think, once we got there it wasn't quite what we expected. Club softball helped get her there but there was quite a cost that was involved; both personally and monetarily. I think after everything was said and done we would have much rather preferred to have stayed in a community oriented program - funny the way that works. Don't get me too wrong I suppose: she ended up with a great education and has a great career in the healthcare field but again if we had it to do all over again we'd probably have stuck with the group of friends she grew up playing with rather than have sought greener pastures with a club team. The nature of competing for scholarships and opportunities just got a bit too cut throat for my comfort level; not to mention the dedication required in college once the goal is met. Whew - I could tell a few stories about college coaches, girls being pushed into meaningless degrees, 60 - 70 hours a week into skills, yikes.

Vince Muehe

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Re: Closing of FastSports - Thank you Vince!
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 10:16:24 PM »
Sam,


The answer to your questions is "Yes" and "No".


Club teams have been benefit to the top players and I believe may have enabled more Minnesota athletes to find college teams to play on.  The mid-tier athlete suffered the most.  If they could not travel to find a club team that would accept them, there were fewer opportunities for participating on community teams.  Also, there were fewer pitchers available for community teams, because some of the club teams are carrying four or five pitchers, whereas community teams were carrying two and three when they were lucky (at 14U and older).


Back to the mid-tier.  We have club teams all over.  But it's not uncommon to see a girl from well north of the downtowns playing on teams south of the Minnesota River (and the other way around).  It's great that those parents have the time and money to allow those kids that opportunity.  But there are those parents that struggle to just make it to games in their own community and meet the financial obligations of community based softball.  Those kids are "lost".  That's a shame.  There isn't the strength in 14U and 16U at the community level there once was.  And it's understandable why that's happened.


Club teams became far more popular than I expected.  Most of them aren't any better than the top 20% of community teams from the time before club teams.   Except in a few cases, the coaching isn't any better either - even though now we are paying coaches where we relied more heavily on volunteers 15 years ago.  For some reason, we equate "paid coach" with "better coach" and that's not always the case.


I recall talking to a Dad about coaching his 12U daughter in pitching.  He asked how much I charged.  I told him I wasn't charging anything.  He said, "How do I know you're any good if you're not charging?"

My response, "For you, I'm $100 per hour.  Am I any better now?"


One of the main things we've lost is the parent that got involved in the community programs when their daughter was 9-11 years old and stayed for the 7-8 years until she went to college.  Now they're gone when their daughter runs to a club team.  That means a loss of experience in community organizations (unless we can find that parent with four girls spaced two years apart that all want to play softball).  I tried to get on a community softball board, but they wouldn't allow it because I didn't have a daughter in the program.  Ironically, I could have coached and been paid by that same community program.


I'm very comfortable doing what I'm doing now.  I have a bunch of kids in ages that I love to work with.  All of those kids have great parents (I get to pick the parents and their daughters).  We pitch for a few months in the Spring and a few months in the Fall.  In the winter I help at another clinic.  During the summer I watch "my girls" and take photos.  I'm going to start cutting back on some of the days I spend at the fields.  (That's a shocker for some).  I'm getting closer to 60 than I'd like to think.  I want to do some other things.  So, I'm going to be doing some hiking and photography this summer and fall. We'll see how it goes.  I also have a granddaughter...  I'll probably spend some time with her too.


Vince




Sam Dillon

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Re: Closing of FastSports - Thank you Vince!
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 12:27:14 PM »
Hey Vince,


I haven't posted here since about 2007 maybe?


Sorry to see you're closing down the website. It was something we all enjoyed.


I wonder often if the softball community was better off for the efforts we all put in to
opening up softball from community oriented to club.


That seems like a lifetime ago.

Vince Muehe

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Re: Closing of FastSports - Thank you Vince!
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 12:51:20 AM »
Thanks Sean.


The days of using the FastSports Forum to voice an opinion and have an exchange of ideas has been over for a few years.  That's okay.


I spent quite a bit of time thinking about this change.  It comes down to  the fast that I was 34 when I started FastSports and I'm 57 now.  It's time to let someone younger, with more passion for the new things in the sport, pick up the ideas, add to them, make them better, and create a new site to meet the needs of fastpitch softball in the region.


I still like the game, love the players, and will stay involved in some aspects of the sport, but I have an interest in doing some new things.  I've started putting one of my ideas into motion and so far things are moving along well.  It will be interesting to see how well this idea matures.  I'm not going to go into details, but I will say that this idea may not have worked if I was younger.  It's a matter of knowing what to do and when to do it.


For awhile, I will keep FastSports page up with links to whoever wants to work on creating a similar page.  But I will not provide an exclusive link, sell the domain, etc. 


Thanks for all the support over the years!


Vince

Sean Hall

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Re: Closing of FastSports - Thank you Vince!
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 10:39:02 PM »
Vince,


I hope you reconsider.  Your website has been a way for the softball people of Minnesota and the surrounding communities to voice their opinion.  There have been some very important discussions on these pages that have helped turn Minnesota softball into a hotbed for softball!  I appreciate all you have done for softball and the young ladies of the area.  Thanks again Vince!


Vince Muehe

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Re: Closing of FastSports - Thank you Vince!
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2017, 09:02:01 PM »
Thanks Todd!

"...memories, smiles, friendships, work-ethic, teamwork, victories, defeats, learning, improvement, satisfaction, sunburns, determination, pitching shoes with holes, $300 bats, and a WHOLE LOT OF DQ!"  Those are the parts of softball that I still love.

I look forward to the barn full of girls and parents, the dogs excited that the girls are here to pitch... and then going to the fields to watch them play the game.  There's really some kind of magic that happens.  So that part... it stays.  Photography... it stays.  FastSports as we know it... not so lucky.

Thanks for bringing Sami out here!  Friendly greetings at games and tournaments!  And I agree, you and Randy have kept the game in perspective more so than many others.

Vince

Todd Sogge

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Closing of FastSports - Thank you Vince!
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 12:52:18 PM »
Vince,

Thank you for all you have done for fast-pitch softball in MN and the surrounding states!  Sami was very fortunate to have you as a coach/mentor in her early years of softball, and you certainly had a positive impact on Sami and our family.  Going to the barn was never a chore since you always made it entertaining and competitive.  You've been generous with your time, talent, facility, photography, etc.  Sami's time as a player, and my time as a coach are winding down as well, but we certainly view you as one of the catalysts that really jump started her (our) passion for softball.  We always treated it as a game, and it has remained that way for 10+ years now.  We wanted to always make sure the kids look back on playing softball with fond memories, and that attitude started with you and your style.  So to address Sue's question "What do you get out of it?",  I don't know how you personally answer that one, but I can sure tell you what we have gotten out of it......memories, smiles, friendships, work-ethic, teamwork, victories, defeats, learning, improvement, satisfaction, sunburns, determination, pitching shoes with holes, $300 bats, and a WHOLE LOT OF DQ!

Have a great summer, and we will certainly look forward to catching up again sometime soon.

Todd, Bonnie and Sami.