6 Keys to a Successful Tryout

tryout succeed players coach athlete athletes
tryout succeed players coach athlete athletes

Is your softball player getting ready for team tryouts? Whether this is their first tryout or they’re a veteran player, tryouts are a lot of pressure and stress.

Help improve your player’s chances for making the team with these 6 keys to a successful tryout.

It’s normal to be nervous for things like tryouts and showcases. But nerves don’t have to be harmful if you can turn those feelings of anxiety into action. As many of you in the warmer states get ready for softball tryouts the following 6 tips are meant to help your players do everything in their power to make the team!

So, before tryouts start, make sure your players are in shape, that they’ve put in the work, and then discuss the following 6 keys with them to help them with their mental preparation:

  1. Do Whatever It Takes – Know that your tryout starts the moment you step on the field. That means be willing to go play outfield, or 3rd base, or bunt, or catch down in the bullpen or whatever you’re asked to do – do it! And do it like its the most important skill in the world, and that by doing so, you’re making your team better! Coaches are not only rating your ability but they’re also rating your willingness. Remember there’s nothing a coach loves more than a player with a great attitude.
  2. Out Hustle Everyone – It doesn’t take skill or size or speed or strength to hustle, so out hustle everyone!!! Run everywhere you’re going instead of walk, and show the coach just how badly you want to make the team by how much you hustle during tryouts.
  3. Make Sure You’re Prepared – This means practice ahead of time. Put in the extra time and the extra work BEFORE you get to tryouts. The more prepared you are the confident you’ll be and the more confident you are the better you’ll play. Don’t depend on other people to practice with you, go out and pitch to a wall, jog around your neighborhood, or hit at the local field. The sooner you can put in the work the more prepared and confident you’ll be!
  4. Be a Team Player – Remember that you’re trying out for a team, not for an individual sport, so be a team player during tryouts. Support the other players trying out, encourage players that are struggling and acknowledge others that make good plays. Just because somebody makes a good play doesn’t mean you can’t also make one – there’s enough good plays to go around, they aren’t limited to only a couple per tryouts. Imagine if everyone was verbally or vocally supportive of each other, how much better tryouts would be. Through this, you’re already taking a critical step in becoming a “team” that’s supportive of each other. Coaches value verbal skills. Be supportive and encouraging of the other players trying out.
  5. Don’t Assume You’ll Make the Team – Don’t stop competing. Because you might be a returning player doesn’t mean that you can take it easy at tryouts. While you might know you’re going to make the team, can you work harder to start at your position, or be the leader on your team? Returning players can set the bar for how hard the new players need to work in order to be a part of this team. If you’re one of the top players on your team, then by working hard you make those around you better and ultimately, that makes your team better!
  6. Believe You Belong – Always, always, always believe that you belong!! No matter what level of team you’re trying out for, if you’ve put in the work ahead of time always believe that you deserve to tryout and that you belong there!

For more help preparing your players for their upcoming tryouts, check out the following training aids:

  • Zip Balls (multi-use for a number of different positions):
    • For Pitchers: Improve the movement on your pitches
    • For Hitters: Helps with focus on hitting and bunting
    • For Fielding and Throwing: Helps with hand/eye coordination, helps improve overall fielding and throwing skills
    • For Catchers: Helps with hand/eye coordination and blocking the ball
  • Hitting Disks: Helps with power and learning to hit more line drives and more balls up the middle
  • Power Pod (multi-use for a number of different positions):
    • For Pitchers: Helps with getting more drive and push from the legs
    • For Hitters: Helps with driving the lower body forward creating more power
    • For Throwing: Helps throwers at all positions get more speed and strength on their throws
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