Tryout Season

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by InSider, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. InSider

    InSider New Member

    As you can see by the "Team Needing Players" section, it is now officially tryout season. If I may, I would like to offer a few bits of advice.

    1. Research the teams you are interested in. The schedule they play; do they get into the tournaments you want? The way they are coached; did you watch them play at all? If your kid is interested in playing in college, do the teams you're interested in have a record of helping get their players recruited? Have you spoken to any of the parents who have children currently playing for that coach? I would take the opinion of former player's parents with a grain of salt since their opinion is formed largely upon why they left the team.

    2. Yes, daddy ball is real. However, I would offer up that it is far less common than we are led to believe. Again, it's all about perception. Many parents don't see the reality of their child's abilities or attitude or behavior.

    3. If a coach or an organization leader has to continually tell you how much they know or how much better they are than so and so, well, they probably aren't. There is something to be said for quiet confidence. This applies to players as well as coaches.

    4. Ask lots of questions about fees and what, exactly, they are used for. If you get vague answers, such as "you get uniforms, fall/winter/spring tournaments, some of which are showcases, and we have our own facility", I would ask for specifics. Especially if they're asking you for $1000+ in fees. The more money you put into this, the more PO'd you will be when things aren't what you thought.

    5. Watch the coach. Are they a yeller? Are they too passive? Do they control everything or have they surrounded themselves with good assistants who know the game? Most importantly, does their style of coaching line up with your child's style of learning?

    6. Listen carefully to the coach's words. If they tell you your daughter will be the #1 pitcher and #4 batter on their team, RUN! I don't care how good you THINK your child is, this is a ploy to get you on the team. If the coach is any good, the players will earn their spots and their playing time. If he says "We play in the top showcases in the state", then you need to ask which ones have they played in. If they say "trust me", well, don't. Again, if they feel the need to put down any other teams, coaches, or organizations to make themselves look more attractive to you, then that should speak volumes to their character.

    7. Take your child to tryouts for teams that you're not sure they could make. Believe me when I tell you that, while there are parents with "daddy goggles", there are also parents who don't realize how good their child really is. Many are the times I have seen parents of outstanding players understate their kid's talent.

    8. The level of play is largely dictated by the organization you are playing for. Like it or not, established top-end organizations will attract the best players, more often than not. If you want to be truly competitive, those are the teams you want to play for. Start up teams are traditionally not very strong. This is not always the case, and when it's not, it's because you have coaches that have come from top organizations to start a team.

    9. DO NOT tell the coach how great your kid is. DO NOT inflate your kid's stats and numbers. DO NOT involve yourself in your child's tryout. Let them do their thing and let their play speak for itself. A good coach will see right through your bragging as soon as they watch your child tryout.


    Please, if anyone has more advice, please share.
  2. coachtomv

    coachtomv Active Member

    Great post. I can relate to many of the points, observations, both as a parent and a coach and parent/coach, lol.
  3. CoachTEA

    CoachTEA Member

    I love #9 - I like when I have to ask a player who their parent is because this means the parent is sitting back and staying out of the way.
  4. Softballfarm

    Softballfarm Member

    Nice post...

    I don't want to sound flippant but I would highly recommend you find out what position the coach's daughter plays.
  5. crystlemc

    crystlemc Moderator

    I kinda think this goes along with watching the team play. If it's obvious that the coach favors his daughter, that might be the case. However, many very good coaches do not favor their daughters. When my DH was still coaching, him being the coach cost us a few good pitchers because they thought he would favor our daughter. The fact of the matter was, she would rather play right field, he would rather she played right field, she is a VERY good outfielder, and they both saw her as a #2 or #3 pitcher. The only reason she ever ended up being our #1 was because she was consistent and our other pitcher ended up with some injuries and prior commitments. So the whole team paid for people assuming he would play daddy ball.

    So, to sum up, I totally agree with researching the team. Not all dads are daddy ball coaches.
  6. ValleyStorm

    ValleyStorm Member

    Excellent advice !!! Great post.
  7. yossarian

    yossarian Member

    This post should be read by anyone making the jump from rec to travel. Nicely done!
  8. FastBat

    FastBat Well-Known Member

    Great post and perfect timing! I will admit, this is my least favorite time of the year, but a necessary evil.

    That's not a good sign, at all. If coach is promising your player something, they are promising other player's things too, it leads to players/parents being very disappointed.

    Last spring, I asked my t-ball playing dd, "What position do you want to play?" She replied, "the grass!" One of my proudest parenting moments!
  9. Dinger

    Dinger New Member

    Excellent advice!
  10. heater

    heater Member

    The struggle we are having is that my DD wants to tryout / play for an elite team, but they all have a very rigorous fall schedule that she would have to give up high school volleyball. She also plays basketball, which does not seem to be as big of an issue. Can anyone suggest an organization in central / Swest Ohio that plays a strong showcase 16u schedule during the summer, but does not demand that you play the fall schedule? I know it is coming time for her to make difficult choices, but she is not ready for that just yet. Thanks for any advice you may have.
  11. Davemy

    Davemy Active Member

    Its more about the Coach than the Organization. This is where the Homework on your part comes in to get more info on the Head Coach and what their plans are for next year. Is she 14U,16U? What type of schedule did she have this year? Is she a Pitcher or Catcher? Showcase's mean nothing if she isn't willing to put the work in and go to Camps this winter and contact College Coaches for next summer.
  12. mike_dyer

    mike_dyer Member


    Tryouts start around August 1st of 2016 and end around July 31st of 2017.

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