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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Baseball Tryouts - Intangibles to Help You Stand Out

By Chuck R Stewart

Our baseball team held its tryout yesterday afternoon. Most of the kids who wanted to play again next year and who played on the team this last season did to have to go through an official tryout but a couple of them were put on notice that they would need to make the team again this year if we received some interest from talented players. Everyone took the news well because the understanding is that we are playing competitive baseball. Here are a few of the highlights and some thoughts on the intangibles that you should consider and use to your advantage at your next tryout.

Greeting. When you are greeting a coach for the first time be sure to look him or her in the eye and have a firm handshake while thanking them for the opportunity to tryout for the team. I was amazed at what a simple gesture this is that can influence a coaching staff as much as it did yesterday. There were three players who had the confidence to walk straight up to me, introduce themselves in an assertive manner and then begin to prepare for the tryout. Two of those three were offered spots on the team.

Playing Biography. Be prepared to offer a short playing bio when asked where you played and what positions you are interested in trying out for on the team. Players who give a short answer to that question are missing a great opportunity to tell the coaches quite a bit about themselves. Go so far as to have rehearsed a couple of sentences to share with the new coaches who have no idea who you are other than a name and number. One player yesterday afternoon had a few sentences together that even went so far as to tell me why he was interested in making our team. It went like this - Coach, my name is Jack Wilson (made up name for publishing). I played with the Tri County Cubs last year. I was the third pitcher in the starting rotation and pitched in 14 games last season. My ERA was 4.40. I also played third base, hit in the 6 spot in the lineup and hit .315 for the season. I am looking for a new team to play on next year because I want to be able to also participate in my high school football program summer workout sessions and the Cubs did not like us to play another sport while baseball is in season. Needless to say, I was very impressed and quickly escorted him to meet the other coaches - he was offered a spot on the roster last evening and will be a great addition to the team.

Get There Early. I was very unimpressed with how many of the 15 players trying out for the 4 spots available on our team showed up within 5-10 minutes of the tryout. All the coaches noticed. We started promptly at 2:00 and some of the boys were still putting their cleats on while were discussing the format for the tryout and providing some background for the team.

Use these tips to make a good first impression on the coaching staff, be prepared by continually taking batting practice and fielding, pitching prior to the tryout and you will be sure to put your best foot forward in making the team you would like to play on for next year.

Coach Chuck Stewart operates a baseball web site called offering pitching machines
batting cages training aids and coaching/instructional videos along with lots of free coaching content. Coach Chuck offers a pitching machine for every skill level and budget. He has coached baseball teams for 8 years and enjoys sharing the love of the game of baseball with his players.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick