High school squads across the country are scheduled to start practice/try-outs in the next few weeks. That first day is filled with hope, promise, and the dream of what might be. Most importantly for coaches, however, the first day of practice brings with it a number of crucial decisions. New players will have a chance to make their first impression, returning JV players will have a chance to show why they should be moved up to varsity, and returning starters begin the defense of their spot.
It’s still only 2:30 p.m. but the anticipation could be cut with a knife. Mother nature, as if she knew this was a special day, has served up a heavy dose of sun and unseasonably warm weather. As the end of school draws nearer players begin to fidget in their seats and the coaches start the final critique of their plan. Today is the day they begin their quest for a championship.
So what should players be looking to show the coaches?
Here are a few tryout tips:
1. Do the little things well.
You’ve been working on your stick the entire off-season. You’re left and right feel solid, you feel comfortable with your dodges, and you’ve never been more confident in your shot. If you play your game, your coach will notice. Don’t try to score on every play while scrimmaging. Don’t try to do something fancy that will take away from your solid fundamentals. Coaches want to know that you will be able to get the job done, be willing to play the role they want you to play, and do the little things well.
2. Don’t try to over impress.
If you start throwing unnecessary behind the back passes it might impress the other players, but it won’t raise your status in the eyes of the coaches. On offense, make sure you put your shot away. Don’t throw three fakes while on the crease or hit the goalie with an around the world shot. Show the coaches that you’re going to score when you’re supposed to score without the flash. One defense, don’t try to strip your opponent every chance you get. Play solid defense with your feet and let the coaches know that you’re not going to give up the big play.
3. Attitude might be the deal-breaker.
One thing that many players don’t think about is their attitude. Coaches want to see which athletes have the potential to be leaders. Take time to complement your teammates, pick guys up who are having a hard time, and congratulate a teammate’s good play with a high five. Under no circumstances should you taunt someone you have just gotten the better of, even if it is your best friend. If it comes down to two guys competing for one spot, attitude will often times be the determining factor.