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softball tryouts tips

Softball Performance Tips – Surviving the Tryout Season

By Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

softball-tryoutsYes, it’s hard to believe we’re already in the thick of tryout season. All the comfort of knowing what the days ahead will look like is gone, replaced by that feeling in the pit of your stomach over all the uncertainty that will be dominating your thoughts for the next week or two.

That feeling applies to both players and coaches, by the way. For the players it’s obvious, especially if you’re trying out for a new team.

Suddenly you’re being judged and evaluated by a group of strangers who don’t know your track record. You have to perform right here, right now if you want to be selected. It can be very nerve-wracking, which doesn’t help your performance any.

Yet it can also be stressful for coaches. You can look at all the skills you want, but it doesn’t answer how a player will perform in a game situation, what type of teammate she will be, how high maintenance her parents will be, what kind of game knowledge she has, etc.

In both cases it can be tough because you’re presumably making a long-term decision. Choose correctly and you’re in good shape. Choose poorly and it could make for a very miserable year.

The big key to survival is actually the same strategy for success in a game — focus on the process instead of the result. You can drive yourself crazy worrying about what might happen, especially when it involves things beyond your control. Instead, you want to focus on the things you can control.

As a player, focus on this event, right now, and no others. If you’re fielding ground balls, focus on your process – see it in, get your hands on it and make the throw. For hitting, see ball/hit ball. If you miss, let it go immediately and focus on your next opportunity.

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Softball Tryouts Tips – Going Beyong Skills and Talent When Selecting Athletes

softball-girls.jpgBy Coach Marc

Identifying talent and predicting the future success of an athlete is as reliable as the weather forecast for next week.

In other words, not reliable at all.

Despite years of research, there are only a handful of true predictors of athletic success that have been identified.

When selecting their team, coaches will use a variety of criteria.

Most of the time, and with reason, the two main selection criteria are: 1) technical skills and 2) athletic talent.

However, all coaches agree that you have to factor in other variables to predict athletic success.

You should definitely keep that in mind when selecting athletes for your team.

One such variable is personality which includes coachability and character.

This morning, I was reading an article from famous mental training consultant Jeff Jenssen and he was explaining how important those two variables are.

A few years ago, I completed an interview with Mike Candrea as part of a paper I had to do on coaching leadership.

Mike mentioned that one of the things he looks for when he goes on recruiting trips is how potential recruits treat their parents because he feels this tells him a lot about the personality of these athletes.

Most recruiters agree with that.

So, when you will be holding tryouts for your team, try to include a bit of a “personality assessment” in your evaluation.

I know – it’s easier said than done. A few things you  can keep in mind.

Do your homework before the tryouts if you know who’s coming. Talk to former coaches, former teammates, go and watch them play and observe how they interact with their coaches, teammates and parents, etc.

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