Tryout Experience

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by Anonymous, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

    My daughter finished her first year of select softball this summer. We decided we would not return to the same organization and began attending tryouts near our home. We attended multiple tryouts for about 5 teams. She did receive an offer from the first team she tried out for.
    My disappointment is in the feedback or lack thereof, received from the other 4 teams. If parents and their daughters can invest a 1/2 day of their time for an organization's tryout, it would be common courtesy to at least receive an email/text stating, "thanks for trying out but your skill set doesn't match our current needs" or something, instead of nothing. Again, we are somewhat new to the whole tryout process but this is a big deal to 12 and 13 year old athletes who love the game and believe what the coaches are telling them (We will contact you within 2 days). Coaches, if you do not call back to let them know yes or no, then just tell them in the tryout, "if your skill set matches our needs, we will contact you within 2 days. If not, continue to work hard and we hope to see you at next year's tryouts and best wishes in finding a right fit".
    Sorry, rant over...
  2. Stedman00

    Stedman00 Active Member

    coaches should follow their word. If they say they will contact whichever way, then they should. BUT DO NOT BE SURPRISED WHEN THEY DON'T!!! File that away for when you have to deal with that coach again. Karma has a way of paying people back. And yes, i've been that parent that that gets introduced to coach X from a tryout several years ago, that has told said coach " hey, still waiting for that phone call you promised". I have zero patience or tolerance for liars.

    For the record, if the coach announces at the tryout, that they will not be touch unless DD is a fit, and then don't contact you, then you have your answer.
  3. Long Baller

    Long Baller Active Member

    Some coaches are just goof balls, for lack of a much stronger term that I would rather use ;) I took my DD to a private tryout one time, where she actually participated in a practice with the team. Afterward, coach told me that he'd get with me the next day and go over some specifics. After I got home, I got back on this site's tryout section and saw that he immediately TTT'ed his "still looking for one more" post right after he talked to me; he had to have done it from his phone in the parking lot of the tryout. :mad: Needless to say, he never called or texted like he had promised. To this day, whenever anyone asks me what tryouts to go to, I always say "Don't ever play for coach Goof Ball, or any other team in his organization".
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

    I realize my daughter needs improvement in some areas but her strengths definitely outweigh those areas. When you show up to a tryout at this age and there are 20-30 girls competing for just a few spots, it tends to make it even more nerve wrecking for these girls. Sometimes, it seems like the team is already full judging by how many girls are there in that team's uniform. I literally was at one try out where the existing team's girls were deep in center field just chatting it up and it was obvious they had nothing to prove, while the other part of their team was on the sidelines jokingly cheering on the girls who were trying out. I have used some of our experience as a lesson to my daughter on how to treat others.
  5. Freeze Mizer

    Freeze Mizer Member

    This is so sad to hear. I’ve always recommended that our coaches call each tryout. No texts, no emails. If folks can take the time to come spend a few hours with us, then we owe them the courtesy of a phone call.
    I can tell you that we’ve had more than a few girls return the following year or two years later after getting turned down. Only this time, they’ve blossomed into a fine player.
    Duke3dh, OhPhat, Long Baller and 2 others like this.
  6. finfan365

    finfan365 Active Member

    I think we can look back through the posts around this time every year and see frustrated parents going through this process for the first time, it will probably always be an issue.

    My daughter has been to a couple of tryouts this year. Her goal was to make an A level team that actively works in the fall and throughout the winter. Unfortunately she did not get picked up but I'll say the communication seems to have improved from when she went through the tryout process about 4 years ago. All coaches at least texted or emailed to let us, or her directly, know they would not be offering a spot.

    I would guess it largely depend on experience by the coach or organization, as to the communication between tryout and team.
    daboss likes this.
  7. Long Baller

    Long Baller Active Member

    I disagree with this. I shouldn't take "experience" to know that it is a professional courtesy to follow up a tryout by letting the girls/parents know what decision that you made. It stinks as a parent when their DD keeps asking excitedly "Did the (insert whatever team name here) call me back yet???? Are you sure??? Is your ringer turned on???"

    We've been to tryouts where the coach has said to the tryout group "Ok, thanks for coming....I don't have time to call everyone of you individually. If you don't hear from me by XXX date, then I have made another decision." I think that is garbage too...Might as well say "Hey, I don't owe you the same courtesy that I expect to receive from you".
    Freeze Mizer and IRdad09 like this.
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

    Agreed Long Baller. To be honest, I have contacted a few of them back only to get the "we are still deciding" response. Which I don't want to be labeled as one of "Those Parents" but I want to be able to let my daughter know the status of her tryout and provide feedback for her development. If it's a NO, then just tell me so.
    Yes, my daughter is one of those kids, "did they call yet", "are you sure" then it goes to "I guess I'm just not good enough". Thankfully, she has a can do attitude and only lets it get her down for a minute and then goes to "I'll show them". We have tried out for one team 2 times this year, and one time last year. The Coach could tell she had worked hard over the past year and even commented on how far she had come, which I'm glad he did because that boosted her confidence a little that he had noticed. But again, no word from him.

    I bet if the roles were reversed, these coaches would be complaining about it as well. In my honest opinion, even though it would be time consuming, it makes the NO a little easier to swallow if the Coach were to take a little of his time to communicate. Let them know what they should work on. In my opinion, if a Coach were to do that, that would be the first organization I would try out for the following year if I were switching.
    Long Baller likes this.
  9. Long Baller

    Long Baller Active Member

    I agree...If the coach is honest up front, then I would be inclined to have my DD go back next year and try again. If they don't have time for us this year, then we don't have for them next year. Especially at younger ages, girls can really improve over the course of just a year. Last years dud could be this years stud (not trying to condescend, just used it because it rhymed :)). Coaches should want to see them back the next year to try out.

    DD went to a try out when she was the end, the coach broke them down into three groups. "Group A, head onto the field. Group B can hang out in the dugout or wait for a call later, you are on the bubble. Group C, go home...." That was one of those "Hmmmm, this is awkward" moments. :confused:
  10. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    This topic could be one of the top 10 debatable topics of all time in the forum.

    We're seeing responses from most every angle you can imagine and personally I enjoy reading the views from everyone. I believe all of us know what is right. I'd like to see more responses from coaches as to their reasons for not contacting the families.

    Good or bad news, they should be contacting them if they have a valid number to call or text. Personally; the only time I didn't call is if the information was incorrect on the sign-in sheet and/or personal information sheet they filled out when they attended a tryout. I admit I am guilty of instructing them to contact me after an assigned date. My comments would be "If you haven't heard from me by bla bla bla, call, email, or text me at bla bla bla. I threw it back into their laps, especially when there was a LARGE turnout.

    Some players and parents were offered opportunities the same day. Others were contacted after after all tryout dates were exhausted. For those players that were extremely interested in joining our organization, I recommended they attend more than one tryout with us. For your own interest, It could be a deal maker. If a player and family were on the bubble, their persistence would be noted. Even if you need to miss a tryout after attending more than one, call the coach and tell them. They'll notice.

    FYI, I always made our players from previous season go thru the tryout. I felt it important to them to have the experience. It always amazed me how a few would really step their game up and play at a higher level after a season of being lethargic at their position. It's like a lie detector test. They quickly tell on themselves and I normally would point out to them privately we expected that same intensity all the next year or we may need to re-evaluate things. Those players or families that were totally a bust the season before were told before tryouts to not bother to return. They simply were not a good fit for our program. Some acted surprised then upset, others were immediately offended, but all probably knew it was coming. A few defensively would say they weren't coming back anyway which should make both sides feel better it was finally over. lol.

    How the aftermath of a tryout is handled is a very good indicator of how the upcoming season will probably be handled. Coaches need to be more professional and business-like to win family's trust. Most of the coaches you will deal with are volunteers without this experience in management. As potential players/families of interest, evaluate this aspect of the club before joining. Formulate your opinion before signing. Coaches; step your management skills up just as you expect players to do the same for you.
  11. IRdad09

    IRdad09 Active Member

    There can be multiple angles to look at here.
    1) First and foremost. If a coach or someone within the organization says they will contact with X time then it should happen. This in a lot of cases if your first interaction with the coach or organization. If they cannot keep their word, then you probably should start to question is this someone we want to play for. Could they be busy yes, could they have had a large turn out to get back to yes, at the end of the day they if they put of time frame in place it is on the coach to stick to this and not keep people hanging.

    2) From a coaches perspective. I ran a 10u team the last 2yrs and this year I'm on the sidelines as my daughter has moved into a bigger and better organization. When I ran tryouts 2 groups of kids were easy. The ones that you could were good and could play I offered immediately. I didn't necessarily expect an answer on the spot, but I wanted the family and player to know my interest. I would follow up accordingly from there. The kids that couldn't play were also easy. If they couldn't do basic softball drills or have basic knowledge of the game I thanked them for coming out and encouraged them to work hard and I hoped to see them back the following year. I actually had a girl on my team that fell under this scenario this past summer and she was a joy to have and played hard. In my opinion it is the 3rd group that was the hardest. These were the girls that you could see potential in. They may have had an off try-out, maybe they were nervous, whatever. (This is where the importance of coming to multiple tryouts comes into play). I personally never gave a hard call back time. Only because I didn't know. I would always hoping someone better would show up to the next tryout or contact me for a private work out. I know the parents more so than the kids at the age i'm involved in are looking for an answer, but the truth is sometimes coaches don't have one. It is still no excuse not to adhere their word, but this could be what they are going through.

    3) For the tryouts we attended this year for some of the larger organizations in Ohio I didn't personally run into this given scenario. 2 of the organization had a policy that either the manager or member of his/her coaching staff talk to every individual and family before they leave. Although very time consuming everyone appreciated this. Outside of this text messaging seemed to be the norm. I am still in contact with a few managers of team's we didn't choose because of this. I was open and transparent in our decision making as were they. That meant a lot to me and we will continue to stay in touch.

    4) Also I had all my girls from the prior year tryout. Although I knew who would be coming back I still wanted them to work as hard as everyone else. This wasn't a scare tactic or a threat I just wanted all the other girls that showed up to tryouts to have an enjoyable experience and feel welcomed. This made the process run much smoother and put the "new" girls at ease and allowed them to have a better tryout.
    daboss likes this.
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

    Thank you so much to those of you that shared your opinions and feedback. Again, we are still somewhat new to the whole travel ball experience. It is nice to know that others share my opinion on some of these things. At the end of the day, courtesy goes a long way. Hope everyone has a great season!
    daboss, Long Baller and finfan365 like this.
  13. Passion4theGame

    Passion4theGame Super Moderator Staff Member

    I feel a call back is important for all athletes. Every single girl that tried out for our team this season got a call back even if it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Some of those calls are hard because the players are good and can be a value to the team but you may already have those spots filled. I had more than 1 of those calls this season. Very tough calls to make. I personally like speaking with the athlete first then the parents if necessary. Depending on age of course.

    Best advice would be to pick out 3 teams to tryout for next season and stick to it. ONLY tryout for those 3 teams and 24hrs is long enough to make a decision based on information and talking to others. So many parents out there drag their athletes all over gods green earth to 10 different tryouts to show their kid off. Why? By the time you are done attending tryouts you missed out on the team you wanted on. Show up to your #1 choices first tryout. My opinion if someone doesn’t show up to the first tryout but comes to the second one then that team probably isn’t their first choice. As coaches we want athletes that want to learn more, work hard, and excited to be there.

    Our goal as coaches is to put the best product on the field and help that product grow and blossom. Someone said it best this is a business (but a fun one) and you have to make decisions on what you feel is best for your team. Sometimes we make decisions only to find out we made the wrong decision. But that’s part of life. We learn from those mistakes.

    Sorry I got off topic a bit. But yes ALL coaches should show the courtesy of calling the athletes and telling them yes, no, come back for a second look. It just respect. These girls come out and give us 2-4hrs of their time and showcase their skills so we should give them 2 mins of our time for a phone call.
    finfan365 and IRdad09 like this.
  14. Passion4theGame

    Passion4theGame Super Moderator Staff Member

    One more thing, when coaches make that effort to call the Athletes and give them answers then if something happens and that coach needs a sub down the line that Athlete is probably more likely to sub w that team. Coaches try to Keep all the relationships good and healthy.
    daboss likes this.
  15. Run26

    Run26 Active Member

    Here's a rule you can go by 9 out of 10 times with regards to tryouts.

    If the coach wants your daughter you'll know it before you leave the tryout. He/she will pull you/her aside once the all inclusive speech has ended and they can snag you.
    You can also encourage your daughter to shake the coach's hand and thank them for the tryout. This will give you some insight as well. A quick "you're welcome" and you know your answer.

    Now I'm not saying this is always how it goes but it is 90% of the time.
  16. thestuff142

    thestuff142 Member

    Thought I would throw some thoughts into this mix because we took our daughter to a grand total of 5 teams tryouts...too many I know, but we already 100% knew that we would not be returning to current team no matter what..we wanted out, but we still went to the tryout because DD had not made peace with parental decision yet so we took her and we went to 1 tryout each for 4 other teams as well. Poorly planned on our part, but here are some observations.

    Disclaimer - We did not go to any "big time big named" tryouts.

    1. If you don't know how to run a tryout...then get someone to help you. It's very obvious very quickly that you do not know what you are doing and makes it a quick easy decision for parents. You will need more people to help run a tryout than you think. If the people you ask to help cannot catch a ball thrown by an 8 yr old...or bend over to pick it up off the ground, then find someone else.

    2. Starting early...when we show up 10-15 min before the tryout start time and you are already makes it look like we are late and makes the player a little time/if that ever happens to us again..we will just head back to the car and go home.

    3. Be organized...if you have pre tryout registration, you should have the list of players that did and have a tryout number ready for them. If some girls have numbers and some don't that tells me you are not really evalutaing everyone.

    4. Coaches not calling with offer or even no offer but giving feedback. Every player should get a call and feedback. If you are cutting an existing player from your team...HEAD COACH makes the call and is prepared to give un emotional feedback to the player. If you send your Asst Coach to do this you are....not a good person.

    5. Run multiple stations. 15 girls should not be shagging balls in outfield while a few hit. One of the keys to coaching youth athletes is NOT STANDING IN LINE waiting

    6. I agree that in MANY occassions you will know if your DD is wanted on the team. On 3 of the 5 tryouts we attended we were essentially told we had a spot before we left the field area..Coach found us and made it a point. On one of the others we got a call on the car ride home.

    7. Don't let a snazzy website fool you into thinking you are walking into a quality tryout/workout.

    8. Tell the girls on your team that they are expected to go all out at tryouts they attend. New people looking at team arent interested in watching your girls in your uniforms socializing and giggling when they miss a fly ball while their own DD is busting their tail.

    9. Here is something I wish I had considered much more before tryouts. Know which team is the team you want to go to...and make sure that you make it to their 1st couple of tryouts. Coaches are going to be offering kdis from those tryouts that snag up any players they can get locked in. If you wait to hit club you want when it is may be pretty full even if they still offer may give you pause if they took 2 SS and your DD is a SS.

    Just some random thoughts.
  17. IRdad09

    IRdad09 Active Member

    You make some very valid points here and now know better if you need to go through this process again.

    I will never claim to know everything, but if you show up to a tryout that is poorly run, the coaching staff has no experience in the game of baseball/softball and everyone is looking at each other on what to do. RUN, RUN as fast a you can because that would just be a precursor to how that entire year would go.

    Best of luck and hope you found a new home.
  18. Softball Mom 04

    Softball Mom 04 New Member

    Finfan, did ur daughter find a team? We are still currently looking for a pitcher
  19. finfan365

    finfan365 Active Member

    She did. Thank you.

    Good luck in your search. What is your team, and area? I will let her pitching instructor know in case she knows of pitchers looking.

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