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5 Keys to Making Tryouts a Success

player team tryouts evaluate pick skill abilities 5 keys success

Whether you’re holding tryouts in the next few days or the next few weeks, many of you use tryouts to find those last few roster spots that can really end up playing a big part in your team’s success. There are some important things you want to do to make sure you pick the best players, both from a physical and mental standpoint.

Find out the 5 Keys that should apply to every Tryout situation.

Softball is a tough sport when it comes to selecting the best players. It’s not like swimming or track where the first ones to the finish line win. Those sports are objective since it’s easy to see who the best is, but softball is different. Softball is subjective which means it’s a personal opinion when it comes to skill. Sure, everyone might be able to see that Sue is the fastest pitcher out here today but the fact that she struggles working with the catchers, doesn’t take coaching well and has a lazy work ethic might be tougher to find, and more importantly, tougher to rate when it comes to tryouts.

So what things can we do in softball to help discover all these hidden qualities, both good and bad, before we pick those players? Is there any way possible to compare players to each other in regards to all the different skills they have? And what things should we watch out for whenever we hold tryouts?

Let’s look at a list of 5 Things You Should Always Consider Whenever You Hold Tryouts:

1. Do Some Individual Teaching to See How Coachable They Are:

  • You don’t want to pick a good player only to find out later that they are uncoachable.
  • Eliminate as many surprises as you can by exposing as much as possible during tryouts.

2. Make it a Tryout and Not Just Another Practice:

  • Do all the skills you need to see
  • Be sure to expose both Physical and Emotional/Mental Skills
  • Create some frustrating situations to see how players respond
  • Do things at different speeds to see who can adjust

3. If Using an Evaluation Form:

  • Only list what you can use
  • Make sure you allow for a variety of skill levels
  • Have more than one person evaluating
  • Keep your evaluations in case you are challenged
  • Evaluate both the mental/emotional as well as the physical

4. SLOW Down the Pace – It’s Not a Race

  • You don’t need to see who can go through tryouts the fastest, you want to find who can play softball the best.
  • Softball games can take time and sometimes it’s the time in between plays that cause a player to struggle – find that out before you pick them!

5. Be Honest and Kind

  • Nobody likes to hear they aren’t good enough
  • It’s tough to tell someone they weren’t good enough but it’s harder to hear it.

For a complete eClinic on holding tryouts including sample tryout schedules, evaluation methods and sheets, plus Do’s and Don’ts, check out:

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