Thursday, May 22, 2008

The scariest ride of the summer: TRYOUTS

This month is tryout season for most competitive (Premier, Classic or Travel) soccer club teams. Thus, it’s the most stressful week of the year for the kids and parents (not to mention the coaches and the club administrators). Most large clubs hold tryouts for 3 to 4 nights and by the end of it, they will place the players on the A, B, or C classic teams and the rest don’t make it at all. The stress of making a team is big, but the stress of which team you make, who made what team, which coach you get and why, can push even the most level-headed, sane parent over the edge.

Ways to limit your stress during tryouts

1) go to the gym or mall, do NOT stand around and watch with the throng of other parents who are watching and commenting on every move, every child makes.
2) Afterward, do not ask your child about any details (you don’t want to know them, trust me), just say "did you have fun?" "Were the coaches nice?" Enough to let your kid know you care, but that’s it.
3) Don’t go walking with any other moms unless it’s your BFF. They claim it’s to get away from the tryout stress, but really you end up talking shit about the other kids/coaches/parents…actually it was pretty fun last night, and I vow to repent and rise above it tomorrow (I hope)
4) Volunteer to help with registration….this keeps you away from the field and from obsessing with your child. It also can potentially get you some really good information if that’s what you need (tryout lists, gossip partners, opportunity to give the kids the wrong numbers and completely screw up the whole thing, etc)
5) Duh….valium
6) Double duh….don’t go……..let your kid ride with a friend

ways to limit your childs stress during tryouts

1) Do not ask your child about any details (they probably don’t want to discuss them with you, she justs want to chill w/music or text messaging or both), just say “id you have fun?” “Were the coaches nice?” Enough to let your kid know you care, but that’s it.
2) Don’t attempt to redirect their tryout stress by adding school stress like I did last night, “How did the math EOG go today?” that was the mistake I made in my minivan last night.
3) If it’s their first high level tryout make sure they are prepared with what to expect the day or so before, make sure they have all their equipment, proper clothes, water bottle, ball, shin guards, etc…normally they should be responsible for this, but I always do a double check for tryouts so she doesn’t freak out over a missing shoe, or having to tryout with no shorts, etc. that we just discovered were not in the bag. Tell him/her the basics, but in a very calm, no big deal manner...stuff like: "Have fun", "Play hard", "don't walk around on the field: run", "don't goof off with your friends today", "make sure your shoes stay tied" "there will be guys watching you with clipboards and pencils, but don't worry about it"
4) If he's a veteran, before the actual tryouts don’t act like this is the big deal that it is… last minute lectures, words of wisdom, advice….he should already know and your stress is just transferring over to him

Ways to stress out the other parents (soooo easy) Just in case a few of you can’t take my advice above to go to the gym and feel the need to create some Drama…

1) Tell an annoying parent that the coach of the B team (or C or D) was just seen talking to her kid,
2) mention that the A team coach had his back turned when said child did something amazing,
3) say nothing, just click your tongue everytime said child touches the ball,
4) start rumors by saying things like “I hear that Coach A likes “insert any adjective here” (short, tall, heavy, wiry, loud, quiet, blonde, brunette, no braces, webbed toes, anything just make it up) players

Don't worry, Tryouts never last more than a week..but the fallout can take all summer to deal with

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