So how do you help your kid deal with the fact that they didn’t make the team? We all know one of the hardest things about being a parent is seeing your kids face when they find out that they didn’t make the team.
More and more now parents are so good at preventing this type of disappointment that many kids do not have to deal with this experience very often. That being said, how do we handle it when out kid gets cut?
Don’t overreact! Emotions are going to run high. Don’t fly off the handle when you are emotional, you are likely to regret it. First and foremost, tell your kid how proud you are of them for trying to make a team that challenged them. Praise is the key!
Offer emotional support. Listen to your child, allow them to express their feelings, and listen to them as they express their frustration. Don’t downplay their feelings early in the discussion. It isn’t “just a game” right after it happens.
Encourage without making excuses. Be positive and encourage your kid. Do not make excuses. Ask your kid questions that will allow them to understand the situation and develop strategies for the next tryout. When you ask your kid who they thought were the best players it often opens the door to a real conversation about areas for improvement.
Have your player talk to the coach. Encourage your child to speak with the coach and ask for areas to improve upon before trying out again. This discussion can’t be confrontational, which is why your kid should do it for themselves. You think you’ll stay cool but…
Plan ahead. If your child really aspires to play on a team at this level then come up with a plan of attack to help them increase their chances to make the team. If your kid lays on the couch eating Doritos until the next tryout, you can’t expect to make the team.
Play more than one sport. When one door closes, another opens. If your child is disappointed with her opportunities on the diamond, there may be better opportunities in other sports. Remember, our goal is a happy kid.
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.