It may only be spring, but this is the time of year when high school student-athletes typically begin the process of deciding which fall sport they’ll try out for. This helps them so they can start preparing mentally and physically as soon as that last day of the school year ends.
For some athletes, choosing a fall high school sport is an easy decision. They love the sport they play, they’re confident they can make the team and they can’t wait for the season to begin.
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For others, it’s not so easy.
In the case of players who have always been the star in the recreation league but are now going to a school that has competition, making the team is not always automatic. Players might question whether they’ll even make the team, let alone play. Just as importantly, there’s the worry of what to do if they get cut, especially if it’s too late to go out for another sport by then.
My advice is simple: Allow players to decide what sport they want to try out for next year. Our role as parents is to make sure they understand the plusses and minuses of the decision, and in some cases, the consequences if it doesn’t work out.
Many players have no “feel” of whether or not they’ll even make a team, let alone start like they are used to in rec and travel ball. But they won’t know unless they try.
How many times have we told our children that when discussing other decisions? Sometimes we have to let our kids make these types of decisions … and live with the results.
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There will be thousands of boys and girls around the country making this decision in the coming weeks as high school coaches hold interest meetings for next fall.
Every parent wants the best for their child, but in the grand scheme of things, not making a sports team is a good way to learn a lesson about making choices. Especially compared to future decisions that can come with more serious life-altering consequences if they don’t work out.
Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.