The #1 Rule of Tryouts Is… Do Things Right.
There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. And whether it’s in tryouts or in life, we almost always know what the right thing to do is. You know you should hold that door open for the person right behind you as you leave the store. You know you should skate off the ice hard on line changes. No one should have to tell you this stuff. So for those of you heading out to tryouts this week, and those of you who still have to wait for the fall, here are some gentle reminders on how to do things the right way at tryouts.
=> Do the drills right – And if you don’t get it, ask. Or go to the back of the line. There’s nothing worse for a coach then having a kid go first, and do it wrong. And it’s not because it makes that kid a bad person or anything. It’s because if they go first and do it wrong, the rest of the kids in line might think that’s actually the right way to do it. Confusing for all involved. So coaches – make sure the drills are simple (and have someone who knows what their doing demonstrate it) and players, don’t go first if you’re not sure.
=> Be polite to everyone involved – from person handing out the pinnies, to the person running the drills, to the girl next to you in line for the next drill. This is common sense of course. But tryouts are stressful and it’s easy to get all caught up in a “me first” mentality when you’re trying to showcase your awesomeness. No matter how stressed out or focused you might be, you still have to treat people right.
=> Work your hardest – even if you were offered a spot on the team months ago and you aren’t really “trying out”. Go hard for the whole drill. Don’t shoot and just loop off lazily into the corner. Shoot, drive to the net and stop right outside the blue ice. Have your stick on the ice in case there’s a rebound that you can put away into the back of the net. These things get noticed by coaches and by other players – especially those new players who might be watching returning players do the drills. If the coach says skate hard out of the zone on the whistle, skate all the way out hard. Even if you’re the only one that remembers to do it. Those details matter and they get you noticed for all the right reasons.
Being successful in life is all about having great habits. If you lazily loop off into the corner when you shoot it at practice or tryouts, you’ll do it in a game. If you skate slowly out of the zone when you’re supposed to be going hard on the whistle, you probably make slow changes and take your sweet time getting to the bench during a game. If you’re rude or inconsiderate to that person checking you in and handing you a jersey at the tryout, you’re probably not that nice of a person. And character really matters to coaches when picking a team.
Seeing your skills isn’t rocket science. But figuring what kind of person you are – what level of personal character you bring to the team – is a bit harder to see. By always doing things right, you’ll leave no doubt in the coach’s mind that they made the right decisions by selecting you for the team.
So do it right. From the moment you walk in the rink, in the room, in the drills, until the moment you walk out.
Good luck at tryouts!
Your friend and coach,
Kim McCullough, MSc, YCS
Director & Founder, Total Female Hockey