ScoutJr, didn't make the team

10 reasons why they didn’t make the team

They didn’t make the team….they didn’t make the team?!

Your kid didn’t make the team that they wanted. Whether it’s soccer, basketball, football or lacrosse, all you want to know is – what happened? Is this the end of their short-lived career?  There are many reasons why a kid didn’t make the team….some are based on performance while others go beyond technical abilities. Here’s our roundup:

1. They’re not good enough

Competition can be fierce and with many kids battling for a few spots on teams like basketball, it can be difficult to make a more advanced team.

2. They’re good enough, but they didn’t show it during try outs

Some kids rise to the challenge of try outs and perform well under pressure. Others don’t. Unfortunately, since try outs are just one quick snapshot, sometimes assessments aren’t accurate.

3. The assessors got it wrong

Assessors are human too – they make mistakes.

4. They were unable to attend all try out sessions

Life happens so kids can’t always make every try out session. Sometimes that means missing a try out.  So while your child may have the skills, another kid that’s at all try outs – especially the last one – may make a more lasting impression.

5. They’re injured and unable to try out, but available to play after a week of rest

Maybe your kid sprained their ankle or wrist and is unable to play for the next week or two. Relying on a coach’s memory can work for or against you depending on the relationship between player and coach as well as athlete performance.  The challenge is balancing the memory of your child against an athlete competing in real time.

6. They don’t have the right personality

Sometimes, even at the younger ages, coaches will look for certain types of personalities over technical skills.  The idea being that personalities that synch off the court may result in a more cohesive team on the court.  Chemistry can help propel a team forward.

7. They need swagger

They’ve got the technical skills, they’ve got the height. But they don’t have swagger. Sometimes confidence is a key component to playing. A confident player can make a more technically advanced but less confident player dim with the pressure. Assessors may decide to have your child play on a lower level team in order to build their confidence.

8. They aren’t willing to commit to specializing

Specialization is a reality though it has been proven to be unhealthy. Constant repetitive motion of the same muscles result in more injuries in kids and year-round play causes burn out. Nevertheless, coaches continue to prioritize kids that are willing to commit to their program above all others. The kids with the extra practices, camps and clinics are often the better athletes at a certain point — this doesn’t mean that your child won’t catch up, it’s just a reason why they didn’t make the team.

ScoutJr note: studies indicate that kids that play 3 or more sports are more likely to be a successful athlete than kids that play less than 3 sports.

9. They don’t pay attention or are disruptive

At the later ages, many of the coaches are familiar with individual kids’ behavior patterns. If your kid is already known for goofing off while the coach is talking, doing cartwheels instead of drills, or speaking in a disrespectful tone, then your child’s behavior may be what’s to blame.

10. You’re too much to handle.

If your child doesn’t fit into any of the reasons above, then it may be your fault. If your cheering from the sidelines is a distraction, you’ve verbally sparred with the refs or harassed the coaches, it might be you. All of this works against your child.

Did we miss another reason why they didn’t make the team?

We know what you’re going to say – we missed oneSocial relationships.

The parent-to-parent relationship that kept a B player on an A team while your A child went to a B team. It happens. Sometimes it’s innocent enough – the coach knows one child well while the other is a stranger.  Sometimes it’s not so innocent. Some coaches take their child’s best friends over the better athlete to keep their child happy.  Either way, once parents or childhood friendships trump merit, the coach – and the players – are put in an extremely difficult situation.  No parent wants to cut kids – it’s a traumatizing experience that can have a lasting effect on a child. So some kids will quit a sport rather than get “demoted” to a lower level since they know they can’t keep up with other kids.  That’s why it’s so important to mix kids up at the younger ages when labeling them can be detrimental to their development.

CYO: A Team for All

The great thing about CYO is that all kids are placed on a team. It may not be at the level that they – or you – wanted, but they will play. And within a season it will be relatively easy to see how your child is performing against other kids.  Even if your child doesn’t make the A team and plays on the B team or the C team, they will still have fun and benefit from playing. If they are better than the rest then it will provide them with an opportunity to develop leadership skills as well as mentor other players. If they find themselves in the middle, or below, they can gain confidence and skill in an atmosphere that isn’t as intimidating. So if they didn’t make the team that they wanted, be thankful for the opportunity for your child to develop into a stronger player in a supportive environment.

AAU: Travel hoops means real world try out experience

AAU is a travel program and most assessments are done by professional trainers who are looking for a combination of technical ability, grit and athleticism. As with parent coaches, trainers are human too and make mistakes. In fact, all of the reasons above can apply to an AAU assessment.  That’s why it’s so important not to take youth sports teams so seriously, though it can be difficult to keep clearheaded. Remember that regardless of who the assessor is, mistakes can be made (see last week’s Monday Motivation). Also remember that resiliency is an important skill. Learning to deal with disappointment will ultimately make your child a mentally stronger person on and off the court. Last, think it’s a big mistake to continue with a program that’s not seeing the value of your child? Switch! There are many other options all over Long Island (search for options nearby) if they didn’t make the team and you want to find an alternative.

Keep it real even when they didn’t make the team

The most important thing for your child is to have fun. As parents and coaches, our job is to foster a love for the game while also providing them with guidance and instruction so they can learn how to play. Once the fun stops the kids will stop playing. That’s why it’s so important to maintain a level head while also encouraging your child to play at the level that he or she was assigned. Take some time to discuss with your child why they may not have made it and why continuing to play is the right decision as opposed to giving up.


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