I am writing this not in response to a specific player or incident, but more of a general "shout out" to all of you going through the tryout process right now. Think of it as a DO's and DONT's list.
Why Didn't Your Son Make My Team (not related to ability):
- He doesn't hustle. Not hustling during a workout or tryout is a big No-No. Lack of hustle = LAZY BALL PLAYER
- He doesn't carry his own equipment. Even at the younger ages, boys who carry their equipment care about their equipment. Coaches like that.
- He doesn't pay attention during instruction. During my workouts and tryouts I like to give a lot of instruction. If boys are not paying attention, no matter how talented... bad news.
- Bad Attitude. Self explanatory.
- YOU try to coach him during the tryout. As Mike Matheny says, parents should be "a silent source of encouragement". Resist the urge to talk and enjoy watching your son play.
- He is dressed like a slob. Its not important to be dressed like a major-leaguer, but again this shows a coach that you at least care for the game you play.
- I saw you criticize his performance while you where leaving. No comment needed here.
- Your son doesn't practice and work at his skills. Trust me, its obvious.
- I or another person I know and trust has seen you yell from the stands during games. Baseball is a very intimate sport. Most of us coaches watch MANY baseball games a year.
Why Did Your Son Make My Team:
- He busted his hump.
- He didn't let mistakes stop him.
- He took direction well.
- You were encouraging on your way off the field (coaches watch - trust me).
- He said "thank you" to the coaches before leaving.
- He shows the potential to learn and become a great young man and a good ball player.
I think it is important to understand that this is not an all-inclusive list. It likely applies to teams that value long term development over short term victories; teams that use losses and mistakes to learn and become better; teams that know how to win with class.
PARENTS: Talk to the coaches and/or directors. Walk away if they reference their record or number of championships in the first 3-4 minutes of the conversation. Challenge them to explain their coaching philosophy. Talk to current and former (if available) families and validate the information. If they cant or will not answer these questions, or if they act as if they shouldn't be asked these questions...RUN.
I hope you enjoyed....