Team tryouts are definitely stressful for kids, but they can be even more stressful for coaches because they need to make hard decisions that could actually hurt some kids' feelings and upset their parents. This is why it is pretty hard for coaches to make objective decisions sometimes. However, no matter how hard it may be, it is always vital to only keep what really matters in mind.
So, what should coaches base their decisions on, regarding team tryouts? Well, here are the most important things you need to focus on when it comes to judging potential team additions:
1. Athletic skills should never be overlooked
There are people who would try to make you feel bad for allowing something like athletic skill play an important role in your team tryouts decisions. However, you need to understand that judging potential team members by their athleticism is not shallow but smart.
After all, you need team members you can depend on to win a game. Strength, endurance, reflexes and quickness are definitely the main aspects you should focus on. Height is also important, but only if it really makes a difference, such as in volleyball or basketball.
2. Skill is an important element of team tryouts
Besides physical capability, you also need to ensure that any potential team members are skilled enough to handle being on the team. What does this mean? It means that they should be able to adapt to any given situation. For instance, it's better to go with players that show they are capable of playing different positions during their team tryouts. This way, if certain players get sick or can't make it to the game, then you'll have someone capable who can replace them.
3. The ability and willingness to follow instructions
If players are not able to properly follow instructions, then you won't be able to rely on them. Plus, this means that other players' performance might be affected by all the negativity. As a coach, you most likely know that not all coaches have the same training methods. So, this means that players have to show that they are willing to try out different exercises and comply with the rules put in place.
4. Will can make or break a team
Let's face it: no matter how good certain players are at a sport, they'll never win if they don't have the will to do so. A good athlete is someone that is not only strong from a physical point of view but from a mental perspective as well. Without will, you don't have any guarantee that the players you choose will actually commit to the team.
Plus, don't forget that capable athletes who show signs of powerful will can actually influence and motivate their teammates. Not only will this solve any morale issues but it will also strengthen the bond between team members. This way, you won't only be coaching a young athlete team but you'll also be coaching a winning team.