Coaches Using Bad Tryout Techniques
So, some of you are at it again? O.K., I’ll consent that some don’t know any better. But for the rest of you, doing tryouts wrong again, you should be ashamed of yourselves. And you think you can get away with it without me hearing about it?
My “Try-out spy people” are all over the place. They are hiding under the bleachers with pen and paper in one hand and binoculars in the other. Be on the try out alert. Do they right or I will get the report.
A coach is still using conditioning drills as the first evaluation in cutting players. The two mile run time sent half the kids home before the tennis racquet was even picked up.
Remember to use drills that are specific to the sport. Skill level needs to be evaluated. Proper body mechanics need to be evaluated. Using stations is a great way to break down the game into its different parts. Put a different coach at each station with an evaluation sheet. The kids rotate from station to station, working on a different skill set for that sport.
The coaches accumulate the evaluation sheets and a big and long coaches meeting will help to determine the skilled players.
You now also have something to show parents if they question why their child was cut.
Don’t forget to make sure each station represents a skill that is related t the sport. A free throw shooting station at a soccer try out is not a great idea. Or, serving tennis balls at a football try out. The distance run falls in this same category.
The Jr. High coach who chose his girl’s volleyball team after the first day of try outs, you’ve got to stop that! Forty four girls showed up, and twelve stayed. Cutting down to twelve girls is not the problem; it’s doing it in a two hour time frame.
Sure, we all know that there are the obvious cuts; those girls who have never touched a volleyball before. It would just be nice for their self esteem, and for the sake of learning a little for them to be able to stay a few days. What’s the big hurry?
Then there are the four to five stand-out girls who appear to be the stars. Everyone knows they will make the team. It’s the 20 (or so) who rank in the middle; those who seem to have equal playing ability. It’s this group that needs to be watched a while longer.
After the first two days, the bottom 10-15 girls can be cut. Now you can really watch, work with, and evaluate more clearly those middle ranged girls.
You can use your station drills now with less girls so more repetitions are possible. After another day or two, then the second rung of talent can be cut.
Now you are ready for the final cut. Another day will finalize the process.
I always recommend keeping two to three extra players for several reasons:
1. They were so close to making the team that a year of practicing with the team will be to their benefit.
2. They can be used as alternates in case of injuries or ineligibilities.
3. They can be involved as managers or statisticians.
Any of these options keeps them involved in the sport and around the team.
Then there’s the coach who still posts the names of the kids who got cut on the main hallway wall.
Giving each player a number helps. You can post the numbers and save lots of embarrassment.
There are still many programs that do not have an intramural program or alternative league/clinic for these cut players. I know it takes extra money and probably volunteer parents to coach and operate, but it is really important for these kids to keep on playing and improving!
Come on coaches; don’t make me write this again!