Facing a coach’s rejection

 

Has your child ever headed out for football tryouts, convinced he’s the next Peyton Manning, only to get cut from the school team?

Every fall, the hopeful warriors of tryout season head to the fields, gyms and tracks across the country to face the possibility of a coach’s rejection.

Unlike grades, team cuts are quick and final. That can be devastating for a teen facing such blunt rejection for the first time. What do you say to your kid when he or she slumps into your car and gives you the bad news? I’ve been there, trying to figure out the right words and not really knowing what they are. 

“Allow the kid to talk and find out where they’re at emotionally,” says John Murray, a sports psychologist in Palm Beach. “If it’s a serious problem, find out from the coaches what to do next time.”

If you’re considering lashing out at the coach, don’t, says Murray in an article in the Chicago Tribune. Rather than retaliate, he advises having your kid ask what he would need to do to be considered next time.

Murray’s other tips:

Be realistic — before tryouts, make sure your kid is going into it well aware of the possibility of not making the team.

Be a parent — Sports may teach toughness, but a child should still feel accepted at home.

Keep a cool head — before you call the coach, wait a few days and ask for objective feedback.

Keep it up: Encourage your child to use the season to build strength and skills with other teams or sports.

Have a backup plan: Talk about alternative activities or sports.

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3 Comments

  1. Jeanie March 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    My daughter tried out for cheerleading and didn’t make varsity this past year. The pressure to make varsity in your junior year after a sophomore year as a junior/varsity cheerleader is intense. Her coach had been telling her how good she was and how it should be no problem to make varsity. This same coach helped to keep her from moving up the ladder to varsity. My daughter did not see it coming. She works hard at her grades and her leadership skills, had no arguments with anyone, she is noted for being neutral.
    I don’t encourage her to be a cheerleader but I strongly support her in her decisions. I unfortunately had to support her through all the tears and help her process if she should stay on the team or let it go. I wanted her to let it go but she chose to stay on the team.
    Oh, the joys of mothering through the teen years.

    Reply
  2. Jeanie March 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    My daughter tried out for cheerleading and didn’t make varsity this past year. The pressure to make varsity in your junior year after a sophomore year as a junior/varsity cheerleader is intense. Her coach had been telling her how good she was and how it should be no problem to make varsity. This same coach helped to keep her from moving up the ladder to varsity. My daughter did not see it coming. She works hard at her grades and her leadership skills, had no arguments with anyone, she is noted for being neutral.
    I don’t encourage her to be a cheerleader but I strongly support her in her decisions. I unfortunately had to support her through all the tears and help her process if she should stay on the team or let it go. I wanted her to let it go but she chose to stay on the team.
    Oh, the joys of mothering through the teen years.

    Reply
  3. Lidia April 18, 2016 at 4:10 am

    IMHO you’ve got the right anwser!

    Reply

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