The 4.5 Tips for Tryout Season – Baseball Notes

The 4.5 Tips for Tryout Season

It’s tryout season, and with the first tip I want to share comes directly from this community.

A couple of weeks ago I asked the question “Imagine it’s July of 2019…what do you want your son’s game and his experience to have looked like this past year?”

And the answer is tip number 1:

1.  Make sure you are putting your child’s INDIVIDUAL development above all.

Don’t just go out for a team because you think they’re going to win a ton or if the coach is a little shaky or if your kid might be buried in the OF or at the bottom of the lineup.

The overwhelming response from parents was that they wanted their kid to have grown as a player as much as possible (and enjoy themselves while doing it).

Let me tell you, even on GREAT teams the kids who are hitting 8th and 9th (or 11th and 12th in many cases) are STILL quick to identify with “being the worst”, so be careful here.

Now, iron sharpens iron and playing with good players sort of ups the ante and can inspire a player to new heights….

…but you need to be CRYSTAL CLEAR on what you’re wanting – and *not* wanting – this upcoming season and try out for the according teams.

2.  Make sure your kid knows what his/her objective is at tryouts

This one is big for the younger ages.

It’s amazing to see how many players seem content with simply fielding their ground ball or catching their fly ball, and throwing it to the base just like they normally do.

And when I say normal, I mean at about 80%!!

My son did this at his first tryout, they hit grounders to short and he needed to throw it to first…

…and he just sort of lobbed it!!!

The ball bounced short of first and just kind of trickled in….

…and I was about to flip out, haha!

“Throw it!!!!!!”

Well I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything and he threw all of his chances the same way (and didn’t get selected).

Your kid must realize he is SHOWCASING what he can do: how hard he can throw, how hard he can hit and how fast he can run.

Do not let him/her go in there unaware that he needs to bring 150% to all of his throws and everything he does.

3.  Don’t mess around

I’ve crossed off several kids from my list who would have had a real chance of making the team because of how much they goofed off.

There is A LOT of waiting around during a tryout format and some lack of concentration is understandable….

…but when kids are running around, playing keep away with a hat, or my biggest pet peeve – not being READY FOR YOUR TURN (“Hey #19…Aiden….hey you’re up!!!”)– they are really  hurting their chances.

4.  Use your words

Ok here’s my favorite tip.  We can psych ourselves out and say things like:

“I’m not good at tryouts”

“I hope I don’t screw up”

“I hope this doesn’t go poorly”.

And it’s natural (and helpful) to have some juice/nerves flowing but you have to take control of your words/thoughts:

“I love tryouts”

“I kill it in tryouts”

“This is so fun, I love this”.

Simply saying those words will signal the body differently and you will be FAR more likely to live into those words.

I’m telling you, do this one!

and finally:

4.5.  Thank the coach

I almost didn’t put this one, but I’m gonna share it and let you do with it what you will 🙂

About 10 years ago I was putting on a tryout for a 10u team.

And FYI, every roster I’ve ever been a part of comes down to the same thing –

There’s 1 or 2 roster spots left to fill and about 5-6 kids in contention to fill it and you have almost no clue on how to decide between them.

One kid can hit but can’t throw, another kid can throw and run but doesn’t hit….that type of thing.

And this year was no different.

Well I was the catcher for these kids during the pitching station and one kid came up to me afterward and said “Thanks coach” and shook my hand.

Now, while I thought this was a nice thing I also recognized that this kid was probably buttering me up a little!

But here’s the key…it worked!

The “he seems like a really nice kid” ended up being one of the deciding factors and I picked him!

Funny note, this kid never lived up to how well he did during tryouts and while being a nice kid – I wished I had that pick back.

And I always remembered – The Handshake got me!

But what I’m trying to say, is that good manners, a handshake, a thank you can be a factor when things are close.

Feels like brown nosing – and kinda is(!) – but it can be effective when done right!

Wrong way to do it: Going too far out of the way or over the top.  If the coaches are in deep RF, just let them be.

And it’s gotta be the kid, parents coming up to schmooze doesn’t work.

But if the coach is close by and you can thank him for something, go ahead and give it a try.

P.S.  Oh and one final tip here that is probably most important….

Pray for some guidance.

This works whether you’re a believer, non believer, whoever.

When you get quiet and as for guidance or to be guided down the correct path for your kid-

I promise you, it really helps.

Good luck during tryouts this year, let me know how it goes!!!


Clint McGill

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