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Opinion on Tryouts

May 31, 2018
115
18
Allen TX
Some background:

We started a new 12u team 2 years ago. Last summer, 1 younger girl moved to a team within the org that was a better skill/age fit (we helped facilitate), and 1 girl left because of playing time (was not a great fit). We added 2 more girls during small tryouts and continued on.

During the last year, 9-10 of our girls have taken huge steps forward in skill and development, and as a team, we have moved up to play in the best most competitive tournaments we can find. Unfortunately, 2 girls are not getting better (mostly because of effort and attitude). They are getting less and less playing time on bracket day, but I always try to get them involved in each game. 1 girls has been with team since beginning, and 1 girl was a new add last summer.

The girls all get along really well, and the parents are great (no team issues).

**We will add 1-2 girls this summer no matter what as we move into 14u.**

My question(s) (want to understand how other teams handle):

1. Should we invite every back no questions asked and just add 2 new girls?
2. Should we invite some back and have others attend open tryouts?
3. Should we just simply move on from 1-2 girls since they are no longer a fit on the field?

Thanks.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,649
113
Really great (and timely) topic.

I'd like to think teams try to attract as many players to tryouts as they can and take the best girls. In close cases you take the girl you had last year (assuming she and her parents have a good attitude). And you do consider positions of course. Can't have a team of 12 first basemen.

Personally, I like the idea that all girls have to try out. Even coach's daughters. Even if you know you'll have them on the team, it's a good lesson for them. Make them take tryouts seriously and work hard. It also helps attract other girls and families as they see good players trying hard.

In reality, it's tough. Getting rid of the bottom few can be a tough conversation. But it's a quick one. I would hope coaches make the team better. If not, the better girls will leave.
 
Aug 25, 2019
419
43
As a parent, I had one of those daughters you mentioned. MY DD made a real good 12u (2nd yr) team based on her hitting at tryouts. At the end of the season, she was still a good hitter, but it was apparent her fielding skills weren't up to par, (plus she was slow). The coach talked to me at the end of the season and said that he wanted to move the team to be more competitive, and that my DD wouldn't really get much playing time (he never kicked her off the team, but I knew what he was saying). I wasn't blind to my DD's talents at the time, it hurt to hear it, but I knew the coach was right. So my DD found a team where she was a good fit, got better at fielding (still slow), and much better hitter.
So basically what I'm saying is have a talk with the parents, and let them know the situation, if they are honest about things, they watch the games and know how their DD's are playing, so they should understand what you are saying..........On a side note, my DD's 16u team played that old team this year, only 2 girls left from the team she was on, and DD's team beat them good, DD went 2-2, we both had smiles after that game.
 
Aug 19, 2015
980
63
Atlanta, GA
By 16U (at the A level at least), it's clear that when they say "all positions are earned," they really mean it (with the perpetual exception of coaches' daughters). Our current team cut 5 players at the end of last year. Girls who had been with the team for some time. I think that if it is handled professionally (as described by flash277 above), you can do that. I like the idea of giving them the option to stay, but clearly letting them know that playing time will be limited. In most cases, people will get the message and move on to new pastures.
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,141
63
The question is what do you want the team to be?

If you have open tryouts and you find 5 girls that are better than most of your players are you going to cut the 2 that haven't improved and the next 3 players or continue to try and make the other 3 better and just take 2?

I personally think it's a waste of time to have players you have had for a couple of years tryout. You should save the reps for the players you are trying to evaluate but that's just me.

I would have a talk with the parents of the 2 that aren't improving and let them know unless they get better they'll be sitting more. It gives them a chance to move if they want or it gives you 2 OK subs that you won't have parent issues.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,649
113
Y'all make a good point. Coaches have mostly all learned that instead of cutting someone you give them the "you won't play much" speech. Just pointing that out so that parents know what they're being told if they ever hear it. If you hear it, have that talk with your DD. Do you want to drop down a level and be a stud, or stay with your current team and play less. As long as the girls know the options, they can decide.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,649
113
The question is what do you want the team to be?

If you have open tryouts and you find 5 girls that are better than most of your players are you going to cut the 2 that haven't improved and the next 3 players or continue to try and make the other 3 better and just take 2?

I personally think it's a waste of time to have players you have had for a couple of years tryout. You should save the reps for the players you are trying to evaluate but that's just me.

I would have a talk with the parents of the 2 that aren't improving and let them know unless they get better they'll be sitting more. It gives them a chance to move if they want or it gives you 2 OK subs that you won't have parent issues.
Good point. I like our studs being at the tryout to show the visiting parents and girls the level of the team. But yes, they don't get nearly the reps. Just enough to show what it takes to be on this team and make a few people see the skill.
 
Jan 13, 2020
984
63
Some background:

We started a new 12u team 2 years ago. Last summer, 1 younger girl moved to a team within the org that was a better skill/age fit (we helped facilitate), and 1 girl left because of playing time (was not a great fit). We added 2 more girls during small tryouts and continued on.

During the last year, 9-10 of our girls have taken huge steps forward in skill and development, and as a team, we have moved up to play in the best most competitive tournaments we can find. Unfortunately, 2 girls are not getting better (mostly because of effort and attitude). They are getting less and less playing time on bracket day, but I always try to get them involved in each game. 1 girls has been with team since beginning, and 1 girl was a new add last summer.

The girls all get along really well, and the parents are great (no team issues).

**We will add 1-2 girls this summer no matter what as we move into 14u.**

My question(s) (want to understand how other teams handle):

1. Should we invite every back no questions asked and just add 2 new girls?
2. Should we invite some back and have others attend open tryouts?
3. Should we just simply move on from 1-2 girls since they are no longer a fit on the field?

Thanks.
Would it be more fair to the 1-2 who no longer fit on the field to let them know soon so they can hook up with another team.?
 

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
193
43
SE Wisconsin
A possible answer is in your description of why the 2 are not progressing (effort and attitude). Talk to the players and cite multiple concrete examples of poor effort and attitude. Then tell them that X amount of players have earned their way on the team for next year and why. And that they have until the season ends to improve both aspects of play to be invited back.

This puts the onus on the players to perform and frees you to hold tryouts if they don't.
 

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