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Tips for Navigating Tryout Stress

By Hal Tearse, 09/10/18, 8:00AM CDT


October means tryouts for youth hockey across the state. Normally, this is a very stressful time for players, parents, coaches and administrators. Nobody involved likes the process. However, it is necessary for team formation and getting the season under way. In spite of the situation, this is a great time for parents to help their players deal with this annual ritual. 

Kids take important cues and messages from their parents. A stressed out and anxious parent will result in the same for their child. To help your son or daughter, remain calm and reassuring throughout the process. Be impartial and support the decisions of the selection committee. 

Coaches will want to select what they feel are the best players for the team. Parents are by nature biased towards their own kids and have a hard time observing with a neutral view. Be aware of that and let the process work. 

Generally speaking, the youth coaches across the state do a great job selecting their players for the teams. Parents are typically the worst judges of their child's abilities. It is very difficult as a parent to separate from the role of parent and objectively evaluate your child. We all want our children to be successful, however, when we verbalize our disappointment and criticisms of the process we only disillusion our own children and hand them ready made excuses. 

Dealing with disappointment is a life skill. Parents need to be there for their kids and support them in a positive manner. Help them to get excited about the team they are on and help them to understand that sometimes things do not go as hoped. 

Youth sports should be fun for kids and parents. By being a positive influence in your child's experience through tryouts, the season will start in a positive fashion. 

See you around the rink...

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