You've just gone through High School tryouts where one of three things occurred:

  1. You made Varsity
  2. You didn't make Varsity, but were offered a spot on the JV or Freshman team
  3. You were cut

Here's a little advice on how to handle these three possible outcomes.

high school softball tryouts

If you didn't care about it, it wouldn't hurt.

You Made Varsity

Congratulations!  Now forget about it and get to work.  It's time to earn your spot and prove the coaches right.  They selected you because they thought you could contribute to the team in some way.  If it's your first year on Varsity, it's probably a good idea to ask them what their expectations are for you.  Do they see you as a key player or starter in a certain position?  Or do they see you as a role player or sub?  Ask what they feel are your strengths and weaknesses and then get busy getting better.  The make-up of the team changes every year.  For returning players the coaches may see you playing a different position or role this year, so ask if you're not sure.

Be humble and grateful.  Be empathetic towards the girls who did not make Varsity.  Nobody likes a narcissist.  And remember that your hard work has just begun.  You need to strive to be the best you can be, whether you're a returning player or not.  You are now competing with your teammates for playing time, especially if your team has a large roster.  However, while competing you also need to be genuinely supportive of your teammates.  This competition will help both of you be your best, which will help the team be its best.  Putting the team first is an extremely admirable quality in the eyes of your coaches.

Welcome to the JV or Freshman Team

Okay, maybe you had your sights set on the Varsity team, but it didn't happen this year.  Now it's time to accept where you're at and make the most of it.  As previously suggested you need to know where you stand on the team and what you need to do to improve.  Although you didn't make Varsity, I would encourage you to meet with the Varsity coaches and ask them what their expectations are for you, while doing the same with your current coaches.  Ensure all coaches are on the same page, so that you'll have the opportunity to make progress towards the Varsity coach's goals.

high school softball tryouts

Control the 3 things you can: Attitude, Effort & Focus.  Maybe you worked hard to improve your skills in the off-season and are really disappointed in your current status.  That's normal.  If you didn't care about it, it wouldn't hurt.  That's the risk you took to achieve your goal of making the Varsity team.  You cannot control the number of girls who tried out, their talent levels or experience or the coaches judgment.

If you're a junior you've got one more year to achieve your goal.  You need to decide whether to commit to that goal and to accept the outcome of next year's tryouts or to hang up your cleats.  It's not an easy decision, but it's one that you'll have to make in numerous situations for the rest of your life.  Many High School programs cut any juniors who do not make Varsity.  I would most definitely talk with the Varsity coaches about your prospects of making the team as a senior and in what role they might see you in.  If they are encouraging you to stick with it, then get to work getting better.

Even if you don't make the cut next year, know that 100% equals no regrets.

You Got Cut

If you're a senior, then this stage of your Softball Journey has come to an end.  Accept it an move on.  Find another passion to pursue.  Regardless of how hard you worked to achieve your goal, it didn't work out.  And it won't be the last time you have to face adversity.  You'll apply for jobs only to be thanked for your interest in the company.  You'll be passed over for promotions or start a business that fails.  You'll have personal relationships that fail.  That's life.  All the matters is how you choose to respond to these situations.  You can either choose to be the victim or figure out how to be the victor next time.

For everybody else you have to decide whether to allow your Softball Journey to end or to commit again to your goals.  It's definitely a good idea to talk with the coaches to see what your odds might be next year.  Ask them to be honest and be prepared for things you might not want to hear.  If you know you gave it your all not just during tryouts, but by preparing in the off-season and the coaches seemed skeptical of your chances next year, then you might want to think about another sport, hobby or activity. 

If you think that you could have done much more to get ready for tryouts, really believe you can improve enough over the next year and have the true desire to put in the work to get better, then it's time to get busy doing just that.  Even if you don't make the cut next year, know that 100% equals no regrets.  Otherwise years down the road you'll always wonder if you would have made it.  Don't let the fear of failure stop you from trying.  That can turn into a lifelong habit, which will prevent you from chasing your dreams and living a life worth living.

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