Player Development

How to Navigate Tryouts in Youth Sports: Parent Tips

There's no hiding the stress that can come with tryouts in youth sports. Here's how you can help as a parent.
Youth sports

by Griffin Lloyd

Former college athlete and video editor. Current content creator, sports enthusiast and dog dad.

Tryouts in youth sports can be overwhelming. As a parent, there can be a lot of stress and pressure around this time of year. We all hope for a positive experience, but with some unknowns, it’s important that they always put their best foot forward regardless of the outcome.

It can be easy to get caught up in the motions with other parents and players. Remember that they are just kids, and they are likely hard on themselves as it is. Try to be encouraging and positive no matter the outcome. Ultimately, you’re their number one fan! Here are a few tips to remind your kid as they enter the tryout process.

Use video to get on the coach’s radar

Looking to get on a coach’s radar pre-tryout? Use personalized video of your player. If you’re trying out for a new team, odds are you may not know the coach quite yet. By introducing yourself beforehand through email or other form of communication, you can showcase your skillset and may reduce stress as you enter the first day of tryouts.

Remind them to put in their best effort

Tryouts are all about performing in crunch time. We all have our off-days, but regardless of their skill or ability on the given day, your player shouldn’t have any regrets if they put everything on the field. Work ethic is something all coaches are looking for, and if your athlete wants to make the team, this will be an expectation at all times.

Remind them to have fun

Heading into a stressful tryout, remind your player why they’re playing in the first place. All players started playing the sport because they enjoyed it, and having fun in the most stressful of situations will keep them loose and less pressured overall. Coaches will notice if a player is working hard and having fun, as both traits are helpful to build a foundation around.

Showcase their skill

Remember that coaches will notice talented players. While there are certain variables that coaches are looking for, remind your player what makes them special. Showcasing their talent will prove to coaches that they’re willing to try new things, make mistakes, and put it all on the line. It’s important to balance individual play with team play, but any Coach will recognize special talent when they see it.

Be a team player

Just as coaches notice individual talent, they will be looking for new members who fit the team well. Many look for a combination of talent and a team-player, so it’s important to find a healthy combination of the two. Whether the team is already established, or a brand new team looking to find its identity, proving that you’re a good teammate can go a long way.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Putting oneself out there is difficult. They’ll be subject to feedback, both positive and constructively. It’s all about how they respond, and the great Michael Jordan once said, “to learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail”. It’s something all successful athletes will tell you, and is typically what sparks their greatness. Don’t be afraid to fail because you’ll be that much closer to your success!

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