5 Tryout Tips for Parents (Part 2 of 3)

This post is part 2 of a three-part series revolving around tryouts.  These posts will cover tryout tips for players, parents, and coaches. This focus is on tips/thoughts for parents.  Parents have one of the most difficult parts of the process – they’re utterly helpless, everything is in the hands of the player and coaches.

Disclaimer:  These “tips” for parents come from a coaching perspective.  They’re not meant to be “scolding” in any way – instead, they’re simply to help give a coaches perspective on some common interactions during one of the most difficult times of the season.

  1. Introduce yourself – if you are new to a team your son/daughter is trying out for, by all means, briefly introduce yourself to the coaching staff.  One word of caution – make sure it doesn’t come off as brown-nosing.  Coaches are typically very busy during tryout times – there’s a lot on their plate.  Taking a lot of a coaches time by brown-nosing will most likely leave a sour taste in his/her mouth.
  2. Know the schedule – if you are responsible for getting your player to the rink on time, be sure you’re 100% sure of the schedule so you don’t end up being late to the session.
  3. Don’t shout instructions to your skater – if a coach sees a parent yelling at his player consistently, the coach is going to wonder a couple things:  1) is player is dependent on parental approval 2) will the player be receiving “car-ride coaching” the entire season (receiving feedback from a parent, often opposing what a coach is asking)
  4. Don’t ask for early feedback – I don’t know many coaches who enjoy answering the “how’s he looking” question.  The truth is, the coach evaluating has to watch every player on the ice.  While you get the opportunity to focus on your child, the coach will only have a few minutes of focus time each individual player.
  5. If you’re mad, wait – if your child didn’t make the team, before calling the coach up and telling him/her what a horrible person they are, take a deep breath and wait a day or two until you calm down.  DO calmly and politely call and ask for any feedback the coach may be able to provide.  Most coaches make decisions based on what’s best for the team – just because your player may be more talented in one area doesn’t mean they’re a “fit” for team.  If you handle this conversation tactfully, it will make for fewer hard feelings moving forward…especially if your child will be trying out for the same team next season!

Good luck, stay calm, and remember to let the kids have fun while they’re out there!  See you around the rinks.

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