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Tryouts

Discussion in 'Coaches Corner' started by Heinie Wagner, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    It's tryout time for travel basketball.
     
    We run tryouts by doing some drills, lots of 3v3 and some 5v5.  We move players around a lot, trying to get the players competing for spots to play against each other as much as possible.  We have two nights, 90 minutes each, in a gym with one big court that can be split into two smaller full courts and a back court that is smaller too - giving us 3 smaller courts, decent length, but narrow, just wide enough to fit the HS three point line with a half step to the  sidelines. Our 8th grade boys group is the largest 35-40 boys.  We pick two teams of 10.
     
    One of the things we haven't done is to let players know after the first night that they don't need to come back because they're not going to be selected for a team (cut).  While this would be brutal, it would also let us spend more time focusing on player competing for spot on teams. Now, we keep those kids that we know are going to be cut for the second night and mostly have them play on the back court. We do sometimes get complaints about this from parents, but with 35 kids, it's pretty easy to pick the weakest 7-8 players in very little time.
     
    We use volunteers for evaluators - coaches from previous years, HS Freshman coach, guys who live in town and coach at other schools and guys with basketball experience.  We let coaches from the previous year come to the second night, they don't get to pick teams, but they have some input, if a player isn't showing something or plays better in a structured setting etc. If evaluators have questions about a kid, that sort of thing.
     
    The most difficult things to try to get evaluators to do:
    • putting the best team together rather than the 10 "best players"
    • not picking the 10 most assertive/aggressive kids, because they shoot the most and have the ball the most
    • realizing that it is rare for the really small players to help a team much and pretty much impossible if there are 2-3 of them on a team
    • picking the best mid-sized players - not ball handlers, not big guys, unless these are really good shooters, they usually don't get noticed
    • especially at the younger ages, realizing the importance of size and athleticism (and what athleticism is) over skills. Every kid should improve their skills a ton through our practices, athleticism improves too but not as much and you can't coach height
    What kind of tryouts are you involved with, how are they run, what works well, what doesn't?
     
  2. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

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    I strongly believe the best tryouts are when you have "regular practice" for say, 7-10 practices and then make cuts. It's not very hard for kids to be on their best behavior for 4-6 hours over the course of 2 or 3 tryouts, but trying to maintain a certain facade for a few weeks is almost impossible. Yet, I understand that at the travel level you may not have that luxury. So, i think you're doing it the right way or the best way you can in terms of how you're structuring your tryouts.
     
    That said, I don't like your criteria for selecting players and I think it's a big reason why youth basketball sucks right now. It really comes down to picking the most physically advanced kids (Sept birthdays!!) who then end up getting, in most cases, the best coaching and so then their skill level advances at a quicker pace than the smaller players who were cut. And, ironically, a lot of the physically advanced and so-called more athletic kids at the younger ages grow up to be average or worse physically and athletically (e.g. I was the second tallest kid at my 6th grade travel tryout and I stopped growing at 5-9 - I played power forward in 6th grade and back up shooting guard in 9th). And some of the kids you cut end up physically and athletically superior, but unfortunately because of AAU and travel, they're completely turned off by sports by the age of 13 and then we all miss out.
     
    If I could rule the youth basketball world, AAU and travel until puberty would be vanquished and we'd encourage kids to play pick up and attend low-pressure skills clinics.
     
    You seem like a good dude, Heinie, who is always trying to put kids first and do things right which is why I don't really get your heavy involvement in travel and AAU.
     
  3. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Travel and AAU are really the only opportunities for hoops around here until High School. If I wasn't involved someone else would be running it and most likely they'd be doing an awful job of it, primarily looking out for their own kids etc. Like you, if I were king of all basketball, kids would stay in town until 7/8th grade, play lots of 3v3 and not have parents watch any of it.
     
    I've talked about using birth dates/relative age as a criteria at tryouts and our board totally won't go for it.  Some have kids who are relatively old, some just don't get the concept or refuse to try to understand the importance of relative age both calendar and biological.  Scary that this includes our HS Varsity Asst coach, who basically ignores everything I show him in favor of the things he "just knows".  I run almost every tryout and advocate for the younger kids (esp those with really tall parents), but it is not an easy sell. The "peak by Friday" mentality is tough to overcome. Plus, I don't think most people even know what athleticism is, most people mistake aggressiveness/assertiveness for athleticism in youth sports. A kid with no body control, who is super aggressive and totally out of control will be considered a "great athlete".
     
    I agree with your best way of picking teams, it's just impossible for us to do with two 90 minute practices/week being the norm and 2-4 weeks of practices before games start depending on the league. Our practices/games ratio is totally f'ed up too. It is pretty much impossible to change that.
     
    I like to tell people that my friend Chris W was the starting 8th grade center on our 7/8 team, he was huge, about 6 feet tall, shaving etc. I was rail thin, tall for a 7th grader but not that tall when compared to 8th graders and very physically immature, and started at guard. In HS, Chris was a guard and still about 6 feet tall, I was the center, eventually growing to 6'7".
     
  4. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

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    Points taken. As I said upthread, you seem like you put the kids first always. Keep fighting the good fight.
     
  5. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Thanks, I'm trying to.
     
    I got an email yesterday from a father whose son wasn't selected for a team. One of those emails you dread opening at first, then are glad you did. This Father wasn't surprised his kid didn't make a team, expressed the utmost respect for our process, even said he was impressed by it and was just looking for feedback on what his kid could do to improve and other places he could play. He doesn't know it, but he made my day. I'm very fortunate to get enough of that sort of thing to overcome all the crap that comes with youth sports.
     
  6. Doug Beerabelli

    Doug Beerabelli Killer Threads Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    To give our travel baseball head coach a break from the full burden of contacting parents of cut players via phone, I - an assistant coach - took on the task for 4 of the cuts.   Man, that was tough.    But they all took it well, at least on the phone, and there were even some positive repsonses from the parents that the player had a great time during tryouts and really enjoyed the process.    We took three new players, so I think that helped a bit with issues or complaints about picking the same players every year.    As I said on the phone, these decisions aren't easy, they are a snapshot in time, and the coaches don't think for a second we are necessarily right, or that these 12 kids will be the best 12 players in the future. Which is true.   We had some tough cuts, too - 18 kids for 12 spots, and all of them could play.
     
  7. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Did you have to call kids who were on the team last year that got cut?
     
    We post tryout results on the internet. Not as nice as a phone call but better than on the locker room door like back in our days. We try to post on Friday nights to give the kids the weekend to settle down before school on Monday, but sometimes tryouts are on Fridays so we post on Saturdays, then we try to move the time around in case a bunch of kids have a soccer game together or whatever - we probably over think that part. 
     
    It's a tough call when a kid who was on a team last year doesn't make a team this year - should the coach give the parents of that kid a call before results are posted? I don't know if that helps, but parents are generally thankful for the call. 
     
  8. Doug Beerabelli

    Doug Beerabelli Killer Threads Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I only had to call new kids that were cut.   Which made it easier.  But a couple kids had tried out in the past a few times and been cut.
     
  9. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, I've never gotten one of those.
     
    Indoor soccer travel tryouts next Mon and Tues. We notify by email:  cuts get sent first, then alternates, then made-the-team in the final batch.  I always try to include that I've twice cut my own son from indoor travel teams, so a parent has to have brass ones to come at me at that point.....
     
  10. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

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    OK. I'm kind of surprised by this. Every org I know in my area now cuts face-to-face which, I believe, is the way it should be. What sort of obstacles or reasons prevent you from cutting a kid to his or her face?
     
  11. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    This is just the way we've always done it in the area, AFAIK in all sports.  Really small towns, most everyone knows most everyone else.  Club soccer does it too.
     
    When/how is it (logistically) done face to face?  Who's there:  just the player, just the parent, or both?  I can barely get these parents to pre-register the players for tryouts, or hand in necessary paperwork, or even attend both tryouts.  Cant imagine how, at least around here, we'd even consider doing it face to face.  And unfortunately, EVERYTHING goes thru the parent these days.
     
    EDIT:  thinking about it some more, the only face to face I've heard of around here is SOME HS sports.  Academies send emails, middle schools post pinnie numbers on line, state ODP posts pinnie numbers on line then sends an email soon after, everything else that I've come across just sends emails.
     
    The parents around here dont know any other way, so they dont consider it wrong in the first place.  Never even heard it suggested that we should go face to face.
     
  12. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Travel soccer here.  We post rosters online, but we very rarely have cuts.  Div 1 / Div 2 seeding only.  We will always make a huge effort to make sure that anybody that wants to play gets to suit up for at a Div 2 team.
     
    First travel basketball tryout for my younger son is this weekend.  Should be interesting to see how it goes.  Safe bet he will make a team based on the pure fact he is a 5' 2" tall 5th grader that has wheels.
     
  13. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    We have 130 kids who made teams out of approximately 210 registered for tryouts. 80 face to face meetings would be impossible. At our bigger tryouts we have 15, sometimes up to 20 kids not make teams. Logistically speaking, it would be impossible to let them know face to face.
     
    There is no good way to cut a kid. Meeting face to face, you're almost inviting trouble.
     
    I can't see the benefit of a face to face meeting compared to the time and preparation it would take. Do you bring in parents? Now you're talking about a LOT of preparation and time. While you might get 1-2 parents who will ask you for feedback after posting on line, if you meet face to face, you've got to be prepared to give feedback on every kid you cut. That takes a lot of time, unless you just want to have a canned line you repeat over and over again.
     
    We take notes at tryouts on every kid we cut, but that's not the kind of thing that comes ready to be told directly to them. "Slow", "lost", "not athletic" "can't shoot" "out of control" it takes a few moments to translate that into something constructive.
     
    On top of all that, if we have 30+ kids at a tryout and are keeping two teams of 10, by the end of the second tryout, 90% of the kids who are going to get cut know they're not going to make a team.
     
  14. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    In rare cases, for parents who really really push the issue of why their player was cut, I've taken to calmly and almost dumbly asking them "then who would you suggest we should have cut instead of your player.....?" They wanna put me on the spot, I'm gonna turn it right back around and put them on the spot.

    I really want to put a sign up at our town travel tryouts: "say the word 'club', and you'll be asked to leave the gym". So many of these parents and players have zero clue that their club teams are flighted below our weekend rec league, but their child plays CLUB!!!1!1. They refuse to believe that making a club team nowadays is no more complicated than writing a $1k check for the year. Kinda like MAPS. MAPS used to be a pretty decent semi-premier league, until it finally hit them just how much money they could make by adding lower flights. Now, everyone's son is playing MAPS. You'd hope that their player being cut from their middle school team should have been a wake up call, but alas.......

    EDIT: and if we ever cut a player face to face without a parent present, there is no way no how the player is going to give their parent an accurate representation of what was said face to face. It'd be making even more work for ourselves.
     
  15. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

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    I'm still surprised. I work for a NIKE org and we do face-to-face no matter how many kids (and we get tons who try out). We owe them that.
     
  16. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Is it all volunteers? Our town travel soccer club also posts online and they have many people getting paid to be part of the club.
     
    I can't imagine how to make that work with all volunteers. I get a great group of volunteer evaluators, I doubt any of them would volunteer if doing face to face meetings afterwards was part of it.
     
    I don't really see why it's better or why we owe it to them. When we get 35-40 kids trying out for 8th grade boys a good deal of them know they're not going to make a team going in. 
     
  17. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Last tryout of the season - last 10 minutes or so, we had 5v5 on one court for all the kids making the A team, 5v5 on the other court for all the B players and the C's (cuts) were watching. I haven't done that before, but it struck me that it might actually help kids see where they fit in. That's something I might do every tryout, unless I figure out a big downside. Although often, we don't have teams picked at that point and still need some discussion.
     
    Two kids moved from A (the team I coached last year) to B, two new kids moved to town and took their places. I called both Moms and both were very understanding and thankful for the call.
     
  18. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Son #2's first travel basketball tryout was this past weekend.  Since I run tryouts for a travel soccer club of over 500 players watching others perform tryouts is  interesting.
     
    Way different scale as they are only fielding one 5th grade team, no B squad at all.  Twenty two or so players for the twelve open spots.  Hour and half of drills and some 5v5.  Interesting to watch some of the players that looked great in the drills simply vanish in the scrimmages.  Two follow up "practices" during this week with everybody.  Cuts told directly to players after the Friday evening practice.
     
    Their proposed coach's son decide to not tryout so there is no head coach in place.  Tryouts were largely done by the high school basketball coach who is also a fifth grade teacher.  I am interested in how they handle the fact that there were several players that missed tryouts due to football.  And the midweek practice will be missed by several other players (my son included) who will be on a school trip.  The HS coach running tryouts will also be at the school trip.   
     
  19. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

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    I'm big on feedback and transparency. Letting kids know why they came up short and how they can get better and improve their chances down the road. Kids are owed a direct approach because we're the adults. 
     
    Every kid cut in my org is cut face2face by a volunteer. 
     
  20. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Did they let parents watch?  Wow, we close ours to parents.
     
    I find that kids who do well in the drills are the kids who have done the drills the most. Some coaches like that, they want kids who know how to do drills. I think that's meaningless. I'd rather see kids play, l really like seeing 3 on 3, but even then some kids don't really show their strengths until 5 on 5.
     
  21. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    I don't see the benefit of doing it face to face and the potential for bad things to happen like kids/parents arguing about it seems huge.  I'm not criticizing, if it works for you and your community, that's great. I don't see the advantage, at least in how we would have to do it, for me or for the players, maybe your logistics are very different than ours.
     
    Posting results on the internet doesn't make it less direct or less transparent. Anyone who asks for feedback is given feedback.
     
    We haven't had a single complaint about the fact that we post results on the internet.
     
    One of the bigger towns near us, with a club with travel and rec, gets 40+ kids for 5th grade tryouts, they do two nights, at the end of the first night, they take 10-12 kids aside and tell them, as a group, that they don't need to come back for a second night, they'll be placed on rec teams. Their President admits it sucks but it makes it so they can do a much better job seeing kids play on the second night. I can see the benefit to doing it that way, but it's also pretty brutal.
     
  22. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Do they pick coaches before tryouts? How does that work?
     
    I'm interested because this is a big challenge for us. Having a good coach is so important to all the players, but at the same time you want to be as fair as possible to all the players regardless of if their parents coach or not. You have to find some middle ground or you could end up with no coaches, it's a very tough call when you rely on parents to coach.
     
  23. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Years back for our club soccer tryouts, it was a good amount of drills with some scrimmaging, especially on the first night (more scrimmaging the second night).  More recently, many of the teams have to scrimmaging only.
     
    I'm in the middle of that very issue right this moment.  Town indoor teams composed of two ages (so U14 is U14 and U13).  Historically, if we have a coach from each of the two yeara, the coach for the older year is offered the head position.  For week, the older coach has been expressing some concerns that his son isnt up to snuff, and we should feel free to remove him if we need to cut his son.  The guy has been in our system for over ten years, and has never said no to anything we've asked of him, and this is his final year in our system as his youngest ages out.  (Younger coach is more than up to the task as well, tho.)  Come tryouts last night, I saw just how much weight his son had put on and how much he didnt improve his footskills. That was compounded by having way more players tryout than we expected, and many of the them flat out outplaying the coach's son.   Got another call from him again just today, and he again offered to step down based on last night's tryouts.  Hate to take him up on it, but even if we roster his son, he realizes just how little playing time he can rightfully give to his son (and we may have to expand the roster a tad, to justify his son).  Just another problem I wasnt expecting......
     
  24. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    He sounds like a heck of a guy, not many guys would be making that offer to you. Tough decision to say goodbye to a 10 year coach, but also tough to put a kid like that on a team because his dad is the coach. It would be a different story if the kids was borderline. I hate having more kids on rosters than coaches can realistically play. Nobody joins a team to sit on the bench.
     
  25. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    This is a challenge for us in soccer as well.  We typically have coached apply for a team prior to tryouts.  The official coaching decisions are made after the teams are formed.  That allows for people who's child doesn't make a team to back away without causing a scene.
     
    In basketball it appears that they try and pick the coach before tryouts.  And that does use up a roster spot for said coaches child.  I don't care for that.  They had one younger player at tryouts, 4th grader rather than a 5th grader.  I am suspicious that they have asked his father to be the coach.  He is a gym teacher in town and has coached many of the rec teams.  Good coach, but I am not really comfortable with his son, who is a year younger, taking the roster spot away from somebody who was trying out for the first time.  Just because a child's parent doesn't coach should be a reason they miss a team.
     
    They did allow parents in the gym.  I don't allow parents near the players or evaluators during my soccer tryouts.
     
  26. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    The difficult thing about NOT picking coaches, or a least having some potential coaches lined up before tryouts, is that you can end up with 10 kids on a team and zero parents who can/want to coach basketball. At the same time, putting a player on a team where they obviously were only placed because of their dad is asking for problems.
     
    Playing a 4th grader with 5th graders is not only taking a spot from a 5th grader, it's also just kicking the can down the road a year. Who coaches 6th graders next year?
     
    I know everyone is really into "playing up" but there are very few 4th graders who are best served by playing up. One of our leagues (5th-8th) has a great rule - players get 4 years in the league, period. No temptation to play kids up if they won't be able to play when they're in 8th grade.
     
  27. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    In this case the 4th grader is good enough player to make the team on his own merits.  But he is only being given the chance due to the coach parent.  Tough one.  Feels wrong to me.  
     
  28. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Four tryout sessions complete now. I feel for the folks who have to try and make this team. Lots of equal players. Maybe three or four that can play and then a scrum of 15 or so players. The fourth grader has fallen off the radar screen. I am guessing he must have been invited to the first tryout as they didn't know what they would have for numbers. Once it was clear they had more than enough players he stepped aside.
     
  29. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Greatttttt: glitch in our leagueathletics email system shows in two diff places that our U14 emails were sent out (bulk confirmations), but just finding out today that they never went out (no individual email confirmations are showing up in our Sent log). I'm assuming I'll get the usual "the server was swamped, this stuff can happen...." from IT.

    Was wondering why I hadnt received any hate mail from parents of the players we cut (we get at least one or two very pointed/accusatory emails every winter, as our rosters are so much smaller than fall soccer).
     
  30. knuck

    knuck Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I've recently moved and yesterday got my first experience with a whole different set of "tryouts" or "evaluations." This is only for a 13-14 rec team, since there is only rec here (I believe the levels here are ymca/rec/aau and there is no concept of travel).

    We had about 17 kids show up for tryouts. The coaches all sat on one side, with their list of kids, with a space to rate dribbling, shooting and a small note area. Only 17 showed up, because if you were on a team last year, you stay on the same team and there were 4 no-shows.

    A kid would start at half court and the age group director would call out a number to indicate who the kid is. The kid then started at half court, had to dribble between their legs with each hand, then go behind the back with each hand, then attempt a layup. After the layup, the kid did a 3/4 court speed dribble through some cones to the other basket and went for a layup. They got their rebound and went to the three point line, then did a left handed layup. After this layup, a rebounder passed them the ball and they shot a jump shot from the corner, free-throw line area and opposite corner. It was finished off with a full court dribble for a layup at the other end.

    This was it for the child and they were free to leave.
     
  31. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    LOL - why bother? So the kids got about a minute each? I can't imagine why anyone would bother doing that. Did they have several other age groups to do too?

    Good luck. That is a pretty bad first impression.
     
  32. Doug Beerabelli

    Doug Beerabelli Killer Threads Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I'm guessing there are NBA players who can't do an off-hand behind the back dribble.
     
  33. knuck

    knuck Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I just moved and wanted to coach this season, so unfortunately my options were limited.

    It's even worse, as I get the first 3 picks of these groups of kids, and 8 of these kids will be my entire team. Two of the kids were decent (or as decent as you can look for about 90 seconds of action) and the rest were either average at best or pretty bad. The best kid was about 5'6", the second was about 5' and the third best kid was 4'11". I can see the other rosters, they all have multiple kids over 5'10". This is a league that high school players are allowed to play, but they are all taken, so I will have a team of mostly 8th graders.

    But in the in end, I'm not too worried, I know that whoever I end up with will have fun this year and will learn infinitely more from me than they have in the past from the other coaches. I'll keep my comments to myself this year and see if the organization has any potential before I offer input and really dedicate my time.
     
  34. knuck

    knuck Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    One of the coaches said, "He's a good shooter, he made all his shots." This kid shot with his feet facing outward, shot with two hands with the ball starting at stomach.
     
  35. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    My son finished his four tryouts and found out that he made the team. He was rated in the top ten out of the 23 that tried out. The coaches clearly went for for an athletic team over a skills based team. The kids that listened at the tryouts and really tried hard are more heavily represented than the kids who could do showy dribbling moves. The showy dribblers almost never touched the ball in the scrimmages. The athletic kids were moving to space and making, or trying to make, passes.

    The ugly part is they made the notifications at school. They did it face to face, but imagine being the 5th grade boy who didn't make the team and having to go through the whole day in class with kids that did make the team. I know some kids were really, really upset. I didn't hear of any taunting by the kids that did make it. One of my soccer players who was trying out told his teammates "if my soccer coach finds out I bragged about making a team he is going to bench me forever". Nice to hear he actually took something I said to heart!
     
  36. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    What area are you in? I'm not coaching this year, but I think our rec system was doing tryouts this week and that sounds like what they do.
     
  37. knuck

    knuck Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Just outside of Austin
     
  38. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Tryouts time again! We're off to a memorable start. First tryout was girls 7th and 8th grades - one team for each grade, but we do the tryouts together.

    The girls varsity coach has a big connection to the 8th grade team. They've been very successful winning games and that is hugely important to him. He's there to help evaluate players. First question he asks (along with the 8th grade coach) is... can they only take 9 players. They have 6-7 good players then a gap and it's not fair to have so many other players, they'd win a lot more games with 9. I tell him no.

    Next question, can they get an exemption to our minimum playing time rules (10 minutes/game for 7th and 8th grades). I tell him no and that this team is not really unique, all our teams would win more games if they didn't play their weakest players.

    Now he gets creative, how about taking 10, but rotating the bottom 4 so that only 2 can play in each game, giving them only 8 players each game. This is the guy my daughter, a freshman, is going to be playing for this winter. Uggghhh.

    We have a player who has been on the team for 3 years, she'a 6 feet tall. One of the weaker players, she hurt her thumb and is missing tryouts. This age level has had very little competition for the 10 spots on the team and one of the players from last year isn't trying out, so we decided to put this injured girl on the team, she'll be able to play in a couple weeks. He wants a 5'0 tall girl instead who got cut two years ago and didn't try out last year, who is not good. I get to say no to him again.

    After our second day of tryouts is over, the next morning, I get an email from him that the girl who didn't try out changed her mind and wants to play. We should put her on the team and cut the 6' tall girl. He is unbelievable.
     
  39. troparra

    troparra Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,558
    Is the Girls Varsity coach involved in the program, or is he just meddling?

    Our school district just hired a new HS basketball coach. He's a pretty big hire apparently, and he is right now starting a new boys youth program. Previously, the youth program was a series of travel teams run by parents. My son never played outside of rec league, so I don't exactly know how the former system worked. The new coach seemed to think the old system was great, but it lacked the consistency that his new program will provide.

    The new plan is to have two 10-player travel teams for each grade 3rd thru 8th. The rest of the players can join a "skills school", which will be held on four Saturdays in Nov. and Dec., about 2 hours each.
    For the two travel teams, the top 10 players make the A team, the next 10 make the B team.
    We live in a pretty large school district (~640 students per HS class) so there should be no problem finding 20 players.

    Players will be evaluated at a training camp, held on two consecutive days, which are about 45 minutes long. A committee of 10 people will evaluate players as they move through 6 stations: scoring, dribbling, shooting, defense/agility, passing and "game".
    7th and 8th graders will not attend the training camp, they will be evaluated by coaches who will be scouting the middle school basketball season.

    The A team is going to have a rigorous travel schedule, the B team a less rigorous travel schedule (fewer tournaments).
    3rd/4th grade teams will practice 2 times per week, 5th-8th grade teams will practice 3 times per week.

    As I said, those who don't make the travel team can joint the Skills School.

    I remember this information because the coach sent out the powerpoint slides from his talk. He was unable to use the slides during the actual talk because there was a power outage and we moved to a different room without the technical capabilities.

    This led to a bit of a surprise to me when it came to games. There are two different sets of information in the slides, which the coach did not mention specifically at the talk.
    On one slide, he has "Program Goals", and then this:
    3rd Grade – 30-35 games
    4th Grade – 40-45 games
    5th Grade – 45-50 games
    6th, 7th, 8th Grade – 55-60 games

    On another slide, he has:
    "GOALS per grade level"
    3rd/4th - 20-25 games
    5th/6th - 30-35 games
    7th/8th – 35-40 games

    I don't know if the different sets represent A vs. B teams, or what, but 55-60 games seems like an awful lot of games, and frankly seems insane to me.

    The coach mentioned about 5 times that this will not interfere with the rec league. And he also spent a significant amount of time either addressing angry parents who apparently contacted him before the meeting or addressing parents would he believed would soon be angry after hearing his talk.

    My son (6th grade) has only played one year of rec league basketball. He loved it, but he's not making the travel team. I like the overall plan this coach has, I like the skills school idea. My only concern is the large number of games, and the potential exclusion of kids who don't make one of travel teams. The coach did address this latter issue in that making the HS teams is based on skill, not whether you were on any of these travel teams.

    Is this number of games typical for youth basketball? That one set of numbers has 3rd graders playing 35 games, which is about the same number of games Duke played last year.
     
  40. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    649
    Our HS varsity coach coaches our girls 6th grade team, he coached them in 5th last year. He'd like to run the girls side of the program, but I'm trying to hold that off for now, because he'd be awful. No regard for the players or their families other than how they can eventually help him win high school games (or donate money to his program).

    Hard to tell what that number of games means. Our A teams play 22 regular season games. If you do a pre-season tournament, you could get 3-4 more. Thanksgiving Tournament - also 3-4 more. Christmas tournament, also 3-4 more. Playoffs could add 3 games, so you could get to 33 for 5-8. Maybe a post season tournament, another 3-4. Anything after that and you're into AAU.

    You could do that, nobody does because it's insane and means 2+ games every week/weekend from the beginning of December until the beginning of March. I wish our A league would cut back from 22 games to fewer. As it is, that's more regular season games than our high school varsity plays.

    Could he be thinking Winter and Spring combined?
     

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