A change in sports tryouts: Is it for the better?

By Erika Greco

The time has come.  Down the list, Abraham, Adams…Baker.  One’s dreams shattered in an instant.  With one look at a list of names, the hopes for making a sports team are over without any explanation.  It was either checking a list of names posted at school or checking an online roster that did the trick.

At least that’s how it used to be.  This common method has been used within high school athletics as a quick and “easy” way to make sports cuts.  There is no emotion, no feelings, and no sincerity.  However, sports coaches at Walled Lake Central are beginning to make a change.

Coaches are starting to adopt the best known and effective method for making sports cuts.  They bring the boys/girls into a given area and tell them directly if they have made a team along with an explanation of why or why not.

Coach Cathy Johnson of the varsity volleyball team who had recently made the decision to adopt the new method explained, “There’s no nice way to do it, it’s very emotional for anyone you have to cut, but we have found that over the years, this is the nicest way to do it.”

The baseball program at Central has used this method for a long time.  Head Coach Mike Roffi explained, “I always felt that the young men who come out for three-five days who give their best effort, you as a coach have the responsibility and the respect  to give that young man a reason why he did or didn’t make a team. I think it’s more personal, though it’s hard for both the coach and the player to hear it.  When I have 100-105 players trying out for the baseball team, and only 45 make the team, that’s 60 kids that I have to tell that I’m sorry to their face; their dream was cut off for that year. It’s tough, but in reality, if they’re going to come out and give their best effort, I think it’s a respect issue. You have to tell them face to face.”

Players indeed require an explanation after being cut from a sports team, but it is especially vital that players who have made it one year and do not make it another, are given a proper explanation.

“The biggest thing that players don’t realize is that making a team is year-to-year. I could not care less about how players were last year. It’s what you do this season is what matters.  Parents feel the complete opposite. The lower classmen come into tryouts that are competing for the same spot. It’s the hungry, derived, and dedicated players who I choose on my team, which are what these lowerclassmen show.  The seniors who don’t make it their senior year are out-worked. They did not do the little things to make them better. College is the same way as well: pervious years are irrelevant. Seniors do not have a dedicated spot on the first day of tryouts; they have to fight like everyone else. I have no problems cutting seniors. If they’re not the best, sorry. Players cannot take things for granted,” said Roffi.

This method may not be for everyone but it takes care of a lot of issues that coaches run into after making sports cuts through lists and online postings.

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