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Advice For Tryouts

Posted on 05-01-2018

With most local leagues holding 2018 tryouts tomorrow, I wanted to share a few quick pieces of advice that I think will help your ballplayer get the most out of his evaluation.
1) It’s not really a tryout!  Nobody gets cut based on their performance tomorrow so I think  “Evaluation” is a much more apt phrase for what tomorrow is.  Lots of players will be nervous, and one of the main causes of this nervousness is the implied pressure that the word “tryout” carries.
2) Almost everybody is “rusty.”  Another source of anxiety can come from the fact that the vast majority of players hitting the field tomorrow have played little or no baseball since at least the Summer, and possibly even since last Little League season.  We have a very long preseason here so let’s remind our ballplayer that nobody expects them to be in “Opening Day” shape and to be realistic about expectations for their first time catching a flyball or swinging a bat in many months.
3) Hustle and attitude matters!  Coaches aren’t simply looking at raw skills or performance tomorrow because they are also aware of #2 – most players haven’t been around the game very much lately.  That said, the players the coaches draft will be on their team for the next 5 months and they want positive, hard working, kind kids on their roster.  The one season I coached a Pony team about 10 years ago, I drafted entirely on the quality of the kid with baseball skills being a distant second, and we had such a fun season with absolutely zero drama (and finished above .500 too!).  Remind your son to impress the coaches with the way he plays the game and how he treat others, in addition to showing the coaches what he’s physically capable of at this early date.
4) HAVE FUN!  Gee, what a concept!  After all, tryouts (or evaluations) is quite simply a chance to get back on the field, see some old friends, catch a few fly balls, take a couple hacks, and run around the bases – what’s not fun about that?!?
Good luck to everyone tomorrow and I’ll see you on the field soon!

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