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Look Out, Moms -- It's Tryout Season

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Leslie Adler: It's "tryout season" for those parents whose kids play fall sports -- and my observation is that this process is often more "trying" on us than it is on our kids.

mom cheering son playing soccer

Tryouts are when our kids find out where they stand in relation to the group that also wants to be on the team. Are they going to be deemed "advanced" in their sport and asked to play "up"? Are they going to be cut? Are they going to make the team of their choice?

Will their perception of themselves match that of the coaches selecting the team?

And the "drumroll please" question ...

As their parents, will our perception of our child's abilities vis-à-vis the other children match that of the coaches?

This is a "tricky thing."

How do we navigate the times when the perceptions don't match?

Or when we believe the tryout was flawed -- which is clearly what we believe when our child, who we think deserved to make a team, did not.

Come on!! It's true ... guilty as charged ... and sometimes, we may even be right. Tryouts don't always happen in a "clinical setting" where all variables -- like politics, biases, and other things that we allege tarnish tryouts -- are absent. Other times, we aren't right or wrong, but we are stuck with a coach who has a different assessment of our athletic offspring than we do ...

And as we tiptoe through this parental minefield, where there are no perfect answers, all we can do is do our best to figure out how to be the best parent to our kid ... to comfort, support, advocate for, and/or motivate our particular child through a life filled with "tryouts" of different sorts ...

"Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." -- Lou Holtz

next: Kids Watch: "9"
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
dean September 17, 2009, 7:12 AM

I find tryouts to be a breath of fresh air. You actually have to have some talent to make the team, not this “everyone is a winner” crap.

PlumbLucky September 17, 2009, 9:23 AM

Great in theory dean, and I agree. However, I’ve seen “politics” play into who is chosen a few times too many for me to think it anything but a wonderful theory. I have, however, seen karma at work too!

lori September 17, 2009, 12:18 PM

Tryouts are a hard thing for parents to navigate. When my child didn’t make the basketball team I told him the coach who selected was wrong…but will that help to motivate my son the next time he tries out?

Polprav October 15, 2009, 1:10 PM

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Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

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