I am hosting 4 sessions in effort to prep athletes for their upcoming tryout. Below is my talk I had with the athletes as we were huddled up prior to our clinic start.
Why are you here tognight? (they responded to prep for tryouts) Correct! Look around the facility. Do you see bright yellow posters with words on them? (yes) Those words are at the top of a coaches criteria list when evaluating you. EYE CONTACT. Coaches like eye contact. It shows that you are engaged in what the coach is saying. Many of you will struggle with eye contact tonight in fact as I am talking right now I do not have everyone's eyes. Some of you are looking down. Some of you are looking at the person next to you. Every time we huddle up tonight I want to give you the opportunity to practice EYE CONTACT. Stay with me. Look at me. When a coach looks at you don't let your eyes dart away. When you look away it appears you aren't confident or you aren't interested or you dont agree with what the coach is saying. HUSTLE is another key word for tryout prep. You each have the ability to hustle. When I whistle you to huddle up, I want to see everyone hustle toward the huddle. Being a part of a huddle is exciting because generally that is where you learn. Show your coach that you are anxious to see what he or she has to say by running toward the huddle. LISTEN to what coaches are telling you. Be appreciative of feedback, say thank you, and nod your head that you understand what your coach is telling you. (I demonstrated this by serving a ball over...I had another coach tell me that was a really good serve and I replied thank you) Show your coach that positive feedback feels good and that you need it. By saying thank you or smiling it shows your coach that she or he can uplift you and get a positive response back from you. If you do not respond, your coach will stop giving you feedback maybe because you give the impression you do not need it, or you do not want it. If you do not show appreciation to your coach for teaching you, you and your coach will drift apart and you will lack a relationship with him/her that you desperatley need. ENERGY is another key component to tryouts. Why are you here tonight? Why are you trying out for a team? Is it because you want to? Your energy shows your coach that you want to be at the tryout and you want to be on the team. Are you trying out because your mom or dad is making you? If that is the case maybe they see potential in you that you don't yet see. Often parents know best what is good for you. If they feel you trying out for a team is in your best interest then give it your best shot....2 years from now you may be thanking them. Just because your parent is making you tryout doesnt mean you should mope around and not exude energy. Give it your best. If at the end of the season you sincerley didn't enjoy it then you can talk to your parents. But if you have never been a part of team and your mom made you come tonight, then it is your job to give it your best for your mom. Let the coach decide if you should be on the team. TEAM PLAYER Coaches do not enjoy having players on their team who are all about themselves. What are some examples of ways you can be a team player during a tryout. (encouraging others, high fives to other people who are trying out, shagging more balls, being the last to leave to see if the coach needs help with anything, helping someone who is confused, getting someone elses ball for them). Each attribute you have control of. How many of you will miss your serve tonight? (all hands went up) Tonight you will miss a serve. How will you respond. (I gave bad examples of poor responses to missed serves). You can't control a mistake on the ball as it happens at all levels. What you can control is your response. All of these key words you wake up with. You have them in your possession.
Often players consume themselves with what they can't do, who they aren't, instead of shining in all the areas they do well. I encourage all players to write down all their positives and focus on those. Let your coach fix all the things you can't do. Your coach is your coach to mend you and mold you in areas that are best suited for the team and for your individual growth. If you AND your coach are focusing on all the things you can't do will not enjoy your season. Let your coach mold you. You do your part by doing everything you already know how to do. (energy, hustle, teamplayer, eye contact, listen) and much much more which we will cover in our next 3 sessions!
Middle Hitter Training
May 1, 2013
Hold the Rope Summer Camp with Farragut Middle School