Posted on August 23 2017
Team tryouts can be a stressful and difficult process no matter what time of year and what sport is involved. Young athletes may be facing a disappointing outcome, whether it is not making the team they were aiming for or not being selected for a squad at all. However, parents and coaches can help pad the blow by keeping things in perspective for themselves and for the athletes. Here are some important thoughts everyone should keep in mind during tryout season.
Method to the Madness
Although athletes and parents might not agree with or understand the coaches’ decisions about team selection, their decisions were not arbitrary. Most coaches put a great deal of thought into final cuts and placement, so even if a parent thinks a child is ready for the top-level team, the coach may want to let the child develop further before moving up.
Higher is Not Always Better
Although it may not be as prestigious, it can be more beneficial for an athlete to play on a lower level team and really shine rather than make the high-level squad and sit on the bench most of the time. More playing time means more improvement.
Disappointment is Motivation
Failure to reach a personal goal can be difficult for athletes, but it can also be the motivation they need to work harder and do better next year. Or, it could be the reason an athlete explores other sports that might be more suited to his or her skill sets.
Parents: It’s Not About You
It can be found on signs at a lot of sports venues: “Your child’s athletic performance is not a reflection of you as a parent.” It is a good reminder and completely true. Parents should be supportive no matter what the outcome.
Early Success no Guarantee of Future Success
Young athletes often are pressured to shine brightly at a single sport to the exclusion of other activities. But in the long run, they tend to get burnt out or suffer from injuries if they don’t mix up their athletic pursuits and try something different. Being really good at a certain sport at young age is not a guarantee he or she will be good at it for the long haul.
Great Athletes Tend to Be Late Bloomers
If one looks at many elite adult professional athletes, it is interesting to note that many of them came to their chosen sports late in their teen years. Only after they developed a high level of athleticism in other sports were they able to really shine in a specific professional sport. This is an argument against early specialization. Young athletes should be encouraged to explore lots of different activities.
What Athletes Do Next is Important
Regardless of what the result of the tryout season is, the most important thing is what the athletes do next. If they got cut from a team, they can persevere, improve and try again next year. If they make a team, they should work hard and be a leader to other players.
It can be difficult, but parents and athletes should strive to keep things in perspective when it comes to tryout results. The reminders above can help smooth the process.