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McHenry Pigtail League

McHenry Pigtail League

Survey Results Fall 2020

Limited Practices - Multiple parents stated that there weren't enough practices during the Fall Ball season.  We agree, however, during this specific season, time was limited due to trying to get the season in quick, and having double the games we usually have in a Fall Season.  We are also at the mercy of field availability and the weather.  In a typical Fall season, there will be eight games on Saturdays through the months of September and October.  The last half of August will have two practices for each team.  In addition, there will still be two practices during the week for each team throughout the season.  For the Spring season, the entire month of April is set aside for two practices during the week for each team.  NEW THIS YEAR will be Scrimmage Saturdays.  Each team will scrimmage another team in their division on Saturdays during the month of April.  Practices do end once the season starts because field space is limited due to games.

Playing Travel or Tournament Teams  - A few surveys stated it was unfair that our rec teams had to play travel and tournament teams from other towns.  During the Spring Season, our league has enough interest to be able to play in-house for most divisions.  Meaning we only play our fellow MPL teams.  During the Fall Season, we don't.  Luckily, we are able to join another organization called NISA so the girls can get games in.  These teams are rec teams as well, not travel or tournament teams.  However, because most towns only have enough players to field one team, they don't draft like we do.  It's possible these girls are playing together for multiple years.  And it's also possible that at the end of the season, every girl tries out for, and makes, their towns tournament team.  (Each tournament team player is required to play rec ball to be on a tournament team)   While this may seem unfair to our players, who get drafted to a new team each year, it does make sense.  This is also the reason we travel to different towns during Fall.  If our league gets an influx of players in each division, we will be able to play in-house for the Fall season as well.  Please help us by taking advantage of our Incentive Program and inviting new girls to join our league!  The hope is to have each division play in-house so they don't have to travel and can play teams with similar experience and skill.

Coach to Parent Communication - Some surveys requested a better way for coaches to communicate with their team.  We agree.  For the past couple of years, we have used the Team App.  We encouraged coaches to use this form of communication to get important information out to their team.  We did not make this mandatory as some coaches prefer email or text to using another app.  All forms stated leave something to be desired.  The Team App didn't always give notifications, emails could possibly go undelivered, and text threads have a max on how many phone numbers can be included.  Going forward, we will require all communication for each team go through the same platform.  This will ensure all families have one place to go for information and communication.  We are currently researching a new platform for this and will update coaches at draft.  They will relay the information to all team parents.

Pitching and Hitting Clinics - It was requested to offer clinics during the Fall season.  During a typical year, we host clinics during the Spring and Fall seasons, however, this year we were just lucky to have a season.  Going forward, we will offer clinics during those seasons, as well as possibly hosting Winter clinics as well.  These clinics teach the fundamentals of hitting and pitching and are very cost effective.  Once clinic registrations are live, they can be found here --> Player Clinics.

More Coaches - Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Parent Helpers, Board Members, and Clinic Coaches are made up of volunteer parents.  We rely heavily on our parents.  It was suggested that we need to get more coaches.  Every season, we struggle.  Please consider volunteering for one of these positions, especially the Head Coach position.  

Training and support for Coaches - In the past, there has been minimal support and training for coaches.  Short of offering a few pointers at draft and suggesting some YouTube drill videos, the coaches have not received much guidance in their role.  This is changing this year!!!  Here are a few upgrades we've implemented...
-Coaches' Corner, a place on our website to provide support with in-league drill video's, created by our McHenry Elite Travel division, tips, suggestions, etc.
-divisional VP involvement at practices and games
-additional training and drill materials in their coach packet received at draft
-a Coaches Clinic before the start of practices, to help with the basics of coaching and also answer any questions each coach may have

Low Attendance at Practices and Games - It was brought to our attention that some teams didn't have great attendance numbers at practices and games.  We understand that some players may have other obligations in addition to softball.  There should always be an open line of communication between the Coaches and parents to discuss any missed games or practices.  Coaches can also reach out to their Divisional VP at any time to discuss any attendance concerns they may have.

Picture Day  - It was mentioned that having Picture Day on a Sunday every year interferes with church attendance.  The reason we had Pictures scheduled on Sunday is because there aren't games on Sunday so it wouldn't interfere with the game schedule.  Going forward, we have no problem scheduling picture day on Saturday and starting games in the early afternoon.

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