Getting The Right Information To Choose The Right Sports Team For Your Child

"My parents are my backbone, still are. They are the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40." - Kobe Bryant

Trying Out For Competitive Teams: Part 6.1

Trying out for a competitive team, be it your local community team, a travel team, or a national team, is a stressful experience. For athletes trying out for youth and high school sports, it can be incredibly stressful for parents as well.


As part of the tryout process, it’s up to you as a parent to do your homework. Gather as much information as possible before deciding to have your child tryout and play for a team.


As mentioned in an earlier posts, don’t contact a coach and lobby for your child.


Tips for choosing the right teams to tryout for:

1. Athletes need to develop physical, technical, tactical, and mental skills to improve at their sport.

Depending on age, there are also developmental milestones that athletes need to achieve as it relates to the four skills.


A coach should be able to explain how she/he trains athletes to improve the four skills (physical, technical, tactical, and mental). Sample questions:

i. What is your approach to player development as a club?

ii. What do you hope the team will accomplish this season?


This should help you answer the question, "Are they just in it to win it?" Or do they actually develop athletes?


2. Sports teach life skills. Coaches should be able to tell you what their rules and expectations are for the team, this includes time management, respect, and commitment.


Sample questions:

i. What are your expectations for the team?

ii. What happens if an athlete doesn’t follow through?


This should let you know, do they play favorites or are they consistent with their rules and expectations, and it lets you know what you need to help reinforce throughout the season.

"If you look at any superior athlete, you will find a strong parent influence. Parents introduce their children to sport, and then they support them." - Ivan Lendl


Trying Out For Competitive Teams: Part 6.2

Tips for choosing the right teams to tryout for:

a. It takes a village to develop an athlete, especially in youth and high school sports. Parents are the planners, drive their athlete to games and practices, and are the main support system. So, it’s important to communicate with parents.


Good coaches have clear expectations for parents and understand that a partnership is needed to best support the athlete.


It’s also important for parents to volunteer. Be it a score or time keep at games, snack logistics, carpool, team tent at tournaments, game set up, ect...a coach can’t do it all, so be willing to volunteer your time.


Sample questions:

a. What are your expectations for parents?


b. How can parents volunteer?


As parents, it’s important to empower your kids to communicate directly with their coach. However, if a coach expects an athlete to arrive early to a game, it’s good to let the parents know.


4. On competitive teams, playing time tends to be earned. It can also be taken away if rules are not followed and expectations met.


Sample questions:

i. How do players earn playing time?


ii. How do they lose playing time?


Consistency is important. Does the coach play favorites and does he bend the rules for some athletes?


If they try hard, have a good attitude, are coachable, and are good leaders, then yes they do.


In the end, you want to know if your athlete will get better by being on this team, are the rules and expectations fair and consistent, are parents part of the process, and will your athlete contribute to the team.

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JIMMY YOO, SPORTS MINDSET COACH

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