How has your daughter tryouts experience been?

Discussion in 'Softball Parent Discussions' started by TheSoftballZone, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. TheSoftballZone

    TheSoftballZone Administrator

    It's that the time of the year... it's softball tryouts season again.

    How's your experience been so far?
  2. NWCbus0124

    NWCbus0124 New Member

    Our daughter attended several tryouts. She aged out of her 14U team. She attended 8 or so 16U tryouts. Some run very efficiently and some a complete train wreck. At one tryout, 10 minutes in I had already decided she would not join this team. She attended a Laser tryout. Really well run. A lot of knowledgeable coaches who taught and instructed throughout the event. It was likely a reach for her and she had her worst performance of any tryout she attended.

    It seems that most 16U tryouts were one of 3 situations:

    • A team broke up over something. Some players went with a coach (in each case we saw it was a dad) and now they are looking for the rest of the team.

    • A bunch of players aged out of 14U but not the entire team and there was no 16U team in the program for them. So they're establishing one.

    • An existing team is looking to fill just a few specific spots. It appears every team is looking for pitching, catching, & shortstops.

    At some tryouts, the coach told the parents that if selected the player would get a call by XX date. If no call, not selected and continue seeking a team. At 2 tryouts, the coach expressed a lot of interest, told her to expect a call, then nothing. Both of those teams continue to post looking for players and respond to every 16U Ohio player looking for tryouts on the Facebook page. Others set no expectation and then there was no further contact, disappointing. One team contacted every player family from every tryout after all tryouts were over and let them know. Once they had offers accepted and the roster set, they let all other know they were not selected and thanked them for their interest. A very professional approach.

    She was looking for the program where she could spend the remainder of her HS playing time. She got several offers. She found a great situation and I think she will be very happy playing there.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  3. Passion4theGame

    Passion4theGame Super Moderator Staff Member

    Personally I feel it is important for coaches to call the athletes no matter what. Every year I make the calls. Some of the phone calls are harder than others to make but coaches usually don't like making the call unless its an offer. I have always called the athletes or parents with an answer after the tryouts. This year I made my last call after 10pm on Saturday night. Yes they all knew the late calls will be coming in. Its out of respect to the athlete and parents for considering our team and you never know what the future may hold. One may need a sub or a player may be unhappy later on so I feel its important to communicate and network. My approach may be wrong. IDK.

    A TON of super talented 16u players out there this year. 05 class is deep and filled with some great talent.
  4. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    I think it’s important to reach out to the coach before a tryout, so see what positions they are looking for and why, and then narrow your search. Sent videos to gauge several coach’s interest and received private tryouts and invited the practices, which were a lot better than going to an open tryout.
  5. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    The responses on the thread are interesting to me. NWCbus0124 response was very interesting to me. It shares a lot of current first-hand practices that actually mirror what we know has gone on for decades. I'm surprised there was no mention of internet or text communication. In today's world, I still believe an actual phone call and speaking to the family is hands down the best way to handle things as mentioned by Passion4theGame. While the call may be painful, even the recipients will eventually agree they like it and appreciate it. They may need some time but they will.

    Texting, the modern-day impersonal way many communicate today. How can it be made any easier for coaches that still have the cowardly lion streak. lol. Oh, I'm just kidding-------------am I? At least a text or an email as soon as possible once you know a girl is no longer being considered. It's simply polite and respectful. Odds are you are going to run into the families at some point in the future. Why not minimize any uncomfortable situations by leaving things on a respectful note.

    What should you say to a parent or player if you actually talk to them on why they weren't selected? Use your respectful people skills to be vague if possible. Example; "We simply had an overwhelming number of players try out for that position and had to consider a lot of factors and another girl seemed to be the best candidate." Be encouraging if they deserve it but most importantly try not to have any negative messages in your delivery. They don't need to hear that. Don't get sucked into the pit. If they want to know any specifics, steer the question away or plead the 5th in a kind manner.

    Does this seem cruel? I don't believe so. If you did not pick the kid, let her current or newfound coach analyze her skills and deal with them. If you are not her coach, why unnecessarily critique her. Excuse yourself by being professional and showing some professional courtesy by pointing out her coach probably has a plan for her. Out of respect for her coach it doesn't feel right to interject or mettle. Wish them luck. Offer to please visit often when you can and tell me how things are going in her game. They'll wave at you when you see them at the park. They'll say hello if in the same isle in a store. It will set up a future where any uncomfortable feelings will be eliminated simply because you used some tact.

    Who knows, she might become "That Girl" and come back to another tryout when you are looking for "That Girl." Don't burn bridges you may want to use in the future.

    Using tact leaves the kid with hope. Even if you don't like her or the family, getting your distaste for them off your chest doesn't help anyone but you. Don't be selfish. Disgruntled families walking around the softball world talking smack about you or your team/organization will not be a positive note to what you are trying to accomplish.
  6. penguinswin

    penguinswin Member

    The simple answer to the question is FRUSTRATING!! NWCbus0124's response was virtually a mirror for what my daughter has experienced. My daughter is trying over for a number of teams over 2 age groups, and one coach called after she attended a second tryout, one never spoke to us at the tryout or after (even though we spoke on the phone a week before the tryout), one I reached out to proactively after day four of radio silence, one coach did not attend their own tryout and the last one still has not called after four days. All but the one coach I reached out to by phone, text or email to at least touch base about my daughter before trying out.

    If you are not interested in my daughter, I can respect that, but don't leave us hanging because we are "on your list" but a little further down than you are willing to offer at this time. I get coaches leaving their options open, but this is ridiculous. There has to be some middle ground where they can suggest an interest, but not leave the family hanging, since the team is not prepared to make an offer.

    daboss's thought on coaches not offering a critique is an interesting one, but I think if the parents are asking it in the tone of "Where can my daughter improve?" I think it can be a positive conversation and one that can benefit the child. Whereas if it comes form "What didn't my daughter do?" or "Why isn't she good enough for you?" then its a little more confrontational and a more generic response to deflect may be appropriate. I only mention this because I know my daughter has room for improvement across the board - what kid doesn't? - but what I see, may differ greatly from what another coach may see or be looking for, and I have found that insight incredibly helpful. Just my thoughts anyway!

    Good luck to everyone during the remainder of the "Silly Season"!
  7. Dale Brigger

    Dale Brigger Member

    We were fortunate enough this year not to have to play during silly season as our team is returning 11 of 12 players. I can tell you from past experience though, if a coach wants your daughter on the team, they will offer the night of tryouts or the day after. My daughter has gone through the tryout season for the past three years and it has always been this way. If you don't hear something within 24 hours, move on. Should a coach reach out either way? I believe they absolutely should, but unfortunately that is not the way it works today. If they want you to be part of their team, they will make sure you know that within a day (but usually right after the tryout or later that night). Good luck to all those trying out this season!
  8. Stedman00

    Stedman00 Active Member

    one thing to keep in mind for all players trying out for all teams and all levels. It is sometimes not the player, but timing. Example - your the coach of XYZ Eliminators, returning 10 players of which 4 are awesome pitchers and catchers. 3 are solid at IF positions and the other 3 are lock down outfielders. You have a tryout and player A shows up and has a great try out. But is a pitcher that would be behind your current 2 pitchers and Player A has alternate positions of SS & Outfield. Can you see where it might be more of a timing thing versus not being skilled where Player A does not generate a bunch of interest. Whereas Player B is a 1B only type with a huge power bat. Player B might garner more interest strictly due to timing and current needs of your team.
    Passion4theGame likes this.
  9. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    The tryout process is dreadful, although my daughter has coped with the uncertainty better than I did. My experience is 16u, And it doesn’t improve as the girls get older. Maybe because 16u matters more. The better teams seem to keep most of their rooster intact, and my experience is that they begin to selectively recruit weeks before the open tryout. I heard lots of rumors of coaches recruiting girls from other teams this year, and girls uncommiting when they got a better opportunity. It’s an early lesson in life for our daughters.
  10. Bob45429

    Bob45429 New Member

    I am new to this process. I have learned that once you make a team you will always have a spot on the team. This has happened 3 times so far. All 3 times my DD was better than several existing players on the team. Tell me what incentive do these existing players have if they can coast, because they joined the team in it's early years, and will never have to worry about being cut?
  11. Stedman00

    Stedman00 Active Member

    That's a coach/org problem. They keep being invited back or allowed to return. Question - How do you know that your DD was better than existing players? Because the way the returning players performed at tryouts? Watched at tourney?
  12. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    I think in most cases, a coach has decided which players on the team they don’t want back and maybe a few that are on the bubble. If your daughter happens to play the same position or fill the role of a girl on the bubble, then maybe a tryout performance alone will be enough to land a spot on the team. But ties usually got the established player.

    I find myself valuing the things that my daughter does well over those she’s still working on. The coach running tryout may be more objective. Unfortunately, one-half of the coaches are statistically below average at evaluating talent. Sometimes, you may be better off not making the team.
  13. Bob45429

    Bob45429 New Member

    My opinion of my DD performance was based off of watching her at several nights of tryouts with each team. I realize that a known quality of the current players and their families must come into play. I did see exsisting players that were quite good. I am only saying the some, not all, were not up to my DD talent. As PaulP said. It may have been better to move on. Thanks all for your input.
  14. Stedman00

    Stedman00 Active Member

    here's a prime example for you about tryouts and how things work out with talent.

    Way back machine, I'd taken my DD to 14u tryout, big crowd multiple ages, multiple coaches and fields. cluster best describes it. DD is doing her normal things, etc. Get to the pitcher portion of the night. Short on catchers, call goes out for dads to help.

    I get paired with an established pitcher from the 14u team. I'm catching, looking around, etc. Girl I'm catching proceeds to tell me that she needs to warm up her 7 pitches. OK sure, fine. I'm catching everything, not a big deal. ~15 mins go by. And me being the sarcastic SOB that i am, I mumble to myself "when is a pitch not going to be a fast ball down the middle". WELL, her mom is standing right behind me, hears my utterance, and takes off at a dead run to report my comment to the 14u coach. Needless to say, DD did not make that team and I'm sure as heck glad she didn't. Things tend to happen for a reason.

    FAST forward a few years. My DD is pitching in college and the pitcher that I was catching that day no longer pitches.
  15. Bob45429

    Bob45429 New Member

    I really appreciate telling me about your experiences.

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