We all know players are always trying out for teams. The whole process of trying out can be overwhelming and scary. It’s not really all that difficult if you understand there are some things you can do to make your success rate much higher.
Here are the Top 10 Things to Make You Stand Out at a tryout:
1. Look like a ballplayer. Dress for success is something you hear all the time in the corporate world. Well, the same rules apply here. Wear softball pants, wear cleats, wear a jersey with your real name on it, not a “cute” nickname. I’m less likely to want a player who is called “Slugger” as I am to want a player who looks like a slugger.
2. Smile. Act like trying out today is the greatest thing in the world. You’re excited to be here, period.
3. Communicate. Talk to the coaches. Talk to the other players. Look people in the eye. Encourage other people who are trying out. It sets you apart.
4. Hustle. No matter what the task, hustle. Pick up balls, run to your position, run to get into line, get your bat and helmet quickly and be the first one ready to hit. You just made a great impression.
5. Be a Leader. Be up front. Get to the head of the line. Volunteer to demonstrate. Make up your mind that your will never be last!
6. Take chances to shine. Dive for balls, layout for fly balls, climb the fence to rob a home run. Show off that off-balance throw. Swing like you mean to crush the ball. Nothing great comes from playing it safe. You want to shine!
7. Be self-sufficient. You should have everything you need with you. Have your gear, your water bottle, your sunscreen, whatever. This is your responsibility. Asking your parents to do something for you, get something for you or build up your confidence for you is weak.
8. Look good making a mistake. No one expects perfection. If you make an error, bounce right back. If you strike out, get right back in the box and take your hacks. Do not hang your head, no pity parties. Get over it and get back to work!
9. Ask questions. If you are not sure about something, ask. If you are curious about something, ask. If you are confused, ask questions. If you aren’t sure and you look bad doing something that is a choice you made. No excuse!
10. Have fun! If you are having fun at a pressure-packed event like a tryout just think how much fun you will be to have on the team. Smiling, laughing, happy to work hard, encouraging others to perform well, overcoming mistakes with a positive attitude – sound like a player who makes the team?
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.