Who's In First League Management

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Advice For Youth Trying to Make a Team

Until a certain age, for most it is probably 6th or 7th grade, kids make any team they register for. Generally the parents create the teams to ensure parity or that siblings are on the same team, but for the most part there are no cuts to kids until they reach middle school.

So, tryouts can be a stressful time for many youth. They may not think they can make the team and consequently won’t try out. What if John Elway was too timid to try out for his middle school football team?

Below are some tips to help kids to be confident during their first tryouts. Pass the information along to anyone you know who is trying out for a team for the first time. The advice can also be used for adults interviewing for jobs, out on a first date or playing with a new recreational team.

1) Make a good first impression. The old adage “You never have a second chance to make a first impression” holds very true to trying out for a team. If the coach or manager sees you goofing off or not trying your hardest, that impression will stick with them for the rest of the season. The first practice is always a good time to go the extra mile and stay a little later, helping the coach clean up, or round up stray balls. If the coach sees your intangibles on the first day, then he will remember that when it comes time to selecting his team.

2) Come to practice prepared. Make sure you have the right equipment and the right apparel on when you get to practice, or at least before practice begins. Coaches will not like it if you arrive at the gym right as practice is set to begin and you still have on your jeans. Likewise, if you are trying out for a baseball or softball team, make sure you have a glove, or if you don’t own one, that you have arranged for the use of one by another teammate.

3) Give it your all. Don’t slack. Coaches can spot slackers a million miles away. Give it your all every practice, even if you are tired. Stay late or arrive early and talk to the coach about what you can do to be the best player you can be.

4) Be a team player. Unfortunately not everyone can start for every team. In basketball, only 5 people can play at a time. If you are not one of the five on the floor at a particular time, help out your teammates by cheering them on or giving them pointers. Make sure that they have a seat to sit on if they come out of the game. In practice, do the extra things that will benefit the team, even if it isn’t using your skill on the court.

5) Listen to your coaches. When your coach speaks, listen. If they are talking, don’t dribble a basketball or play toss with a baseball. Make sure you are paying attention to them at all times. And if they ask you to do something, do it. They have good reasons, and while it might not be apparent at the time, your hard work will pay off either with more playing time, or getting the opportunity to take the last shot.

6) Have Fun. This is the most important aspect. In whatever you do, make sure you have fun doing it. It is fun to win, but the camaraderie you build with teammates can last a lifetime. I would argue that everyone who reads this blog will not ever be paid to play a professional sport, so when it all comes down to it, you are playing to have fun, so always keep that in mind.

Hopefully these tips will give you a leg up on the competition and help you make the team. Remember, a positive attitude is the most important skill you can have.

If you have any other advice for youth trying out for a team, tell us in the comments section.

Keep sporting!

- Who’s In First

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