Tryouts are anxious times for many softball players. While some of these bits of advice may seem like common sense, there's a couple that are often overlooked. #7 is one of them. Parents: After you drop off your daughter, find a place to quietly sit/stand and watch. Note - some schools have closed door tryouts, which means no parents or spectators are allowed. It's okay to chat with other parents, ask questions, etc. Just know that it is likely at some point that you're trying out too. My best advice for parents is to help your daughter to relax, give her encouragement, ensure she has everything she'll need (equipment & waters) and stay away from her until it's over.
I am confident that you and your daughter will find these tips to be very helpful. Best of luck to all of you!
Here are My Top 10 Tips for Players at Tryouts.
- Dress like a ball player. Wear softball pants; not shorts. Wear a shirt with your last name on it; not a nickname. If you don't have a shirt with your name, where something bright and/or as unique as possible. Please wear cleats; not tennis shoes.
- Smile. Act like there's no place in the world you would rather be.
- Talk. Talk with the coaches, other players, on the field and encourage those around you. Look everybody you talk with in the eyes and be a good listener as well.
- Hustle. Whether running onto the field, getting ready to hit or going through drills, hustle and give 100% (with a smile and while talking).
- Leader. Be up front and center. Don't stand in the back or be the last player in the group to go through your drills/stations.
- Take risks. Tryouts are not a place to play it safe. Dive, layout for balls, make off-balanced and hurried throws if you must, swing hard; no wimpy swings. Go big or go home!
- Be self-sufficient. Have everything you might need in your bag. Stay away from your parents. Don't talk with or even look at your parents during tryouts. They're being evaluated too and coaches do not want helicopter parents or parent coaches.
- Look good failing. When you make an error, strikeout or mental mistake, forget about it immediately. Do not have a pity party. Build a bridge and get over it. Laugh it off if you must. And no matter what, do not have a pity party. Some of the most impressive things I've ever seen have been the effort that some players made while failing.
- Ask Questions. If there is something you are unsure of or need clarification on, ask. Do not be quiet and/or shy.
- Have fun! Let there be no doubt to all those watching that you're having fun playing a game you love, regardless of the outcome! Breathe, relax and be confident. Know that you're giving it your best effort.